Awww. The movie ends, and we’re left with such dreamy feelings. “Happily ever after” sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
Yet I wonder, does that quote sneakily imply when we marry we’ll never have problems? That a wife will meet her husband’s every need? That he’ll keep her happy and free from being sad or lonely for the rest of her life?
In movies, happiness seems to be a deal-breaker. Like if they aren’t happy they can walk away. When did happiness become the on-demand ingredient in marriage?
While marriage certainly has its blissful moments, I can guarantee that a husband and wife—being human like me—will err one or two or a bunch of times.
Someone will get mad or jealous or irritated. Someone may storm out of the house. Or cry. Or yell. Stuff happens.
Hurts will come. But so will forgiveness. Healing. Peace. And reconciliation, if we let it.
“’Til death do us part” is all about being sold on loving our spouse and choosing to remain by his or her side—no matter what. Through thick and thin and all the ups and downs of life, our love and promises hold us together with a magical super glue.
However, no marriage partners get it right all the time.
Jason and I aren’t living “happily” ever after. We’ve had our problems. We’ve also experienced crazy joy and love. We are best friends. But we’re still working on some things. We’ve fallen out of love a few times. We’ve also fallen deeply in love with each other—over and over.
In fact, I fell in love with him just a few days before Christmas.
Ever heard of a cuddle chair? It’s a chair that’s narrower than a loveseat, yet wider than a regular recliner, and built for two. By the name, I think you basically have to cuddle in it.
Due to our trying to sell our house, we didn’t have much furniture left in the place. In the evenings we were sitting in uncomfortable office chairs to watch movies, not in our old loveseat like we used to.
The arrangement didn’t promote closeness or romantic interactions.
In need of a solution, we went on a furniture hunt. As soon as I spotted the cuddle recliners, I wanted one! We store-hopped, trying out various recliners built for two.
Finally, we chose the most comfortable fit for us and brought the new piece home. We were now able to sit very close. We ate dinner next to each other. We watched movies in the evenings side by side—and sometimes fell asleep there.
Jason had two weeks off for Christmas. Almost from the first day of his vacation, he was more relaxed and attentive than he’d been in a long time.
It seemed he might just be on the lookout for ways to romance me.
And me being the romantic girl I am, my heart melted with the attention! One night, we were sitting on our cuddle chair watching something, and we turned and stared into each other’s eyes—held gazes just like they do in the movies. A cute smile crossed his lips. Romantic sparkles lit his green eyes. I was seeing into the same heart of the man I’d fallen in love with as a teenager.
We closed our eyes and tenderly kissed. There was healing and hope in that moment. For a while, I just gazed at him, loving him all over again.
Yep. I think every married couple should buy a cuddle chair. ????
When was the last time you gazed deeply into your spouse’s eyes and let yourself become vulnerable enough to let him/her peer into yours? How long since you kissed each other like you were eighteen and madly in love?
How about having some intentional romance this weekend? Not because it’s Valentine’s week. But because he or she is the love of your life! You both deserve some quality alone time to get to know each other again.
Go on a date. Hold hands. Sit in the car and kiss passionately.
And love your life together. Remember, you are so blessed to have each other!
You and I may not live “happily ever after.” But a lot of ever after sure is going to be happy!
This blog post was originally written on 2/14/17.
Mary Hanks writes inspirational Christian fiction about couples finding their way back to grace and each other.
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