It’s Cinderella’s fault that the divorce rate is so high! Don’t believe me?
Most women grow up with Disney’s version of a storybook romance, fueling their desire to fall in love, get married, have children and live happily ever after. As time goes on, movies like Sleepless in Seattle, Pretty Woman, The Notebook and The Holiday keep our fantasies alive. We almost have no chance; we are pumped with romance, not only in movies, but in novels, magazines and of course societal pressure to get married before we become “old maids”.
What’s a girl to do?
We finally meet a guy, “the One”, who is worthy of our love. We get decide to get hitched, and get lost in the excitement of “the wedding”. We have been waiting for this day all our lives – planning, dreaming, picking out colors. Unfortunately, nobody tells us just how much work and dedication it takes to make a marriage thrive, especially once children come on the scene. It’s not their fault though, we wouldn’t believe them anyways because we’ve been brainwashed by Ms. Cinderella.
I was no different. I bought into the whole handsome prince taking me away on his white horse nonsense, and I loved it! It was exciting to think about how one day I would be rescued from my simple existence and whisked away to some amazing new life. And one day, I met my prince and he was a great guy! I had a ball planning my wedding. I got so busy planning my wedding that I forgot to pay attention to my relationship.
Several years and a few kids into my marriage, I decided I wasn’t happy because my ex wasn’t the prince I imagined him to be. In other words, he didn’t sweep me off my feet every single day, tell me how beautiful I was and how much he loved me every day, regularly buy me big expensive gifts, whisk me around the world, showing me all that life had to offer, read my mind, and oh yea, he didn’t help me enough with the extensive list of chores required to run a household and raise children. Most of all, he didn’t “make me happy” like the prince was supposed to do. Didn’t he see the movies?! Didn’t he get the script?!
Looking back, he was a great prince. He was kind and loyal, worked hard to put food on the table, showed up for his family, even when he didn’t want to, bought me nice things, took me on nice vacations and bought me a beautiful home. But, I was so buried in my happily ever after fairy tale that I couldn’t see my own reality.
I saw those princesses dancing and singing about how much they loved their man, and I wasn’t singing or dancing! In fact, I was kind of depressed, and incredibly bitchy. I was a lot more like the wicked step mother than Cinderella. Did I get the wrong script?! I built up years of resentment and that made matters even worse. This prince could not win!
The husbands who play a role in these fairy tales are often shocked and surprised when his princess announces she is leaving. He has no idea he is playing the role of the prince, let alone what the job requirements were. He goes to work each day and works hard to provide for his family like young men are taught to do. He is told by the other men that if he works hard to get ahead and provides for his family everything will work out great for him. He is under the impression that everything is just as it should be; the house is clean, check, dinner’s on the table, check. He has a job, a house, a wife, a dog and 2.3 kids, check, check, check.
What I didn’t realize until after I got divorced was that I was the one who was supposed to “make me happy.” Go figure! All those years I blamed my ex for not making me happy, and it wasn’t even his job!! This is a common misconception in relationships on both sides, actually. We so often look outside ourselves for happiness and in reality the only person who can make us truly happy is ourselves.
Once I was on my own, I was still miserable, and realized I was the common denominator! I could no longer blame my ex because he no longer lived with me. I was forced to look inside and see what was causing me so much grief, and realized that my perspective was way off! I did a lot of studying, found some amazing teachers and learned to love myself again. Of course the yoga and meditation helped me to move through it all more gracefully, and I managed to survive all of my crazy! You can too! I promise. xo