If you are divorced, I have a quick exercise for you. Without stopping to think deeply about it, list three things you miss most now that you aren't married anymore.
Now look at your list and ponder this: Did you really have those things in your marriage? If you are like me, the things on your list may have never been present in your marriage, or they may have gone missing long before you separated from your spouse.
Why is this?
My guess is that each of us harbors a Dream of what marriage is like when it works. No matter how many years we are married, and no matter how unrealistic that Dream, we still want to believe that it exists.
Where does this Dream come from?
I'm sure that the media has something to do with it. Possibly our families of origin also contributed to it. Did your parents read you fairy tales when you were young, where the prince and princess get married and live happily ever after? Maybe you read the grown-up version of those fairy tales (occasionally known as romance novels) even now. Did your parents shelter you from the anxious moments and friction in their marriage?
No matter where the Dream comes from, it is painful when it runs headlong into reality. I think that maybe this is where some marriages survive and even thrive while others die. The ones where reality is accepted and dealt with make it, but the ones where one or both partners reject reality and continue to demand that the Dream come true will fail.
Is this part of growing up, to learn to accept and even embrace reality when it doesn't line up with the Dream?
I think it is. What do you think?