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The Lies and Truth of Marriage: Growing Together and Apart

Adult Autism

The lies of marriage make it difficult to have a “happy” or “thriving marriage, the truth is we grow together and apart. Here I am learning how to let go of my unrealistic expectations surrounding marriage with a new truth even when it’s hard.

Our 18th year anniversary is just around the corner and as I sit here typing I am called to write this blog for wives who struggle with unrealistic expectations and the false idealism of what marriage is.

Getting married at twenty had many ups and downs and all arounds. Including many times where we fell out of love and then after a year and lots of work, we were able to fall in love again followed by rinse, lather, and repeat. Believing the lies about marriage made our relationship a great struggle, and there was heartache, tears, anger, frustration, and every other emotion you can think of, but with the help of truth, I move into another year.

Here I come back to my heart and remember why I married this man in the first place.

The Truth: From Passion to Love

Back then we were like love-sick teenagers (nineteen and twenty), sneaking off to have passionate sex where ever we could (am I turning into my grandma by saying back then?). Eighteen years down the road there are months where if we get five minutes alone we sneak a nap or watch an R-rated movie with sex, and adult language on different couches.

Passion has shifted to love, a love with acceptance. By debunking the lies and truth of marriage we move into love. We have to search for what love means to us in this present moment because love from the age of twenty to thirty-eight has shifted.

Love can be doing the dishes, helping make dinner, or running to the store. There is love when my husband reads the kids a book before bed or fixes the leaky sink. Or I know he loves when I rub his back or feet. His love languages are acts of service and touch. Love better and learn how you and your partner receive love differently with this QUIZ TO FIND OUT LOVE LANGUAGES!

We have to be realistic when it comes to love. Because after almost two decades with the same person love changes and takes on new meaning and expressions.

The Lie: I Will Have a Fairy Tale Ending

If you are in a long-term relationship, the cat is out of the bag. The lies of the fairy tale ending is bullshit for most of us. The truth about marriage is it is nothing like we thought.

There are days we are best friends and others we ignore each other because being passive-aggressive is a negative cycle that we can get trapped in. But one thing I appreciate about my relationship with my husband is no matter how stubborn we both are one of us will enviability apologize and shortly after the other will follow.

All of those damn fairy tales started us believing lies at such young ages. The truth of what we don’t see in Cinderella and Snow White is what happened after the princess squeezed out a couple of babies and her changing mood swings and body distortion.

From the stretch marks, postpartum depression, and the everyday anxiety of being a mom. All in the meanwhile going back to work and still managing the house with meals, and chores and oh shit the laundry don’t even get me started on the laundry.

The lies of the fairy tale ending are never going to happen, it’s time to open to the truth of marriage.

The Truth: The Reality of Marriage

I know, we love our partners. Or hopefully, that’s the case. I know there are times when I have to exhale and in my soul, I feel a deep love for my husband even though he infuriates me and sometimes is one of the most selfish people I know.

These are the moments where I come back and remember my why? And I question myself? “Are the things in my husband that drive me crazy part of me too?”

“Is it really me who drives me crazy and in moments am I the one being self-involved? Are these parts of us that bring us great strength and weakness combined? Are these parts that make us human together?”

The Truth: The Unrealistic Expectations of Marriage

The lies of unrealistic expectations of marriage are like a fire, at first is soft and gentle and we take time to tend to it with care. And after a few years, we start popping the logs in no specific order and after five to ten years we forget to even put the wood on the fire and it eventually burns out.

Especially when children are involved, we get so invested in helping raise these little people. We feed them, bathe them, and nurture them. And into toddlerhood, it is a matter of juggling all of those things plus keeping them alive because they are constantly trying to kill themselves (not on purpose, of course, the curious kind of falling off of the top of the stairs. If you are a mama you know what I am talking about). To become a child, and a little person, and becoming a kid, and a tween, to a teenager and one day an adult who wants to push and test you beyond your limits.

Exhale – this blog isn’t about our kids, but how do we keep our metaphorical marriage fire burning when there is everything else to do too?

The Lie: Getting Married Completes Me

Okay, Jerry Maguire your famous line “You complete me” has put a mind fuck on many women in relationships. Being complete by another person is another lie and the truth of marriage is…

The truth ladies is no one is ever going to complete you. We have to complete ourselves.

Everything starts inside of ourselves, just like love. We must love ourselves before we can love others. We can only find compassion for others when it originates within us first.

The Truth: In Sickness and In Health

When I get sick, I am still the mom and the house manager. Okay, my hubby will ask how are you feeling? And maybe run to the store for me, I know this is him showing he cares. When he gets sick, I am the care provider. Only the way I show care is different than how he does. These are the times where I have to be with my frustrations or annoyances and know we are different people and we respond and react to different situations. And for a lot of people, it is hard when our partner gets ill and our roles change. Change is a challenge for almost all of us.

Empty nest

The truth of in sickness and health is being with all of the ugly parts of life with unconditional love.

Unconditional love when we are crushing life and even when we feel like we are failing. It is the love that openly accepts when we need surgery or are struggling with an illness or disease. Or accepting and nurturing a partner after the birth of a child. An unspoken love when we pack on a few pounds and maybe it stays a while.

The Truth: Why I got Married In the First Place

After years I have to dig deep into my soul. These are the moments where I flashback to why I married in the first place.

And when I cant remember, I try to get quiet enough so I can summon up how I feel inside of his arms. Or times where I sit with the emotional dump inside.

Now eighteen years have passed, five purchases and four sales of homes, three children, the loss of two dogs, grandparents, cousins, a niece, and other family members, heartache, and wonder that comes along with life. We are in life together, on the same team.

The Lie: I Can’t Let Him Know my Truth

It is hard, and I struggle in moments when I feel so far away from my husband. We are like roommates who sometimes hang out and there isn’t time between life, school, writing, yoga, the kids, and him running a business.

I have learned I have to sit with myself and just feel the hollowness in my chest. And a lot of the time the wounds in my heart run deeper than my husband can even understand.

The Lie: I am All Alone

There is a resonant ache inside of the cracks of my heart when the voice says I am all alone.

Being alone and married is a thing.

These last years have hit me hard and even though I know my husband is there, he can’t fill me up in ways I used to think he could.

The Truth: My Husband Can’t Do It All and Either Can I

I wanted my marriage to be everything. I wanted my husband to be my knight and shining armor, my lover, my best friend, my workout buddy, my spiritual partner, and my care provider.

Only those unrealistic expectations left me feeling more miserable than I already was.

Over the years I have learned I need more relationships than my marriage. Between my sisters, soul sisters, and friends I have deep connections that fill up my metaphorical cup and it alleviates some of those expectations and makes them more tangible. The same goes for my hubby, he needs his adventure crew and buddies to fill him up in ways I can’t.

It’s time for the truth – my husband can’t do it all and either can I.

YES! The truth will set us free!!


The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, its employees, sponsors, or affiliates.

Shelly Bond

Shelly is an inspired mama of three living in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, in Estes Park Colorado. Waking up, she pauses and breathes deeply in awe of the beauty surrounding her. Reading and listening to books is an obsession that has transmitted into a love for writing. Chips and salsa are her weakness, and she survives on almonds and tea. Styrofoam is her kryptonite. She believes she is the funniest person she knows. One of her greatest pleasures is painting or writing whatever is on her mind or overflowing her cup. Being married, seventeen years, and blessed with a special needs daughter has taught her so much about herself. Learning how to battle with resistance, guilt, and opening to acceptance with love. Three years ago she embarked on a Yoga teacher training forever changing her life’s path. Guiding her into becoming a Reiki practitioner, she discovered healing is within us all no matter how big or small. Healing isn’t the endpoint, it’s only a part of the journey.

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