Desperately Seeking Happily Ever After

And they all lived happily ever after.

The End.

A year of wedding preparations, marriage vows, and a honeymoon behind us. Six months later, this is not what I dreamed about when I turned the page and I discovered, once again, that the prince and the princess lived happily ever after.

Here’s the truth: happily ever after only exists in fairytales. Ladies, in today’s world we know this and yet we still believe we will find our prince charming and all will finally and forever be well. So what is a girl to do? The answer is to stop worrying about the “happily ever after” and mindfully be in the “here and now”.  

To be mindful means that we stay in the present moment, focus our attention on one thing at a time. Mindfulness applied to marriage means that we are accepting and loving of ourselves and our spouses and are living what Christ taught, loving our neighbor (and our spouse!) as ourselves.

A mindfulness approach to marriage could result in many, misunderstandings being avoided.  If we are fully-attentive and non-judgmental when listening to each other, then we are able to take in all presenting information and to use that information to take the next most effective action. Giving our spouses our full attention and withholding assumptions and judgments can go a long way in prevention of conflict.

Moving through marriage without mindfulness can not only cause us to say things we later regret, it can also deny us of living life fully and joyfully. I learned this while on vacation in Mexico with a dear friend. This was a vacation to celebrate friendship as this friend was going to be stationed overseas. We were at a beautiful resort with perfect weather and I found myself thinking about how sad I was going to be when my friend moved. I started to feel quite sad and tears even welled up in my eyes. I caught myself and realized that I was missing out on being happy because I was thinking about how I might feel in the future. I brought myself back to the present moment by noticing the feel of the water in the pool, the sun on my shoulders, and the view of the Gulf of Mexico. Was I sad when my friend moved? Yes. And did I enjoy our vacation to Mexico? Yes. Being in the moment allowed me to feel happy and to create joyful memories.

Whatever moment you are in, be in that moment. Take in the information. Don’t wish it to be something else. Don’t judge it as good or bad. Use the information to take the next step. It is said that the moment we wish we were happier, we are no longer happy. Maybe we can’t live “happily-ever-after” and I am not sure I want that. It is possible to live “mindfully-in-the moment” and if we can do this, we just might find that we did live “happily-ever-after”.

Photo Credit — Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo


Dr. Malorie K. Schneider is a clinical psychologist who loves living and working in sunny south Florida. She is married to her wonderful husband, John. She has two grown children, two grown step-children, two small step-grandsons, and one spunky Hungarian Puli. She has studied at Boise State University and Pacific University, served seven years as an Air Force officer, currently has her own private practice, and her favorite activities involve just about anything outdoors to include running, cycling, kayaking, training her dog, and relaxing at the beach.

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