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Happiness and Marriage. How To Survive It All And Stay Sane! Anyone who’s been married can tell you that marriage is not easy. Yet, regardless of what anyone says, we still dream of the perfect wedding with the perfect dress we’ve fantasized about this since we were little girls.

Did you ever watch a movie titled “Muriel’s Wedding”? A single girl, desperately wanting to get married, randomly walks into various Bridal Salons to try on bride’s dresses while the boutique personnel snaps polaroids. She was obsessed. About happiness, and about marriage for that matter. 



Photo credit: Muriel’s Wedding, 1994 (Film still) Image: AnOther

If we pay attention, we notice that almost every romantic comedy/movie in America ends with a happy ending. And, there is always that pivotal moment. The groom-to-be does something stupid, and the girl breaks up with him. Ultimately, he decides to chase her through five United States of America on a stolen bike, just to proclaim his genuine love for her. She then forgives him; they get married and live happily ever after.

Or not.

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Happiness and Marriage In The Movies

And, that would be the next Hollywood movie, where they get happily…divorced. Years later, she meets her girlfriends for lunch at Cipriani’s in Manhattan (for those not familiar with Cipriani’s, it’s a famous and costly place to eat for rich people). She tells them that she is bored with her husband and that she is having an affair with a man 15-years younger than her named Eduardo. By the way, Eduardo is also her trainer. She then gets a divorce and goes to Honolulu to celebrate. For like three months, because she doesn’t have to work.

But celebrate what? Lives shattered, children’s hearts broken; the entire family put in disarray. What’s there to friggin’ celebrate?  And, why does Hollywood celebrate the misery of brokenness and dysfunction?

Nonetheless, that is the “manual of marriage” that most women get from American movies.

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Our Society

We live in a very romanticized society with a contradictory and disposable way of looking at relationships. And nobody is talking about what is going on. 

When you ask strangers: how was their wedding day, they say that it was the most beautiful day of their lives. Omg! Like from a fairy tale?? Yes! Even better! Disney had nothing on us! We were flying on a pink cloud on the entire wedding day and eating bonbons, singing songs, strolling through spring meadows and, colorful blossoms. Everything was just perfect. It was like a fairy tale, a dream. And, then it all goes on social media for others to view, like, and envy.

Nobody is talking about how your third cousin was having sex with the bartender because she had too much to drink. Stress. Or how your grandmother took too much valium and fell asleep in her underpants in the hotel lobby. Stress. Or when your dress ripped in half right before the ceremony. Double stress. Or, that cake your mother in law insisted on ordering from a custom home-baker which had ants in it. Stress. Oh, wait for the last part was my wedding. Friggin’ stress!

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Marriage Is Good

By all means, don’t get me wrong; I am not against marriage. I love marriage! I believe in happiness and intimacy. However, it is not like Muriel thought. That all you need is the wedding and the white dress and all your problems will be solved. No, your partner cannot fix you by getting married to you. And, you cannot fix him by getting married to him. Things will not magically disappear from the radar because you sealed the deal with an elaborate wedding.

Muriel found out the hard way. She got married for sh…s and giggles. She thought getting married was the answer to all of her life’s dilemmas. She ended up getting divorced just as quickly as she got married. And all that was left was a plastic Hallmark photo album, made in China, and a couple of small press photos from Sidney media. Her dad was an Australian politician.

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Happiness and Marriage And My Wedding

First, I don’t know if anyone is willing to admit this. But I will. My wedding day was very stressful! I was so friggin’ stressed out that I felt like my makeup was going to roll ride down my face and, my eyeballs were going to sink back into my eye sockets. All this right before the photographer showed up early to take pictures of me getting dressed, which I was opposed to anyway. And as he decided to poke his intrusive camera everywhere, he annoyed the crap out of me. When all I wanted is to be left alone and breathe while I was doing my makeup. Stress.

Don’t get me wrong; our wedding day was a successful event. But I felt like I just wanted the party to be over and, I couldn’t wait to get back to our hotel suite to relax in the quiet with my husband. Moreover, anyone who says that weddings are all about the bride is wrong. My groom was just as stressed out as I was. I don’t even remember talking to him much during the entire wedding day. Too much going on!

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Happiest Moment

When it came to happiness and marriage and my wedding, the most joyous moment was at 10:00 in the morning, following our wedding day when the two of us were eating modest breakfast at the hotel while confirming flights for our honeymoon in Greece. An elementary yet happy moment for a girl like me!

In the long run, I’ve learned that the first year of marriage is when the real work on the relationship begins. But, don’t give up my sweet, little darlings. Because if you make it, you will gain insights on how to survive the second year, which entails even more hard work. Isn’t that exciting? Yes, I know. But, it gets better, I promise. Hey, I am still married, am I not? And I genuinely love it! Marriage is a unique form of a relationship like no other, and it should be cherished globally. It’s an exclusive union that evolves with time, and it never stops growing.

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Similarly to what Jack Nicholson said in the movie “As Good As It Gets,” it makes you want to be a better man.

In my case, a woman.

as good as it gets 1997

Public photo credit: Tunefind.com

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Photography: Alvin Mahmudov, Charisse Kenion, James Bold, Anton Mislawsky, Jeremy Wong Weddings, Photos by Lanty

Publisher note: This article was originally published in August 2018. 

Thirsty for more related content? Check out our podcast on “How To Be Happy No Matter What.”


Hungry for more content: Check out our blog post on How To Find Your Soulmate

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