Twenty Shades of Marriage: Real Life Truths About Romance

I’m aware that the Fifty Shades of Grey movie opened this weekend.  I didn’t see it nor do I plan to. I also didn’t read the book. The purpose of this post isn’t to critique them, though. I’ve read quite a few well-written posts that have tackled that. Instead, I’m coming from a different angle.

Quite a few women who defend reading the book and watching the movie say that it isn’t all about the negative elements that they are known for at all, that they are just really good romances. And, in truth, I’ve read and watched books and movies that probably would have their own critics. And I enjoyed them because they were just really good romances. But, there’s a danger I see in romance novels and movies- sometimes even in “clean” romances. And that danger is this: They paint a picture of romance and marriage and relationships that just isn’t accurate. Single girls and women can get caught up in this and be ever starry eyed looking for that version of romance. And married women can read or watch and find themselves dissatisfied in their real life relationship. The truth is real, committed marriage relationships are much harder- but also can be much better- than anything you’ll read about in a book or watch in a movie.

Here, from my own personal experience, are twenty shades of marriage- a real life look at the good and bad of a marriage relationship.

1. The other person is rarely as wonderful as he/she is trying to be while you’re dating. If he brings you flowers every weekend, that may not last after a few months of trying to make ends meet in a marriage. If she looks beautifully put together every time you see her, she’s probably not going to look like that first thing out of bed in the morning.

2. Never having to leave the other person and go home can be a wonderful thing. When you’re married, it means no more having to take an hour to say goodnight just because it’s going to be sooo long until you see him tomorrow.

3. It’s impossible to never have an argument. No two people will perfectly agree all the time. If you think that’s the case, you just haven’t made her mad enough to be honest yet.

4. Having someone to always bounce ideas off is fun. You don’t always agree, so you can truly gain a different perspective.

5. He/she probably either snores, kicks, or steals covers.

6. On cold winter nights, it’s so nice to have someone to cuddle with.

7. There are times when both of you will choose not to “fight fair.” You’ll yell or slam a door or say something mean. It happens.

8. Learning to forgive and make up is always worth it.

9. Good communication is hard. It’s easier to walk away and quit talking and just stay mad inside.

10. Learning to communicate is awesome. It draws you closer together and strengthens a relationship.

11. You’ll sometimes disagree over what movie to watch or what television shows are okay. Just because you’re married doesn’t automatically guarantee complete agreement on all moral issues.

12. Living with someone who doesn’t always agree with every single value you hold makes you think. Sometimes it’s good to question why you hold a certain opinion. Is it really a moral issue or have you just made it one?

13. Occasionally, if you’re an introvert, you’ll feel a little smothered in a relationship. You might not get as much alone time as you’d like.

14. A good marriage means your best friend is always there when you need him/her.

15. A committed marriage sometimes means you’re together through the bad- sickness, debt, tragedies, death.

16. A committed marriage also means you’re together through the good- a new house, celebrations, becoming parents.

17. Sometimes it will seem as if you are at a stalemate. Someone has to win and someone has to lose. You just can’t agree.

18. If you have a committed relationship, you’re on the same team. You’re ultimate argument isn’t against each other, it’s against whatever is causing you to disagree.

19. After quite a few years, your relationship can get tiring and routine. It’s always the same old thing, same routines, nothing new.

20. After quite a few years you also realize how awesome it is to truly be one with another person- a person who’s with you through the ins and outs of life; through both of you messing up; through happy and sad, easy and hard. Knowing that you always have someone who loves you and is on your side- that’s an amazing romance.

And that’s what’s really true. Marriage and a committed relationship isn’t all sunshine and roses with a perfect partner who constantly makes you happy. But a marriage that is founded on God’s principles and is a committed union that is isn’t going to end when the going gets tough can be a truly wonderful thing.

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