As little girls we were told stories of princesses who were rescued by their prince charming on his white horse. We were brought up learning about how the Prince instantly fell in love with Cinderella thus setting her free from a life of drudgery as well, as how only the prince could wake up sleeping beauty.
We read romance novels consisting of take charge men who sweep a woman off her feet and make long passionate love to her all night long, making her feel beautiful and glad she is a woman. Or the other scenario where the rich handsome man falls in love with the poor peasant girl and rescues her from poverty.
We watch love stories with the all too recurring theme. Woman meets man. Usually they are opposites. He may anger her and frustrate her. Alternatively, they may begin as friends trying to help each other out, such as in “A Walk in the Clouds,” where Keanu Reeves agrees to act as the husband and father of a pregnant woman during a trip to her family. Who can forget “Bed of Roses,” “Pretty Woman,” “You’ve Got Mail,” or “Overboard?” At the end of every movie (well most of them), the man and woman pronounce their undying love for each other and walk hand in hand out into the sunset. Viewers are led to believe that the couple lives happily ever after.
Even though we know that these stories are all make-believe, there is a part of us that yearn for that type of love and romance. The soft part of us comes out wanting a man to care for and cherish us. The strong part of us comes out believing that if we love enough we can conqueror all. We are led to believe that there is only one soul mate for us in the world and that soul mates last a lifetime. We believe that we should fight to death to protect our love and our beliefs.
During our engagement, we often feel like our fairytale has come true. We are ecstatic about planning our wedding and bragging about our prince. We often do not see life beyond the wedding.
After the honeymoon is over, true life sets in. The couple begins seeing each other at their worst. The woman might complain that her prince prefers to walk around in his undies, never puts the dishes in the dishwasher, leaves the toilet seat up and puts the toilet paper on the wrong way. She begins to nag him to pick up his clothes or take the trash out.
There begins to be disagreements about money, chores, working, spending time together (or with friends), where to go, what to do and how to raise the children. Most of these arguments are usually settled and the couple makes up.
However, sometimes these little nuisances build up over the years. The man is no longer the man you married and you are no longer the woman he married. The man might feel as if you do not put your best foot forward to look nice for him, or that you disrespect his opinion. One or both of you may feel completely ignored by the other, feeling very very alone in the relationship.
You might have begun to feel that you were not lovable and that your husband no longer cherishes you as he once did. Before you know it, you are talking to your friends complaining about all the negative qualities your husband has. When you criticize, you are unwittingly creating more of the same behaviors that aggravated you in the first place due to the law of attraction.
As the fights pursue that loving feeling starts to melt away. Neither person feels as valuable or attractive to the other as they once were. There are as many reasons why this happens, as there are couples.
Now all of a sudden you find that you are a divorced woman. You wonder what happened to that prince that you married. You daydream about the life that you were supposed to have – the one that you envisioned before your marriage - the one where you and your husband were sitting on your thrones surrounded by children, grandchildren and a multitude of friends that loved and adored you.
You question yourself, believing that you could have fought harder had you loved enough. You wonder if you quit the fight to soon.
You may be struggling emotionally because you have not let go of the fairytale – of the happily ever after. Something inside of you believes that love is forever and maybe even that there is only one soul mate per person. You may feel as if your ship has sailed without you. The wicked stepmother won by giving you some sort of poison. For some reason, you may be choosing to remember all of the good and none of the bad.
So how do you let go of the fairytale?
You face reality head on. Face exactly what happened during your marriage as well as the breakup. If he left you, that is the reality. Do not beat yourself up over reality. Write down the facts exactly as they happened. Then read them, as if this was someone else’s life. This may help you gain perspective on the reality as well as the end of your marriage.
Live in the present moment. What is happening NOW? If you are focused on your now, you are living and will not be wasting your now on things that happened in the past. Weren’t they bad enough the first time you lived through them? Why in the world would you bring this into your present moment to relive it again?
Be grateful for everything that you can think of. Sit down with a pen and paper and see how many things you can come up with to be grateful for.
When you let go of the fairytale, you will be living in the present without regrets of the past and will realize you are no long saying, “if only,” “What if,” “Could’ve been.”