As nearly 2 billion people around the world watched, Harry and the love of his life Meghan held hands, declared their undying love for each other, kissed and stepped into a horse drawn carriage where hundreds of thousands danced, cheered and sang as the loving couple headed to their castle, to live ‘happily ever after.’
Wow the House of Windsor certainly leaves Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm and Walt Disney in their wake as they tell a story.
Despite the fact that we know the reality is always different from the fairy tale, as the beautiful Diana and the difficult life of Sarah Ferguson has shown, yet time and time again we are drawn into such stories, with Harry and Meghan another chapter for the world.
Why are we so drawn to the fairy tale, to want to believe in the ‘happily ever after?’
The truth is that we have been conditioned, both boys and girls, since we were small children to believe in the fairy tale, through books, movies and stories our parents have read to us. Some have also had parents influences that shaped us unconsciously at times that all will be well when we find "the one". Society has a part to play too by buying into the belief that if it's true love we shouldn’t have to "work" on it.
We have in fact become so conditioned that we want to believe it and that is why we all smiled as they wed, yes even the fella’s who watched it only “because the wife made me,” and wished them all the happiness in the world.
So given we all believe in fairy tales, what impact does this have on our relationships, when the ‘happily ever after’ does not turn out to be so happy or easy as we had dreamed?
This is a very real issue as all relationships, even the most loving, face periods of stress and crisis with research telling us that the danger period for divorce is between 5-7 years due to high conflict and between 10-12 years after experiencing a loss of intimacy and connection.
So if you are not ready to face difficult issues, as you are looking for a fantasy as opposed to a relationship, you will face a potentially terminal period for your two-some.
So how do you keep the ‘forever’ dream alive in your relationship?
Start at the beginning and discuss the unconscious "fantasies" before making a commitment
Combat unrealistic expectations by being real with each other about what is achievable in your relationship and what is not
Remember the potent "cocktail" of hormones in the beginning will cool down after a while, so find new ways to keep the spark alive
Keep working at your relationship and keep it well nourished
Be an expert in each other by learning each other’s style of attachment in relationships
Be there for each other, always supporting one another and having each other’s back by:
Engaging with each other every day lovingly - even just for a few minutes
Protect each other privately and publicly
Never threaten the existence of your relationship
Keep your relationship safe and secure
Correct and repair difficulties with each other quickly
Indulge in something fun and new every once in a while
Yes you can have your own ‘happily ever after,’ you just need to work at it and remember that whilst relationships are not always easy, where there is love, they are always worth the effort.
If you do find that you are struggling in your relationship and cannot seem to find a way forward, get some help from a qualified relationship therapist, who can help you both rediscover the magic that brought you together in the first place.
For more tips, daily quotes and information about love, dating, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Melissa Ferrari - Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert.