After 20 plus years in marriage counselling I am going to tell you something absolutely shocking.
I have never met an unhappy couple!
That is, when they are compared with the average inmate in a North-Korean prison.
Unfortunately, they (the couples) compare themselves to fictional Hollywood romance characters.
And no matter how many times I point out that Prince Charming was the invention of a seriously delusional mind, they insist somewhere out there (over the rainbow) is Mr. or Miss. Charming.
Faced with this, I often show the delusional couple a picture of two buckets. One is labelled “Parenting” and the other “Marriage.”
I ask them to list all the pain and anguish associated with each and then, all the benefits and joy each has provided.
Invariably, this is how the numbers line up, the pain for children is approximately equal to the amount of joy from a spouse.
Shocking too is that the pain from a spouse is equal in quantity to the joy from a child.
Why therefore do we ascribe such a positive experience to parenting and such a negative one to marriage?
It’s like two diamonds, both look the same to the naked eye. But one is a fake, and therefore we ascribe it less value even though it’s equal in sparkle.
Or put another way, for the faux diamond to get the same acknowledgement as the real one, it has to deliver far more in terms of quantity. So much so that a marriage cannot survive this competition.
Why do people create this formula in their families when a more equitable one would make them so much happier?
Because they believe that somewhere, out there, over the rainbow, someone WILL treat them like that.
So let me state it again, there never was, is, or will be a Prince Charming.
And I can prove it!
Did you ever hear of anyone winning the lottery?
“Yes, of course.”
Did you ever hear of anyone striking gold, or oil, or even a hole in one?
Did you ever hear of anyone who, five years into their marriage, declared they married Mr./Mrs. Perfect?
Why not? Because it never happened. If it happened you would have heard.
Prince Charming has as much reality as a Bernie Madoff ledger.
But a North-Korean prison is real! And compared to that you are living in Bliss!