“And what, for instance, would have happened had Romeo and Juliet lived to middle age, their silhouettes broadened by pasta? “- Anita Loos
Interesting question. And one to explore with the Cinderella story, as well.
We really like fairy tales. They are comforting BUT guess what… a lot of people believe they are true!
They set the stage for a hope, a dream, and an unlikely outcome.
Does anyone teach you that? Absolutely not.
There are any number of documentaries and real-life stories we read about or see in the movies but
Cinderella stays with us as we heard it as children and it got embedded in our memories.
As a relationship and marriage counselor for decades I can tell you people really do think marriage will solve all their problems and they will live, happily ever after. HA ha ha! Ain’t necessarily so.
While to be honest there are many really good relationships and marriages over long periods of time there are many more not so great ones. The divorce rate is one statistic; half of all marriages end there, and second marriages are even higher.
Look at the facts.
Cinderella was not loved by a stepmother. She was made to do drudgery housework and did not get to look pretty. In addition, she was surrounded by sisters who made her look and feel awful.
Try playing that on your piano and see how good you feel about yourself!
Then the magic night and she goes to the Prince’s ball and he is smitten. That does happen in real life. Look at real princes like William and now Harry.
Fortune and luck play a role.
She loses her glass slipper, and he goes on the hunt.
That happens too. We have Facebook and Google!!
They get together and off they go. End of story? No, only the beginning.
Today the anticipation, and longing seem to be missing. The imagination is also going by the boards.
Today it’s hello and jumping into bed.
And it’s not even with anyone close to a prince, usually.
The real work or discovery comes AFTER the wedding. This is true even with couples who have known one another a long time or have lived together. There is NOTHING like marriage but marriage.
It’s as if the event now makes anything okay and you can in a sense, let it all hang out. Taking one another for granted comes into play. Here is the dirty little secret; no one prepares you for this turn of events and attitude. Too bad. A lot of problems could have been nipped in the bud right here.
Being polite, looking good, smelling nicely, and so on needs to happen all along; not just before marriage!
Life then takes over. Sex which is the yummy glue gets perfunctory and boring. Especially if you are trying to conceive and have to check a thermometer beforehand!
Money and how it is spent may be a big difference between two people. Just their different backgrounds and values and ideas may be too difficult to compromise and understand.
Social life and friends and maybe in-laws who can’t tolerate one partner can take a toll. Children and rearing them is another wonderful area for disagreement.
Having crises in health, or finances, job problems, and so on get in the way.
If Cinderella and her Prince are not joined together as strong as iron they will drift or fall apart.
The relationship will change, and they may look elsewhere, or stay and be unhappy.
Monogamy is not a natural state. Basically, the Gibbon is a rare creature who is monogamous.
The Bonobos however, are the least warlike and most contented creatures and are close to we humans biologically. They have sex anytime with anyone!!
We might learn from them…
They of course, did not read Cinderella.
Our cells change every seven years. Our desires seem to do about the same. Maybe, just maybe, we should decide every seven years whether we wish to continue with the current partner. I believe in love, and I know great sex is necessary for it. With time and age or health, relationships can change but they can still be warm and gratifying. It takes insight and a willingness to address the issues with a partner. Cinderella would have to open up and she and her Prince would have to talk.
Happily ever after is possible but the definition of happily might have to be altered!
“Love does not recognize the difference between peasant and Mikado.” – Japanese Proverb
Do you like the Cinderella story? Know anyone who lives it…. after the ball? What about you