Will the real marriage please stand up?

Marriage Poems

Anyone who thinks that marriage is composed of magic, bliss, and excitement is headed for disappointment. Those marriages and relationships only exist in romance novels, movies or television, wild promises on the internet, and personal ads.

In real life, marriage is about reciprocity and power.


The husband gets what he wants in the marriage by giving his wife what she wants.

The wife gets what she wants in the marriage by giving her husband what he wants.

Neither husband nor wife ever gets 100% of what he/she wants in any marriage.

Marriage partners provide mutual support and help each other with mundane problems. They compliment each other and both contribute to the marriage, often by compromise.

The couple may dance by candlelight but it is after the dishes are washed, the lawn is mowed, and their day-to-day problems are solved.

Fantasy marriages take place with perpetual romance in the moonlight. Real marriages take place in the everyday world. They are never so glamorous.


Romantic love always ends in a power struggle within the marriage.  All couples go from romantic love to a less infatuated stage that heralds the onset of that struggle.

Romantic love can last a few weeks or even a few years, but, eventually lust or romantic love will begin to wane...

No marriage can avoid the power struggle as the couple decides who takes out the garbage, who washes the car, who balances the checkbook, who walks the dog, etc.  This power struggle can continue for years as the lives of the couple pass through various phases.


Everyone is a package deal: kid of like the "Blue Plate Special."  When you marry, you acquire a package: some good, some bad, some wonderful, some horrible. As long as the good outweighs the bad, there is little to no horrible, and reciprocity and compromise rule the marriage, that is a good-enough marriage for many people.

When you want a fantasy, you dream up a prince or princess, all wonderful. No person or relationship can live up to that dream.

So, the truth is, marriages are not made in heaven; marriages are made by two committed people right here on earth.

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