In fairy tales, in stories, and in movies relationships are portrayed :
‘And they all lived happily ever after’.
‘Someday my prince(ss) will come’
‘I will be happy when I find the one who completes me’
Many of us were raised with these stories and the cultural conditioning that comes a lot with them. We dream of living happily ever after once we have met that one person who is our soulmate. Unfortunately, these are fantasies not reality and they frequently cause more pain than they bring pleasure.
‘And they all lived happily ever after. The end’.
This is the part at the end of the story or the end of the movie. It is where the person or couple get to after meeting all the challenges, defeating all the monsters. They finally reach the goal and living happily after is the reward. The first problem with this notion is that life is not static. The story doesn’t end. If you want to maintain happiness in a relationship or in any other part of life for that matter, you have to work at things. We change, relationships change. We age, we have children, we become ill, we change jobs. All of our individual changes impact our relationships. Positive changes impact our relationships as do negative ones. If we focus on happiness without change as the goal, we are setting ourselves up to fail.
Dr Lori Beth Bisbey is a registered psychologist, sex & intimacy coach, professional speaker and published author. She has been working with individuals, couples and polyamorous groups for over 30 years to help them create and maintain their ideal intimate relationships. She writes non-fiction about sex, sexuality, gender, relationships of all kinds, kink, non-monogamy, BDSM and authority transfer based relationships and sexual trauma in her own blog, for a variety of relationship websites, and for a number of print publications. She also writes erotic short stories.