Happily Ever After Does NOT Exist



Happily ever after doesn’t exist. There I said it. It’s the number one thing you need to know right now. It’s a lie, a lie fed to us by Disney movies and fairy tales.


{STOP, before you read on, stop making assumptions. I promise I’m not a bitter old woman surrounded by cats. I’m married to my best friend and I LOVE being married. I’m also generally a glass half full kind of gal. I promise I’m not cranky and I’m not writing a hateful post. I’m a realist. OK CONTINUE}


The story of two people falling in love, overcoming all odds to find happiness and live happily ever after is a MYTH, a legend, a well known story but false and inaccurate.


The assumption is made that the happy couple live out the rest of their days in constant happiness, at least that’s what they say. Every “good” story ends with “and they lived happily ever after,” but we don’t actually know because they’ve never shown us that part of the story. The story stops after the wedding vows.


Now I understand that some sequels have been made to satisfy everyone’s curiosity but the idea persists that two people madly in love with one another get married and live in laughter, smiles and happiness ALL the days of their life.


AND THAT’S JUST NOT REAL.   I know because I’m married.


Now I understand that happiness exists and I am VERY happy married to my husband most days. He is my best friend but we are NOT ALWAYS HAPPY.


There I said it, the big elephant in the room.


I feel like Disney has a done a HUGE disservice to its viewers, mainly girls. We grow up with this flimsy inaccurate version of love and marriage misguiding us as we enter into adulthood. They perpetuate the lie. The truth is happily ever after doesn’t exist {at least not the version you’ve been fed}.


In our minds we assume that happily ever after means there are NO tears, there are NO arguments and there are NO annoyances because we are happy ALL the time and that’s just not reality.


That’s not life.

I don’t wake up everyday with a smile even waking up to my best friend.


WHY? Because I’m human and sometimes I wake up cranky or I’m mad at my husband for taking the covers or I’m just upset.


The reality of two people doing life alongside one another is messy and raw. It’s real. It comes with tears and fights, failures and forgiveness, happy and sad times. It’s why in your wedding vows you say “for better or for worse,” but no one wants to talk about for worse.


You don’t see Cinderella crying because her husband said mean words to her or didn’t mention anything about her new dress.

You don’t see Belle yelling at Beast because he didn’t clean up the dishes after dinner like he said he would.

You don’t see Ariel and Eric having it out on the balcony because neither one feels respected or appreciated.


But that would be real life. Life is real. Marriage is real and happiness is NOT a constant state.


True love isn’t built on happiness. Happiness is shallow and fleeting, ground that cannot weather the storm.


True love is built through fire and tempest. It’s rendered through high tide and low, but it is in the valley that it is strengthened the most.


B and I have shared a few valleys so far. Unlike our fairy tale friends we are not seemingly perfect; we both have flaws. We’ve had our moments.


I’ve yelled at my husband because I was mad at the way he was handling a situation. My husband has slammed a door in anger refusing to talk to me. I’ve held unvoiced expectations for my husband that he did not meet and partied in my pity and withheld myself from him.


I’ve made sex feel like a chore stifling our relationship. We’ve both said words we wish we could take back and struggled to like the person we were sitting next to. We’ve also not said words that we probably should’ve and allowed distance to grow between us.


We’ve seen the valley but we’ve walked through it and survived. That’s love, to overcome when all else seems lost. It’s the hope that marriage is built on, a love that conquers all things. The love displayed on the cross.


A man who died for those who cursed him and rose conquering all darkness so that he might live and bring newness of life to his people. An undying hope, an unbreakable vow.


Happily ever after can’t exist because happiness is transient and life is messy. But love, true love is what makes marriages last, it makes the hard a little bit easier.


Hope, not in the inaccurate but in the impossible that was made possible through the cross.


We are in this for better or for worse, through rain or shine, through thick and thin and we will likely see it all. We are in it for life whatever it may bring. We will not live happily ever after but we will love till the end of our days through it all. Why, because I found a man I’m willing to stick with through everything because I can’t live without him.



  1. Dianne says:

    Sarah, those happily ever after friends are NOT real. They are putting on a good face because they don’t want you to know that they too are struggling for happily ever after . Life is hard. Marriage is hard. Parenting is hard. We are here to serve God so we can be happy with Him in the next world. We will suffer in this world,but God will help us. He is beside us all the way. Fleeting happiness is a taste of things yet to come. If there were perfect happiness in this world then, there would be no reason to strive for heaven. Everyday when I wake up ,I thank God for one more day to serve Him and then I ask for help in dealing with whatever the day may bring,good or bad.I can not do it alone. I thank God for a spouse who has put up with me and all my hang ups and flaws for almost 55 years. Not easy for him or me , but we made a promise to each other and to God. Keep loving each other and praying for strength. It is easier to just take one day at a time ! Love to you and B.

  2. Anne says:

    Amen, sister! I have always been critical of the Disney stories because of the assumption that the end goal is marriage which will bring ultimate happiness. Even as a person who is married to a godly man who is my best friend, I can say that true ultimate joy comes only from Christ.

  3. Tabatha says:

    That was so refreshing and beautiful. Thank you for your words.

  4. Amber says:

    This. Why doesn’t anyone say this. We all need to hear this instead of feeling like we are failing and leaving this to be some huge secret. This is reality.

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I love a good plain t-shirt, pizza, snuggling with my dog and hanging out with my husband. My mission? To speak truth and grace to help encourage other women to know they are never alone.

I'm Sarah Jean.

I’m the girl who came to realize the freedom in not being the author of my story.

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