Does A “Dream Marriage” Really Exist?
Updated March 03, 2020
Reviewer Karen Devlin, LPC
Hollywood would like us to believe in a picture-perfect romance. In the hottest films, the guy always gets the girl, they wed in a beautiful ceremony, and the audience is left to assume that every moment after that sealing kiss is paradise. But what about in the real world? Does a "dream marriage" really exist?
The answer is in how you define what a "dream marriage" looks like. If you imagine a scenario where you and your significant other greet each other with nothing but smiles, arguments never happen, financial troubles never rock your boat, and everything is always 50/50, then you will likely be disappointed. Nothing is "perfect," and that includes marriage, no matter how compatible you and your spouse seem.
Being endlessly happy does not necessarily mean you are in a "dream marriage." In fact, a marriage that works is one that overcomes obstacles, bounces back from difficult times, maintains honesty and trust, and has a deep emotional connection to thrive on. The idea of a "dream marriage" changes from person to person, so if you and your loved one have a different goal of what you want your relationship to look like, having that ideal marriage will be that much harder to achieve.
A "dream marriage" is possible, but it does take work. It is not something that happens on its own, nor can it be forced. If you and your spouse want to achieve a fulfilling relationship that works for the long-term, there are some things you should keep in mind. Remembering these truths will get you on the road to the "dream marriage" you desire.
Marriage Takes Work
Most people think that marriage is a 50/50 arrangement. But if each partner is only putting in 50% of their maximum effort, they will only get that amount back in happiness. Marriage is a 100/100 situation, meaning each partner has to commit 100%, or as close to that as possible, all the time.
This may sound like a daunting task, but that is because it is. Being fully present with another person, maintaining total honesty and loyalty, and staying emotionally available at all times is hard. Before you dive right into what seems like the perfect marriage, ask yourself if giving 100% to this person is what you want or if this person can give 100% back to you.
As your marriage progresses, other obligations like children or illness may come up and change how your 100% commitment to one another looks. Giving your relationship you're all will look different as the years go by, but if you are willing to go with the flow and be flexible with how you show up in your relationship over time, achieving a "dream marriage" status is possible.
Communication Is Key
Communication is the biggest foundation of any relationship, but between spouses, it is extremely important. Many believe that in an ideal marriage, two people will never argue but this simply is not the case. It is unreasonable to expect that any two people will agree on all things all the time. This is especially true for those that are married since couples typically face monumental financial, familial, and personal decisions all the time. Never leave genuine problems unaddressed no matter how uncomfortable it is to discuss the details. Leaving issues to fester can create a rift between two people who otherwise truly love one another
When it is time to open the lines of communication, spouses should not feel ashamed for sharing their thoughts with one another, nor should they fall into the trap of thinking it easier to maintain silence than rock the boat. When sharing private ideas in a relationship, thoughts should not be used against one another during a later disagreement or seen as something to gossip about with others outside of the marriage.
A "dream marriage" is one where disagreement is okay. It recognizes situations where "give and take" apply, and leaves room for each partners feelings and opinions even if they cannot be accommodated. The relationship should function as a "safe space" for both individuals to share their hopes, dreams, frustrations, and views without judgment and be a place where both partners feel they are equally heard.
Marriage Is A Partnership
To achieve a "dream marriage," your spouse should always stay on your team. This does not mean you have to agree on everything that comes up but avoiding an "I vs. them" mentality, in general,is key. If you start labeling your partner as the "bad guy" when things get tough, you will only create a wall between you that could be very difficult to break down in the future.
Being partners in marriage looks different for every couple based on their mental and emotional needs. Here are some things you can try to encourage teamwork in your marriage:
- Address life-changing decisions or new financial obligations together (new jobs, cars, etc.)
- Discuss and support one another's goals
- Put equal amounts of work into maintaining your home or caring for children
- Prioritize one another without cutting out other things that are important to you
- Encourage one another's mental and physical wellbeing
- Check in with each other often to ensure both of you are happy
- Do not override decisions you have previously made together
Respect For Boundaries Matters
Just because two people are married, does not mean that boundaries cease to exist. People enter relationships with certain mental, physical, or emotional experiences that have created barriers that should not be crossed. Perhaps your spouse has a hard stance against pornography, or maybe they refuse to have children or take part in religious services. Forcing your spouse into the territory, they are uncomfortable with will never bode well for your marriage.
A "dream marriage" respects boundaries at all times. Knowing if you can live with the boundaries that surround your loved one is an important question you should answer before walking down the aisle. Do not ever think you can marry someone and change who they are in the future of the relationship. Although people do change over time, and your marriage will look different in the future, those changes should happen organically and without force.
Connecting Is Important
Intimacy comes in a lot of different forms. Sometimes intimacy is physical, whether that be holding hands or making love. Other times, intimacy is emotional, requiring a deeper connection to achieve fulfillment. Having physical and emotional intimacy in a relationship is vital. Both partners should feel desired in some way.
A "dream marriage" allows for many different types of intimacy. This type of marriage will still maintain its intimacy despite changes in partners libido, physical distance, health conditions, or other obligations. A "dream marriage" is one where both partners can flirt, touch, laugh, talk, and bond with one another often without feeling forced to do so.
Being Unique Is Crucial
While there are lots of stereotypes about what an ideal marriage looks like, a true "dream marriage" is one that forms on its own. While it may seem like your best friend or neighbor has it all together with their spouse, you should never try to mimic what another couple has.
Every marriage has its ups and downs, just like both partners in that marriage have their strengths and weaknesses. When you try to keep up with what another couple has on the outside, you will immediately begin neglecting what your relationship has at its core.
Always look for reasons why your relationship is special and appreciate what you and your partner bring to the table. Value what makes the two of you unique, and why what you do for one another matters. Your relationship should never be based on showing off for others or trying to get what someone else has.
So, Does A "Dream Marriage" Really Exist?
Your perspective and attitude about your relationship will largely determine if you can make a "dream marriage" real. If you believe that dynamic cannot exist, it likely won't for you. However, if achieving a great marriage is a priority to you, and you and your partner are both willing to work to achieve that goal, a "dream marriage" will be yours in no time.
Remember, a "dream marriage" is not the same thing as a perfect marriage. A perfect marriage cannot exist because the two people in that relationship are not perfect themselves. A "dream marriage" is more than a romantic story about how you met, more than a stunning ceremony for your vows, and it is more than the "happily ever after" on the big screen.
A "dream marriage" is one where both partners put in the effort to achieve their unique happiness, where value, respect, and appreciation are apparent, and a place where intimacy, communication, and connection can thrive. It is one that acknowledges that not every day will be good, but every moment together matters.