What to expect from marriageLets celebrate! thats the message a wedding shouts to everyone in attendance. So we celebrate;sometimes even after the bride and groom has departed. We rejoice in the beginning of their new lifetogether, hoping they will live happily ever after. But is that even possible?The music fades and everyone leans forward to hear this beautiful couples words of promise to eachother. Standing before God, family members, and friends, they declare their love and commitment toone another. Fast forward 30 years and this now elderly couple enters the restaurant. They sit down toeat. The only conversation is the one held with the waiter. Living in a marital wasteland, they neverexchange eye contact, never hold hands. Married for thirty plus years, they find themselves with anempty nest and no relationship because over the years its become easier to focus on the aggravations,annoyances, and behaviors that frustrate and anger them in their marriage. Theyve lost sight of thesignificant gifts of kindness and service they receive from their spouse each day. Their critical negativeattitudes have caused them to miss much of the joy of married life.Hollywood has done a wonderful job making us believe in "happily ever after." What theyve failed to dois tell us how to maintain it. You see, they don't tell you what it's like to wake up to someone else's badbreath each day or how to respond when the figure is replaced after 40 or so pounds added afterchildbirth. Why do we spend more time planning for the wedding than we do planning for the marriage?Great expectations are commonplace when we enter into a marital relationship but most of us arechallenged when the reality hits our imagination head on hurling us through the window of our soul tosearch for a soft place to land only to find that there are chards of glass and steel waiting to cut us intoshreds. Happily ever after can only occur if two individuals are or become healthy on all levels; healthyenough to love unconditionally, healthy enough to be complete in their own right and healthy enough totrust God in all things including marriage.What aids the process of becoming a couple? Why do some couples struggle? How can we turn thatstruggle into a victory?Emotional disillusionment in marriage is a symptom of lofty unattainable ideals. False beliefs about ourspouses ability to fulfill us will only leave us empty and dissatisfied. Scars left by deep and psychicwounds cant be healed by a spouse. Acceptance, security, significance, and sense of purpose andworthiness are all deep personal needs that can only be attained through the love of God and self.Mental, physical, spiritual and emotional completeness before marriage requires transparency achievedonly through open realistic communication. Without it you and your spouse will become emotionless,withdrawn, and unhappy roommates with built up resentment which becomes insurmountable overtime.