I know, the title is a little dramatic, but I’m trying to make a point here. I think there are so many parts of our every day life that are ‘killing’ us. We have to walk around with blinders and filter every thing that gets thrown in our faces. One of the things that is destroying us is Romantic Comedies! More specifically they are destroying our relationships.

Now, I’ll give 90% of you the benefit of the doubt that you don’t think Romantic Comedies are realistic, but the culture and themes behind them seep through. I think we all know Matthew McConnaughey is not going to throw his body between us and a shark and then save the world from a meteor all while Channing Tatum is trying to strip his way into our hearts and memories! The problem is we all expect to find the ‘one’ for us. We believe that we will ‘just know’ when that person is the right one. We believe that there must be some sort of problem when marriage becomes work, because would true love ‘be this hard?’

What we need to realize is that bliss that they show in the movies, is the infatuation phase. This is the first 6 months to 2 years of pure joy. Your significant other can do no wrong. They are the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing before you fall asleep. You are obsessed. This does not last, and it’s a good thing it doesn’t. Nobody would ever get anything done! This phase is going to end, it is just a matter of when. This phase the ladies always have shaved legs and always look their best. This phase the men don’t mind missing a night out with the buddies to stay home with his girl. This phase the sex is amazing and exciting and frequent. This phase is easy.

The next phase is the uncertainty phase or drama phase. We are starting to worry, is this the ‘one’? Is he going to propose? We plan the wedding, move in, maybe have babies. This phase is jam packed full of a different kind of excitement. There is worry, fear, stress, excitement, new challenges, etc. In this phase you don’t focus too much on the actual relationship or your feelings for each other- you’re too busy.

The third phase is where things get interesting. This could be after you’re done having kids, this could be after the honeymoon is over (literally), or maybe this is the 7 year itch everyone is always talking about. Maybe you woke up one morning and realized that you and your husband spent so much time loving your kids that you didn’t worry about loving eachother. Maybe, the man who was ‘courting you’ all those years has disappeared. Maybe, everyone else is happy, but ‘mommy’ doesn’t even remember who she was before she was ‘mommy’. This phase is no-doubt the hardest phase, but is also the most rewarding.

This is when we need to remember that romantic comedies are stupid! During phase 3 we start to think that the grass looks awfully green over there. We start to compare our lives to what we think they should be, to what we think other people might have. Meeting someone new is very exciting, but that just isn’t fair. A spouse, no matter how amazing, can never compete with someone new! We need to remember that. We need to remember that no matter how tempting something seems to be, that we would be in the same boat with this new person in 5, 7, or 10 years. I don’t remember where I saw this, but I read something about how we can’t keep comparing our un-edited lives to everyone else’s highlight reels. How brilliant is that?!

In phase 3, what we need to start doing is finding ways to love our spouses. We know how to love our children. That part is easy. Let’s take the focus away from them for a little while and direct that towards our spouses. Stop focusing on what you don’t like, and start focusing on what you do. Instead of nagging, start appreciating. I’ve said it before, but what if instead of complaining that your husband is home late from work, you said thank you to him for working so hard for his family. For the husbands, instead of complaining to your wife that you never have sex anymore, try touching her without the goal of sex. You know, like holding her hand, cuddling on the couch.

In this phase, we need to ignore all the bullshit and just focus on loving what we have. We can’t keep living lives where we don’t appreciate what is right in front of us because we are always looking to upgrade. It’s your family, not a cell phone (that’s stupid too, but cell phones are a different post all-together). And for those of you who haven’t gotten to phase 3 yet, don’t worry. You will get there, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Just know that it is coming and don’t lose focus on the #1 most important relationship in your life.