Happily (n)ever after

By Klaus Döring

I am old-fashioned. For many years, I have loved collecting old magazine and newspaper clippings. Can you imagine what my office looks like? Anyway, in a very old issue of PHILADELPHIA NEWS columnist Larry Fields confessed: “I lead a life of wine, women and song (by the way, a wonderful waltz of Johann Strauss!) – it’s cheaper than petrol, food and rent!” Hmmmmm…

Some marriages are made in heaven. You know some? I do. The best of the rest are down-to-earth. Maybe also yours? I was blessed and happy celebrating my 39th wedding anniversary last March 2022.

Maybe you remember this: “Then the prince swept the lovely young maiden into his arms and carried her home to his castle. And they live happily ever after!” Indeed, they did. Meanwhile, I met several couples, who would say: happily never after!

What I would like to see is an autonomous in home affairs study of all these titles of nobility bearers seven years after their happily-ever-after marriages. or even earlier, because the so-called darned and tricky seventh marriage year could be even the first one already.

The truth is that life isn’t made up of the continual highs found in the initial stages of courtship. Of course, many people would say that flirting is fun, and a wide groove exists. But after a while our system needs a rest. Unanimously we’re in the second stage sooner or later and our marriage life badly needs a new outside coating.

All of a sudden, the partner prefers day and night watching all the sports channels, falls asleep while you’re revealing your innermost secrets and even forgets the anniversary for the first or even second time. Just bear in mind: You’ve won each other’s acceptance and sometimes even feel terribly gloomy. This acceptance shouldn’t be undervalued.

Even we see a house that has to be cleaned, many other things have to be organized, and the partner, who looks as fatigued and bored as you feel. Logical question: “That’s it? That WAS it?”

And suddenly, we experienced the third stage and learned why it’s worth the ups and downs. Maybe we men don’t mention any more, how incredible she looks, but we enjoy bleating and grousing at her spending innumerable hours putting her together. But then, suddenly, we men unload the garbage without being asked for it.

Although no marriage is continually blissful – it can be pretty good most of the time. When we last through arguments, money worries, and kid’s problems or slowly but surely coming up mid-life crises, we should face reality that our relationship is not always a big day celebration.

It’s because the fundamental reason for a marriage has outlasted the craziness of day-to-day living: we love each other. That’s MY idea of “Happily ever after, indeed!”


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