How to Love the Good Man You Actually Have, Not the Prince You Don’t

How to Love the Good Man You Actually Have, Not the Prince You Don’t December 24, 2017

2 love the man you have not the prince you don’t Shaunti feldhahn patheos

Celebrate what your real-life man offers, rather than wishing he’d behave like a mythical one.

One of the most crucial secrets I discovered in my research was that the happiest couples have realistic expectations of their spouse. They are far less likely to be disappointed because they expect and celebrate what is within the realm of the possible. The hero of a Hallmark movie may eagerly talk with the protagonist about her feelings while decorating a Christmas tree … and recite poetry … then play her a special song on the piano … hold her hand as they look out into the snow and drink hot cocoa … but the average American male is far less likely to do one of those things, much less all of them!

The reason a real-life, smart, capable teenage girl or 40-year-old woman is drawn to multi-watch romantic movies is because it hits all her notes of being swept off her feet, and – even better – by a man who pursues her, is always understanding of her weaknesses at all times, always attentive, and always has that listening ear unconditionally.  And yet in real life, the man might be doubting himself, not sure what she wants from him, busy with work, and not knowing if she even wants to be pursued – and probably even has no idea how!

My husband would never do anything that sweet, we might think, as we watch the handsome prince go on romantic walks with the female protagonist.  In the snow. Around a castle.

Yet that silly passing thought when watching a movie, can turn into a seed of bitterness. Don’t let an over-the-top portrayal of the perfect sensitive man cloud your appreciation for your real-life husband.

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  • Shaunti, I gave up romance movies years ago…just about 4-5 years after I got married. But before that, I gobbled up the romance. I loved all the crazy romance, the thrill of falling in love, and knowing (deep in my heart!) that it will all end happily ever after.

    But that is where the books stopped. Time and Time again. Never continuing on to the daily struggles of life, children, job loss, dirty laundry, paying bills. Where was my happily ever after now? Definitely not in those books.

    Once in a while a chick-flick like this is ok, but not a steady diet. And you can have a lot more fun spending time with your husband playing games or go out to dinner than feasting on another fantasy movie! Love, Johanna

  • Jason Trout

    Shaunti, I don’t understand why you and your daughter can nearly brag about the guilty pleasure of watching, and rewatching, movies like A Christmas Prince, but then shame men for watching porn. Realize the hypocrisy?