New Fairy Tale Could Explain About 'Happily Every After'
Guest Author, Anne Kass, - a retired District Judge of Albuquerque, New Mexico

I think the time has come for someone to write "Cinderella: The Sequel."

As I imagine it, we'd join Cinderella and the Handsome Prince shortly after they returned from their honeymoon. We would see them discover how different their tastes and priorities were when they went shopping to furnish the palace. We would see them run up bills and debts by trying to do too much too fast, and they'd fight about whose fault their extravagances had been.

Common sense and love would prevail. They'd get on a budget and the storm would pass.

A couple of years into the marriage, the Handsome Prince would get involved with a merger and acquisition of the neighboring country, and he'd be gone a lot on business trips.

The stress and loneliness of long separations would lead to disagreements, but again love would prevail.

Then a child would be born to Cinderella, and the Prince--meaning more stress. The child would be diagnosed with a learning disability and Cinderella and the Prince would each wonder whether the cause might have been the other's having parties too heard in their college days.

Their feelings of guilt and blame would generate quarrels.

A second child would be born. More changes and more stress.

Cinderella's stepmother would sometimes interfere and criticize their parenting.

Bickering would continue and get worse.

Then Cinderella and the Handsome Prince would go to a marriage counselor. They'd learn to appreciate each other's different points of view. They'd learn how to cope with change and stress. They'd learn how to resolve conflict in a peaceful and civilized way. Because they had much to learn, it would take some significant time and effort, but they'd do it.

The moral of the story would be that in order to live happily ever after, Cinderella and the Prince needed to work at their relationship. They would have discovered that in reality, "when a man and women "love each other forever," it really means they'll love each other every other week or so.

The idea for this book came to me recently when I saw a young couple who had just filed for divorce. They had been married for five years.

In the 18 months before their divorce, they had started a new business and had their first child.

The young wife was crying. She didn't want to be divorced. The young husband insisted, "We just don't agree about anything anymore. We're totally different."

I asked why they didn't see a marriage counselor. The young husband said, "I don't believe in counseling. If a couple can't just be happy naturally, they don't belong together. They're incompatible."

It was the Cinderella message with a vengeance . I told him if he kept on believing that, he should expect to be divorced every four or five years for the rest of his life.

Maintaining a marriage is tough. But as with most things that require hard work, it's worth the effort.

America needs some new fairy tales.

For more Anne Kass articles, go here to select from complete list of 97 articles

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