A relationship expert once stated that most of us are going to have two or three relationships or marriages. Some of us are going to do it with the same person. If your first marriage is over, we tend to ask ourselves would you like to create a second one together.

If any of you have watched the first season of A Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce you will remember the divorce party scene. That scene was so powerful to me. During the divorce party some friends decided to shoot the newly divorced Abby McCarthy’s wedding dress with a paintball gun in celebration of the divorce. Abby’s friend hands her the gun to shoot the last few rounds. At that moment Abby realizes how beautiful the wedding dress is with all of the paint on it.

“It’s so beautiful. It’s better. I mean nobody can live up to the all white happily ever after wedding gown. Because ultimately, it’s you, it’s the one you love, a lot of hard work and a gamble. Better odds than Vegas.” – Abby McCarthy, A Girlfriends Guide to Divorce.

There can be a lot of pressure when you are in a romantic relationship. It doesn’t matter whether it’s been a year or 35 years. Yes, the pressure looks different for each relationship yet ironically there are core pressures that are the same. The expectations alone can be overwhelming, whether it’s societal expectations, family, or the expectation we put on ourselves. And all of it can strain the relationship or cause it to break.

Accepting  that we cannot live up to the all white happily ever after wedding gown and perfectly pressed tuxedo standards can be liberating; and lead to a happy married life. But the acceptance of not having it together doesn’t come easy. By the popular standards of what a wife should be I didn’t meet it even before I said I do. Now don’t get me wrong I am doing the best I can and want the best out of my love life with my partner.

What I’ve come to realize is that what I was agreeing to was putting in the work, failing and trying again, needing forgiveness and forgiving, not having the answers all the time and staying calm in those moments and getting to know more about each other over and over again.

Like the fictional character, Abby McCarthy’s life and wedding dress will never be the same again. She won’t be able to get the paint out of the dress nor change all of the things that happened in her marriage but that’s the beauty of it. It takes courage to love and to accept when the love has changed. Instead of being disappointed in ourselves or our relationships, we grow to understand that there is no such thing as perfect. We’re all simply doing the best that we can.

Cheers to your colorful happily ever after!