When real life hits, what is marriage like after the honeymoon phase wears off? Real life can be a rude awakening to both the amazing and the challenging reality of marriage.

When real life hits, what is marriage like after the honeymoon phase wears off? Real life can be a rude awakening to both the amazing and the challenging reality of marriage.

Note: This is part 1 of a 3 part series. Click to read part 2 and part 3.

If you’re married, you probably know the feeling that comes when the honeymoon ends and reality hits. Or for some may hit during the honeymoon.

Many husbands and wives then ask:

  • What have we gotten ourselves into?
  • Did I marry the right person?
  • What was I thinking?

When we first “fall in love,” raging hormones and emotional highs transform reality into romanticism and even idealism.

Added to all of this, is the romantic spin that media and culture put on everything that is even remotely related to love, sex, and marriage.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with a little romance and idealism — as long as they don’t blind us to the reality of everyday married life.

In order for a marriage to grow and deepen, husbands and wives must learn to face reality.

Everything around us paints an unreal view of life in general and marriage in particular. That is why we need to do a regular reality check in our marriages.

So for our marital reality check we must turn to the book of Ecclesiastes.

Our Need in Marriage

This inspired wisdom book weaves together three major themes that directly connect us with reality from the divine perspective.

It is like three strands to a powerful cord.  All three strands must be tightly woven together or the whole book will unravel.

"A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart"
(Ecclesiastes 4:12).

God's 1st Principle for Marriage in Real Life

Recognize that life can be very difficult and perplexing: 

Furthermore, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness (Eccles. 3:16). 

Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed--and they had no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors--and [the oppressed] have no comforter (Eccles. 4:1).

The Bible says that we are not only in a battle, but that a battle also rages inside each of us.

When we first fall in love, romantic love has a way of blinding us to life as it really is in a fallen world. 

Yes, it is true that Jesus said to His disciples, “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). 

But He also said to them, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).

In this fallen world, life can be hard at times, even destructive. Disappointments descend. Frustrations abound. 

Only when a married couple embraces this first reality, will they be able to trust God for all the good things that He has for them.

Realistic expectations about the highs and lows of life help married couples keep a healthy perspective about marriage in the real world.  

Our Response to Real Life

In light of God’s first reality check, prayerfully answer the following questions:

1.  What is your current view of love? Or marriage? Of this world? Is it God’s or your own?

2.  If you are in the midst of a difficult or perplexing time, what have you done about it? Have you taken it to the Lord?

Remember, He is the Great Problem-Solver in every situation.

What unrealistic or "Hollywood" expectations did you have for marriage?

When real life hits, what is marriage like after the honeymoon phase wears off? Real life can be a rude awakening to both the amazing and the challenging reality of marriage.


Find out more about God’s design for marriage in Two Becoming One. The Kindle version is also available on Amazon.