What to do when your marriage isn't as romantic as you hoped it would be

There's some major differences between rom-coms and real-life love stories.

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  • It's a sad day when you come to realize your relationship looks much less like Noah and Allie's in "The Notebook" and a lot more like Raymond and Debra's from "Everybody Loves Raymond".

  • What's a girl supposed to do when she's grown up watching Prince Charming in Disney movies and romantic sitcoms full of passionate, sugar-coated declarations of love from the leading hunk? The reality that is real-life men can be a bit of a letdown after Nicholas Sparks built your hopes so high.

  • You might find yourself wishing your sweetheart was more romantic because in reality, no one's husband is a dashing and charming male model on a movie screen. But I'll let you in on a secret - you've got something much better.

  • Learn the difference between fiction and nonfiction

  • You don't have a Hollywood love story, but you've got something real. You might be picking up socks off the floor and arguing over what to buy at the grocery story, but that's what non-fiction romances look like.

  • I'm sure you've noticed that just about every lovey-dovey romance tale ends when the two leads finally getting together. One big difference between nonfiction and fiction love stories is that you get so much more than just that beautiful wedding day. You get day in and day out with your honey while the leading roles in your favorite rom-com just get the wedding day and the closing credits.

  • Appreciate your real-life marriage

  • Marriage isn't a beautiful, straight-lined narrative, but it's amazing.

  • It's saying something regretfully nasty and being relieved when your spouse readily forgives you. It's tackling a pile of crusty dishes together and laughing while you scrub. It's getting a phone call from your husband to hear he got laid off and growing stronger together through the financial hardship. It's putting a smile on your face when your husband walks in the door even though you just had the longest day of your life. It's getting sick from food poisoning and having your husband holding your hair as you lean over the toilet. It's feeling like a failure as a wife every so often but fiercely trying to be better and kinder because you love your spouse.

  • Real marriage is something much more beautiful than anything you'll see on-screen.

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  • Be in charge of the romance in your marriage

  • While it's important to not have false expectations about married life, you don't have to settle for low levels of romance in your relationship. Talk together about different ways to make your relationship more romantic together. It could be flirting during breakfast together, going on more dates, holding hands at the gas station and scattering rose petals all over the living room.

  • Don't let your real-life marriage stand in the way of watching your favorite chick flicks - you can partake of their hilarious, feel-good charms all you want. Just make sure you can distinguish between the false expectations set by Channing Tatum and the real love your forever-sweetheart can give you.

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McKenna Park is a staff writer at FamilyShare. She's a happy wife, puppy mama, ice cream addict and film nerd.

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