I ’ve finally had enough of living happily ever after.

Now I’m sitting in some therapist’s chair, wondering where to start. She’s a petite, middle-aged woman, with a short, brown sheitel and too much mascara. I feel myself blushing under her steady gaze.

“I… have quite a story,” I begin. No, that’s no good. Let me start again.

“I have a problem,” I try again, and I’m off.

I could tell you the whole clichéd tale of the older single I was. Take you through her dating adventures, rejections, and fiascos all the way to its happy conclusion — the knight on his white steed coming toward her in a cloud of dust. How she was set up with him through the aunt of a boy she’d met before. How they hit it off from the first minute, or didn’t, how she had no doubts about him, or did, and how the wedding was celebrated amid family, friends, and rose petals.

And, of course, how they lived happily ever after.

It always irked me how every story about every older single ended this way, when my own didn’t. Though I do admit, it wouldn’t be much of a story otherwise. And I know that I do tell the same tales. But somehow, all those other stories sound so much more believable than mine. And that hurts.

Maybe I will tell you this story, the clichéd one, one day, but not now. Today I’ll start at the happily-ever-after point and take it from there.

Because the happily ever after turned out not to be that happy after all.

Oh, no! Don’t think what you’re thinking! We are still together, have the child of our dreams. My husband, Daniel, is happy in his kollel. I love my job. We enjoy living near family and friends. A nice house, health, nachas. You name it, we have it.

That does sound like happily ever after, doesn’t it?

Oh, but no.

You see, I never knew that getting along would be this hard.

When sheva brachos were over and we finally got to sleep off the accumulated tiredness, the glitter softly settled around us — and then disappeared. I was one kallah in for a rude awakening.

It was Daniel’s first day in his new kollel, my first day back to work. We said goodbye to each other, and I briskly made my way to the office where I do the bookkeeping. I was wearing my brand- new, curly, dark-brown sheitel, and these cute gray-green earrings I’d gotten to match my eyes, and was fashionably dressed. I knew I looked amazing and everyone said so. “May you always be this happy!” they kept on wishing me, and I thought, Oh, no, please not!

Because this happy wasn’t very happy at all. There was nothing particularly wrong with Daniel, I guess, but he just… rubbed me the wrong way. For one, his corny jokes irked me. Don’t ask me why I didn’t notice that on our dates. I suppose I was too desperate to get married, or else he had the sense not to joke like that then? I didn’t know. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 558)