It's not that happily-ever-after isn't happy, but it it does take a bit more work than we sometimes anticipate.
The good news is life is not a Disney movie, and being Prince Charming doesn't mean riding around on a white horse singing love songs. This means that happily-ever-after might be exactly where you're headed, but you're missing the signs posted along the way. Here are six ways to recognize that your man, though not perfect, is the real-life version of a fairytale prince (which is way better than the Disney kind):
He is brave / Married you
Sure, Prince Charming fights dragons, overcomes evil stepmothers, and breaks spells, but what are those adventures compared to marriage? Committing to one person for the rest of your life is a huge, courageous step.
Your husband disregarded all those negative statistics that blare rates of divorce, infidelity or heartbreak to commit to you. He knew you both had flaws as well. He believed that you could both defy the odds of those statistics. That's real bravery.
He saves the day / Listens when you have mascara running down your face
You're independent, tough, and proud of your career, education, and hobbies. If a man tried to save you from a burning building you might challenge him to a race down the emergency stairwell, but still some days you just need to be saved.
On those days you need to be listened to, and know you are loved. It's those days your husband lovingly supports you even when you feel like all your imperfections are hideously flung around the room for him to see.
He puts you first / Works on himself
He takes pride in his work and has a life. He knows that in order to help you, he has to take care of himself emotionally, mentally and physically. That takes a lot of work, but at the times when you really need him, he's there to add the extra encouragement.
Prince Charming is not a mind reader. He can't always tell at what times you need him there. It might require a little reminder from you, but when he knows you need it most, he makes the effort to do what he can.
He is romantic / Takes care of little chores
He might not buy you flowers, write sweet notes to you or burst into synchronized song while you are dancing at a ball, but he makes sure the oil change happens on time, works hard to provide for your family, apologizes when he looses his patience and he forgives you when you lose yours.
He keeps coming back / Took commitment seriously
Even during the times of your marriage when happily-ever-after seems like a major overstatement, he keeps the marriage going. He realizes that the hardest struggle wasn't in pursuing you and winning your love, it's in maintaining it. When little disagreements break out, you know all he might need is time to process.
He has a personality / Adds diversity to your life
In Disney's original "Snow White", Prince Charming only appears twice in the film, the second of which he has no lines. Can you imagine being married to someone with so little personality?
Your prince has a personality, and that means that you won't always agree. The reasons you fell for him in the first place can sometimes be the things that create conflict, but it's what makes him, him. Be grateful for the ways he is helping you think differently.
Although couples can go through hard times or differences, when you look at the little ways your husband is showing his love, it is much easier to see that in reality you might have married Prince Charming after all.