So who has the perfect marriage? Nobody, that’s who.
Once upon a time there was a prince and a princess who had just been married and they just loved the heck out of each other. They went to a man asking of him to have a talisman that would keep unhappiness out of their marriage. The man told them to travel throughout the world seeking out the perfect couples. They should ask of these couples for a piece of linen they wore close to their bodies. This the couple could use as a talisman.
The couple did travel. They found wonderful couples, but they were never perfect. One couple had children, but too many. Another couple didn’t have children. Another couple was too poor. Another couple had this problem. Another couple had that problem.
They returned to the wise man empty-handed. The wise man asked them if they had truly returned empty-handed. Had they not learned important lessons?
“Yes,” answered the Prince, “I have gained this knowledge, that contentment is a rare gift on this earth.”
“And I have learned,” said the Princess, “that to be contented, one needs nothing more than simply – to be contented!”
The wise man told them they had found their talisman and they must keep it in their hearts.
If this were me, I would be kind of upset that this old guy in the woods sent me on this fruitless quest. While it is true that this couple learned something on their journey, they didn’t come back with anything concrete and they were probably out a great deal of expense. I like traveling. I like seeing neat and new things, but it costs money. You have to get something out of a trip. If a trip isn’t enjoyable it’s just work.
This couple learned that no couple was perfect. They learned that there would always be something that kept them away from being perfect. It’s impossible to have perfect relationships with ourselves, let alone another person, or two, or three, whatever your lifestyle choices may be. You’re different people and there are going to be issues and problems. This couple is all happy because they just got married; that wears off. Some people are better at keeping that than others, but most of us married people can testify to you that all of that is going to wear off. You’re not always going to be so patient with your spouse. You’re not always going to be so forgiving of their faults. You guys aren’t always going to want to be around each other all the time. That togetherness and infatuation of the newly married isn’t really a real thing. It’s real in the sense that it’s happening, but it can’t keep you going through life. At some point you have to come down from the clouds and realize that you have to live with this other person who isn’t yourself.
This couple also learned that people could be content with things that this couple wouldn’t necessarily be content with. The family without money in the story likes their lives. They were happy. Just because they didn’t have money doesn’t mean they can’t be happy. Having money helps a person to be happy, but it’s not a happiness causer in and of itself.
Some of the other people wished they had more or less instead of being happy with what they had. Honestly, most of us are never going to be happy with what we have. Being happy with what we have takes a heck of a lot of dedication and will-power. At one point you do run into something of a quandary. Do you become happy with what you have and stop striving for more or do you stay unhappy with what you have and strive to do better? We’re human; we’re about doing better in life and progressing. That’s why the couple in the story without kids wasn’t happy. They wanted to progress their lives onward and it was very difficult for them to be happy without children. They saw being parents as a step up in the world.
This isn’t really a children’s story. Sure it’s short and it seems sweet, but it’s not for kids. Kids aren’t going to get the messages in this story. This is a story for adults or young people aspiring to being married in the near future, not children.
Hans Christian Andersen!!, happy marriage, perfect marriage, perfect relationship, talisman, talisman for a good marriage, The Talisman, The Talisman hans christian andersen
Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian