I am constantly hearing people say “marriage is hard.” And although I agree with the sentiment, I think it paints a picture that marriage is all about surviving the struggle. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get married just to survive a constant struggle. I could survive a struggle all on my own.
So why do some people focus on the hard parts, neglecting to share the great—and sometimes easy—moments involved in married life? There can be many reasons, really. For some, maybe there isn’t that much great stuff to focus on. Others may be caught up in this culture of focusing on what’s wrong instead of highlighting what’s going right. And maybe some people just want others to know that this journey called marriage is far from one big walk in the park.
What’s so hard about marriage?
Whenever you decide to combine your life with another person’s, it’s inevitable that some stuff will come up. We all have visions of what life will be like after the wedding, but sometimes those visions are way off. Actually, those visions are off most of the time.
We expect the honeymoon to last a lifetime, but it just doesn’t. That’s not a reasonable expectation. Life happens. We run into financial troubles. We get sick. We have arguments. We have children. We have to manage blended families. We have to figure out how to happily live with someone when we have spent most of our lives living without him or her.
And sadly, so many people get married without going to premarital counseling or discussing important issues. They think love is enough and that things will just work out. But they don’t. Love isn’t enough. Love is important, and if it’s missing, your marriage is in trouble. But love is not enough to make your union thrive.
To thrive, a marriage needs a lot of compromising, respect, effective communication skills, understanding, flexibility and honesty. And you know what? That doesn’t just happen. The hard work comes in when you are trying your best to make those elements a part of your union.
Is there a way to make things easier?
I don’t think anything worth having is ever all that easy. Raising my kids is a struggle some days. Managing my career is downright hard. Navigating family drama is a challenge. Working out five to six days a week isn’t always easy. You see where I am going with this, right? Anything that matters comes with a struggle.
Now the struggles may come and go, but they will always be a part of your life. Your entire marriage shouldn’t feel like one big struggle, but you have to expect that you will go through difficult moments and challenging seasons. Things will get hard.
Now making things easier is possible, but nothing will take away the daily struggles that come with marriage. A few things that can make day-to-day married life easier are focusing on effective communication skills, being honest, making yourself a priority, focusing on your relationship with God and spending time nurturing your partnership.
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list of what to do to make married life easier, but it is a great start. Marriage is hard stuff, but it’s also incredibly rewarding and beautiful if you marry the right person, have reasonable expectations, and learn how to focus on the good instead of dwelling on the tough spots. And if things ever get painfully hard, stay in prayer, seek counseling and know that no matter how dark things get, the sun will rise in the morning. It always does.
Hartofjoyce family, do you think marriage is hard? How do you manage things?