Making Marriage “Work”
My sister and I were chatting recently and she told me about an article she had seen somewhere on social media by a woman who said that marriage is not hard work. Click on the link and have a read – apparently, she and her husband are better than us mortal souls who argue, cry, and have to make an effort to fix, heal, maybe even see a Bethesda relationship counselor, etc. My sister, and many commenters, see her as smug and, perhaps, naïve. Which, she is. But, I also believe there is a message between the lines which gets lost in a convoluted, uninformed blog.
What I believe this blogger does not realize is that she is lucky – yes, she seems to have it figured out – but, she is lucky. As a Rockville MD marriage counseling provider, I believe there are a lucky few who find a partner with whom they can sustain the level of devotion, and manage the stresses of life, in such a way that their partnership does not suffer seriously (although I do believe the blogger is minimizing their difficulties along the way). These lucky couples maintain a level of love and devotion that is mutual and the caring, affectionate, giving actions and words necessary for a marriage to thrive come naturally to them. For the rest of us, well, taking care of the marriage and each other is “work” but, hopefully, work that can become natural and that is worthwhile.
The blogger illustrates clearly how taking care of her husband and her husband taking care of her are essential parts of what she finds easy and others define as work. The point to take away here is her recognition of the necessity of these acts. In our relationships, taking care of your spouse often gets lost in the day-to-day of raising children, demanding jobs, and resentments for your own needs not getting met. She also makes a point of how important it is to compromise and put your spouse first – for the sake of the success of the relationship. Having these positive interactions are essential for the success of the relationship. Work at making them happen – even if it doesn’t come as naturally as it does to our blogger. That does not mean your marriage is any less – it just means you are a different person, with a different history, and different expectations.
I wish our blogger had the ability to see that because marriage is easy for her, that does not mean it is easy for everyone. I know that playing a guitar is easy for some, and extremely difficult for musically-challenged people like myself. However, that does not mean I could not learn to play the guitar if I tried and, maybe, really enjoy the process and the success of doing it well some day! If you are feeling like your marriage is too much work, however, consider calling our Washington, DC marriage counseling providers at Lindsey Hoskins & Associates, or request free phone consultation online.