Why Is Marriage So Hard?!
Today, a good friend asked via Facebook, “Why is marriage hard?” She wasn’t asking to be funny. She really wants to know. She’s single, beautiful, worldly and beginning to consider the idea of a covenant. Honestly, more single people should consider marriage this way and seek to understand its nuances.
Well, I don’t think there is a “one size fits all” response to the question. BUT, I can say that there are four common themes that tend to plague most marriages and contribute to the negative “cause and effect”: General Human Nature, Selfishness, Resentment and Boredom.
So … what do I mean?
1) General Human Nature – There is sh*t that you do that doesn’t bother you because … it’s you. You don’t care about your own issues and idiosyncrasies. But your partner will. In the beginning when the sex is hot and the oral sex ratio is high and you don’t have kids there is a tendency not to focus on those issues. You’re virtually living in an erotic novel every day. You don’t have time to care about his or her issues. You’re too busy having an orgasm or two … or three. After two, three, five or eight years with a person and the sex is no longer “hot” (but rather routine with random sparks of “you DID THAT”) and oral sex ratio is low and kids appear, all of a sudden human nature kicks in and you begin to inadvertently fixate on insignificant issues that become MUCH larger when there’s no intimacy or passion. Once the “honeymoon is over”, sh*t gets real.
2) Selfishness – People are selfish. Marriage isn’t the cure for that. Maturity is. You’d be surprised how many people never mature to a place a real selflessness. In my marriage, I am NEVER my focus. My husband and my children are my focus. He is not his own focus. Me and the kids are his focus. Because we are COMPLETELY dedicated to ensuring our partners happiness, it removes the element of selfishness in our marriage. And before you message me that women should take care of themselves and there’s nothing wrong with focusing on you, PUH-LEASE spare me. I have a very healthy sense of self and my meter is primed to respond when my spirit feels love, support and respect are missing. My point is that I don’t have to keep eyes on it because my Husband does, thereby allowing me the luxury of not needing to focus on self. Feel me?
3) Resentment – When you don’t mature pass the selfish behavior, you leave your relationship open to resentment which is a one way ticket to discord and foolishness in the home. Plain and simple. Once you allow resentment in, you’ve opened the door to the end. Know that. Decide wisely.
4) Boredom – Ever had an ongoing conversation with the SAME person for years on end? Ever looked at the same pair of balls (or tits) every day for YEARS? Yeah … takes maturity to continue to appreciate your partner and not get bored. To find the “Parts Unknown” and celebrate that in your everyday life.
BONUS – Fighting Fair – When the issues above begin to erode, people stop fighting fair. They say the things that hurt. They say the things that destroy. They say the things that kill the soul of the relationship. This, too, is a one way ticket to the end.
The sad thing is there are SO many images in our society today that tear at the value of marriage. It’s really a very beautiful thing when you submit to it. When you remove ego, self-motivation and pride. When you open yourself to the layers of love. It’s so much more than physical passion. It is laughter, respect and support. It is found in the everyday. When he goes to Whole Foods to get dinner (because you didn’t have time to cook) and brings back your favorite rice pudding (because he knows you LOVE to eat it bed while he looks on in total disbelief as to why you love it so much). It’s the fact that he actually NEVER goes to Whole Foods and forgets to get you a small rice pudding. Never. I could overlook that, right? I could act like it’s just one thing. But, that one thing is a thread in the fabric that creates the man that I love. It shows me that I am with him. Every day. At all times. He’s thinking of me. Loving me. Considering my needs (great and small). I could ignore it. Or, I could chose to allow it to seep in deep into the marrow of my bones adding another layer to our love. And on those cold nights when we argue about silly things, I am reminded to lie under those layers and be reminded of whom he is and why I’ve chosen to journey through life with him.
My marriage is imperfect. And if I’m being absolutely 100, on the days when intimacy is low due to kids running all around, the stress of work is high and the laundry is NEVER ENDING, it’s easy to miss the care-free days of late night clubbing, skin chasing and passionate secret moments that make you giggle (yeah … THOSE moments …the ones even your friends don’t know about for fear of being marked a big old Southern fried hoe). I’m human. I look over the fence every once-in-a-while at the single’s lawn and reminisce. But then I remember that its turf grass. Fake (not being single but rather the notions you are romanticizing about being single). And what I’m standing on is real. I’m journeying through life with a man who comprehensively empowers who I am AND considers it his duty to protect my soul. And once you’ve found that, you won’t go back to turf grass for anything in this world. Marriage is hard because it requires you to decrease so that your covenant can increase. And for many people dealing with the pitfalls of ALL OF THE ABOVE, that can be REALLY tough (even on an easy day).
Marriage is hard. But, nothing good comes easy.
Love you. Mean it.