Marriage is hard work? My friend disagrees

posted 1 week ago in Relationships
  • poll: Is your marriage hard work?
    Yes! But I love it. : (69 votes)
    36 %
    No : (101 votes)
    53 %
    Yes and I'm miserable a lot. : (9 votes)
    5 %
    Other (Please explain) : (11 votes)
    6 %
  • Post # 91
    Member
    2549 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    DH and I have only been married 6 months, but we have experienced job loss, financial insecurity, a health scare, and we didn’t live with each other, or even in the same state, until after we were married. At no time would I use “hard work” to describe any time in our relationship. We’ve had disagreements, we aren’t always pleasant to be around, but we’re very aware of each other’s needs/moods and work together easily to keep things balanced emotionally as well as with every day tasks. I don’t think marriage should be hard work. Of course effort needs to be put into it, but I think balanced and “easy” (for lack of a better description) should be the norm in a marriage and not the exception.

    Post # 92
    Member
    562 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    I don’t find our marriage hard work. We’ve been married for two years, together for 8 total, and for five of those we lived four hours apart, covering my uni years. That was hard, and was more of a conscious choice to be together and make it work while missing each other.
    Then it was a different kind of hard when I finally moved in with him, although part of that was probably due to having just graduated, and dealing with months of unemployment, and moving house all at the same time.
    Now though, our daily life has a routine, we don’t often have to make big decisions and usually come to agreements easily. Sure I nag about tidiness a bit but it doesn’t really cause arguments. Perhaps it’s compared to our relationship before, but marriage for me seems easy. (Come back to me after we’ve had kids though!)

    Post # 93
    Member
    6094 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2014

    tommywantwingy :  I can’t see I find it hard work TBH. We’ve been together 12 years, living together 4 years, and married 3.5 years, and been through a lot of tough times. There have been times it has been difficult, and of course we don’t always agree and we argue occasionally, but I wouldn’t describe it as ‘hard work’. Like your friend we do have lives independent of each other as well (our own sets of friends), and do things socially without each other, which I actually think is extremely important and one of the reasons it feels so ‘easy’; that and the fact we don’t have or want children.

    Post # 94
    Member
    1735 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: February 2016

    I think relationships, be they with family, friends or partners, can be complex. Yes I realise complex and hard are synonyms but complex seems to fit relationships better because there are so many variables in our relationships. Our relationships are based on different personalities and different external pressures, plus they change over time. Sometimes those changes can be accepted by both sides, sometimes we don’t change in the same ways.

    My relationship with my mum is complex. When I was 15, I’d changed in a way that wasn’t compatible with her. I was ready for my independence and pushing boundaries. My mum and I fought nearly every day, it was an uphill struggle to be nice to each other. We didn’t really get along. I’m sure my mum would class this as hard work as she moved me in with my dad for a few weeks. Now, our relationship is very close. However, I realise that our relationship will change again as she ages and I have to stop her doing things and start taking care of her. I’ve been with my husband for almost 8 years and we’re fortunate that we seem to have changed together. Obviously going forward there’s no guarantee this will continue, you can never be certain how you will change as we’ve changed in part due to life.

    I think life can sometimes be hard. I think when life is hard, we want to make the easy choice and sometimes that is the  selfish choice. It’s the choice that is best for you and not necessarily for any of your relationships. Both my husband and I worked full time and studied part time for masters or professional exams. At the time, it would have been easier to be single because I could focus on me, my job, my career, my masters. I could have cooked what I wanted for dinner without any consideration of the other person likes it, I could sleep without someone next to me tossing and turning in their sleep because of their stress. I could work on my studies without having to listen to someone else’s problems and stress. My grandad passed away recently and I got the call on a Sunday that it would be soon. Had I been single, I would have gone there and then and not cared about work on Monday but my husband reminded me that my boss can be a dick and that it would be better for me to take a days leave and go visit my grandad on the Tuesday instead. Being single the only person my decision affects is me, if I get fired for that so what? Being married, if I get fired for that then I’m impacting my husband’s life too. These are both very simple examples of it being easier to be single and I think sometimes we take things too literally. So if it’s easier to be single in these moments then to be married is hard. Those moments didn’t feel like “hard work”, they felt tiring, stressful, complicated and sad because there are so many directions that life is trying to pull you in.

    At school, in English we were told never to use the word “good” because there were so many other words in the English language that could convey the same meaning as “good” but evoke more feeling from them. Maybe “hard” for marriage is a bit like that. Maybe we use “hard” as the easy word for something complicated, something that is growing and changing constantly, that is about two people trying to battle against life because otherwise we’d have too many words?

    Post # 95
    Member
    304 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    I don’t think our relationship has been a lot of work. There’s been some challenging times. Like the time we lived across the world from each other for two years. Life can get challenging but our relationship isn’t challenging. I don’t have to wake up each day and choose to love my husband, I just do. He’s my best friend and we have fun together. As my mom who has been married for 45 years says, “your marriage should be fun. You’ll go through hard times together, as everyone does, but the marriage itself shouldn’t be hard. The marriage should be what gets you through the hard times because it is strong. The hard times shouldn’t be because of the marriage”

    Post # 96
    Member
    624 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    For me, our relationship was easy up until we had our baby. We struggled a bit when we first moved in together (before we were married), and I think that was an adjustment period…and now we’re in another adjustment period. We’ve been together for 5.5 years, married just over 1 year. Everyone told us the first year is the hardest, but it was super easy. We were really happy almost every day, started trying to conceive, got pregnant, and the pregnancy brought us closer together.
    Having our son definitely shifted things into the “marriage is hard work” category (he’s 6 weeks old now). He’s actually a really easy baby, and we both love him so much…but some days it’s hard to love each other.
    Becoming parents has required us to both make sacrifices. For me, I feel like it kind of shifted my whole identity since my focus is all on this new little person. Add that to the hormonal shift, and sleep deprivation…and I’m only just starting to feel ok again. Meanwhile, my husband struggled with the change too…I think he was really trying to prove to himself that having a baby wasn’t going to completely change and control his life. In trying to not let it change his life, he ultimately just ended up just pushing all the work off onto me, and acted like a really crappy partner/husband/friend. He finally accepted the fact that babies change your life, and he’s trying to repair the damage that he did to our marriage…but it really rocked us, and it pushed me to the point where I told him that if things didn’t change immediately, I was gone. It’s one of those experiences that I’m hoping we’ll recover from, but I’ll never fully be able to forget about him letting me down when I needed him the most.
    Sooo…yea, marriage is hard work. We thought before our baby was born that it would be easy for us because we have great communication, and a solid foundation. We figured, oh, sure we’ll be tired but our relationship is much stronger than other people we know…we probably would’ve said marriage was easy before, but I think we had just never really been tested (even though we thought we had, after working through financial struggles, hardships, etc).

    Post # 97
    Member
    8019 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I don’t find our marriage to be hard work. We’ve been together 13 years and married for over 5, and we have a 2 year old. Idk we’re pretty much best friends. We work at the same place, carpool together, go to lunch together. I’m sure it wouldn’t work for a lot of people but it does for us.

    I do make a conscious effort to try and make my husband feel appreciated, but I don’t really feel like that’s “work” per say.

    Post # 98
    Hostess
    3362 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    mimivac :  This is how I feel too.  DH and I have only been married for a year, but we’ve been together for 10.  There are definitely periods where it’s been hard work, but for the most part, it’s happy and enjoyable. 

    FWIW, we’ve experienced some big family deaths, job loss, long distance, health issues, seasonal depression etc. but don’t have children.  Successful communication and shared values seems to be what’s missing in the relationships of loved ones that are harder/not going well.

    I agree with PP that relationships are complex and that is probably why I and a lot of other bees are not calling it “hard work.”  DH and I both have had to compromise and it sucks not always getting to be selfish, but I love seeing DH happy and I’m ok with not always getting what I want.  Our relationship takes care and nourishment, but to me, that isn’t “hard work.”

    Post # 99
    Member
    3103 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    In the way that the OP probably meant it, sure I can say that my marriage has involved “hard work.” It hasn’t been difficult (rather, complex) and it hasn’t felt like work (but more so, effort). For us, the key is that, the love and happiness–and our genuine desire to have a successful marriage– outweighs all of that. I loved being single, but I prefer being married. I can say in all honesty that not once during our worst fights, or our saddest moments have I ever wished I weren’t married, and to the exact person that I’m married to.

    I also think that people overlook how outside factors can influence a marriage. You can choose a perfect spouse and lead a perfect life, you can be perfectly selfless and have perfect children. And then an environmental comes and sweeps all your ease and happiness away. That happened to us and it led to some real disappointment for both of us that we were erroneously attributing to the marriage itself, when it was really just the situation we found ourselves in. In our case, we were lucky to be able to identify the issue and took steps to change it (it involved moving from one country to another). Now our marriage looks and feels just like I always imagined it.

    Post # 100
    Member
    4081 posts
    Honey bee

    I’ve thought about this some more and I think the #1 reason my previous relationship was so hard was because my ex did not prioritize me and was also really bad at communicating. He was forever doing shit that would upset me, and when I’d call him on it he’d just get super defensive and turn himself into the victim (“I can’t win, you’re always mad at me”). That’s what made it so exhausting. 

    DH and I are very compatible to begin with (which my ex and I really weren’t), but in the rare instance he does do something that hurts my feelings, I tell him, he listens attentively and with an open mind, apologizes, and we talk through it. I do the same thing when the situation is reversed. Just knowing that we can go to each other with any concerns and be heard and not have it turn into this giant war is such a relief and really does make the marriage feel “easy.” The reason this works is because we prioritize each other above all else. Neither of us wants to ever hurt the other, so if we realize that we somehow did, we urgently look for ways to repair the damage rather than getting defensive.

    Post # 101
    Member
    1073 posts
    Bumble bee

    If marriage was hard work, I would have opted to stay single.

    Post # 102
    Member
    444 posts
    Helper bee

    butterfly67 :  very well put. I completely agree with this. If marriage is harder than being single than you are with the wrong person. 

    Yes, an effort does need to be made on a marriage but it shouldn’t be “hard work”. 

    Post # 105
    Member
    6563 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2016 - Lola's Trailer Park

    I wouldn’t consider my marriage any form of work, hard or otherwise.

    It just kind of is. There isn’t a lot of real conflict or anything that we have to “work out” and it doesn’t require a lot of effort to for us to treat each other they way we would want to be treated. It’s just kind of second nature, at this point.

    Now, maybe once the kid gets here that might change. But for now i’d say marriage has been a breeze.

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