(Closed) What is hard work in a relationship?

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 17
Member
8469 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

I used to think that if a relationship is work, then you need to get out of it & find one that isn’t “work” per se. 

I know for my husband, I am certainly another full-time job. He’s got my anxiety, my mood swings & my depression to deal with. 

Post # 18
Member
49 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I broke off a previous engagement and looking back now, several years later and planning my wedding with current Fiance, I realise all the mistakes I made.

Relationships are work.  Pure and simple.  Fiance read a great book recently that said “come to your marriage as though it is your primary job – the best job in the world, one you love, but not something you can just ignore and “have” without any effort.”

So you could see commitment, dates, sweet gestures etc as your work duties.  It sounds very unromantic but it’s not trying to be cynical – if you approach relationships as though they should just “happen”, then they’re not going to be good, healthy or fulfilling.

Suspicion and jealousy is definitely a big no-no, from either one, especially if its not expressed!  If Fiance has a problem with a male friend of mine, or with how I acted around someone else, I expect him to tell me directly, not that I will commit to agreeing with him, but I will always take his opinions into account and adjust accordingly.  And vice versa.  I look at how I value his happiness, and whether he could actually have a point, even if I don’t want to acknowledge it.

Fiance and I both have crazy schedules and work that cannot be compromised – he is LE, I work for the government, so we have to make a commitment to each other to spend quality time, and to say NO to friends and family when we’ve really been neglecting each other.

Fiance really hurt me once, not cheating, but something that was equally hurtful and trust-destroying.  He’s had to work really hard to regain my trust and belief in him.  I think there are some things that are forgiveable, some not – but I certainly don’t expect to be blissfully happy all the time, nor do I accept a long state of unhappiness – I am big on verbal communication and he is big on actions.  It works out, but we are muddling our way through.

Make time for each other.  Put each other first, even when they’re pissing you off and that’s the last thing you want to do.  Keep up the romance.  Don’t have expectations of grand gestures if you refuse to give in kind.  Invest in and make time for your sex life – its damn important.  You know yourself, so don’t give up something you consider important on a whim, but do not be inflexible either.

 

Post # 19
Member
2854 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I don’t think it should be the type of “hard work” that is a full time job. But, there are times when things might be difficult. Fiance and I have been together for almost 7.5 years. We’ve been through some rough patches. We went through long distance, college, moving out of our parents’ homes and living together…all together. And then I went through a waiting period before we got engaged, which was tough at times. But through all of it, we loved each other and made it work.

If you are in a loving relationship with mutual respect, I don’t think should be hard work. Yes, there might be difficult times–we all have the occasional fight or argument–but overall it shouldn’t be hard work. Your relationship should make you happy. And when it’s right, you’ll know 🙂

Post # 20
Member
21 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2014

For me, the hard work is primarily 3 things. First of all, compromising. It’s never easy to give up of what you deeply want. Second would be talking through things, dealing with the conflict. It’s messy and it doesn’t feel good sometimes to hash out issues that are very emotionally charged and be honest even when it’s embarassing or painful, but you suck it up and stick with it until the issue has been resolved. The final, at least for me personally, would be forgiveness. No matter how much you love a person or how perfect they are for you, they’re still going to let you down sometimes or say or do something hurtful from time to time. You’ve got to learn to let it go and resist the urge to punish the person for it somehow.

Post # 21
Member
1648 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2000

To me, I think the “work” in relationships is all about swallowing your pride and compromising, learning how to fight fair (not sure if fight is the best word tho?), and not let your partnership go stale and take eachother for granted.  You should not have to “deal” with anything.  I think if you’re with the right person, it shouldnt have to feel like work. It just comes naturally.

Post # 22
Member
3051 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Hmm. I don’t think much has been legit “hard work” but definitely commitment to sticking it out through the fights and tears (usually me…I’m a wreck lol) and uncertainty. The hardest thing I did was get over my fear of committment that I didn’t even know I had. I wasn’t ready to settle down nor was I looking for anything serious when I started dating my SO. That caused a LOT of problems & surprisingly she was so patient with me and tolerated my bullshit and uncertainty more than she probably should have.

Also really understanding where the other person is coming from. For example last night SO got pissed at her sister on the phone and took it out on me by getting short & snippy. It pissed me off on some level but I knew WHY it was happening and just let it go. Learning to pick my battles and let the little things go was hard work for me lol

Post # 24
Member
11299 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I don’t think relationships should be hard work or a struggle.  The “work” part of a healthy relationship comes from Real Life.  Work, schedules, family, health issues, etc present challenges that can require some negotiating.  There will be a few issues in your lifetimes you feel passionately enough to fight for.

But if your relationship is truly a grind or emotionally exhausting, it’s not a healthy one.

Post # 25
Member
1119 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@esplanfreedom:  Well, it’s less of what I have to put up with and more about appreciating what FH has to put up with!

In the heat of an argument, my ego takes over (I am ashamed to admit) and I find it extremely difficult to be the first one to say sorry. The hardest thing is saying sorry, even though at the time I am adamant that I’m not the one in the wrong. So many times has FH done that – swallowed his pride because we are worth it – and it’s high time I appreciated that and did the same. Just one of the main things for us, but I’m working on it.

Post # 26
Member
1340 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@esplanfreedom:  In the past, I have made a list of things that are important to me in a partner. Not really physical, but things like; understands my sense of humor, gets along with my family, etc.

I also made a list of things I would NOT put up with, not compromise on.

I forced my best friend to do this after she got out of a terrible relationship. She ended up losing the list and finding it after she and her now fiance already were dating. He matched her entire list in terms of wants. And did not have any of her unacceptable traits.

 

Post # 27
Member
3657 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

@esplanfreedom:  The entire “hard work” meme has always seemed like a crock of cr*p to me.

If it is truly hard work every day, for long stretches at a time and assuming no serious health issues in the family, then you are with the wrong man.

For gods sake it should be fun. If he didn’t make me laugh, he would have been out the door after a few weeks.

Fauxpas2012, married 25 years

 

Post # 28
Member
2278 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

View original reply
@Rubbs:  “I used to think that if a relationship is work, then you need to get out of it & find one that isn’t “work” per se.” – I agree.

My Fiance balance and ground each other – so I don’t see our relationship as “work”. As other PP’s have said, yes there are moments and challenges, but that’s where we talk it out and compromise, trying to meet in the middle.

Post # 29
Member
3120 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@esplanfreedom:  You need to read the book Why Men Marry Bitches.  It was exactly what I needed after getting out of a LTR.  It gave me the self-confidence to know what I’d put up with and to know when I foudn a man who treated me right.  It led me straight to DH.  I swear.

Post # 30
Member
2529 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Fiance and I are both stubborn people (very stubborn), so the “work” in our relationship is mostly to overcome our own personal hurdles… we work on different things, seperatley but simultaneously; and because we both know the other is “working on it” it makes it easier to do.
It is such a rewarding feeling knowing that we’re each other’s motivation for bettering our own person. And we really do have fun doing it! It’s brought us so much closer to each other during our engagment (when this sort of kicked in – we found that the prospect of getting married motivated us to be our best for each other [read: quit the stubborn])

We don’t need to do hard work on major items though (like trust, financial ideals, morals, etc) – we don’t comprimise on those things because we’ve agreed on them from the get-go.  I must say that if we did have major issues to work on we probably wouldn’t be engaged, or maybe even together.

There’s a difference between “hard work that you enjoy” and “hard, grueling work that you resent” – so don’t confuse the two.

For us, “hard work” just means we’re becoming better people and better partners (and… less stubborn. That’s the “hard” part haha!), and that we recognize that the goal is to never stop improving and have fun doing it.

Post # 31
Member
136 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

View original reply
@MrsFutureG:  THIS:

“Relationships ebb and flow. I love my fiance dearly and want to spend my life with him. Sometimes I get butterflies thinking about him, sometimes I just get mad at the thought of his face. Some weeks you will want them to leave you alone, others you can’t stop snuggling. The hardest part is when you’re sick of each other, to keep fighting for each other like you would when you’re into each other.”

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