Marriage is Hard Work

***repost from 2010…because I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately!***

I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage lately. Several marriages in my inner circle have fallen apart for various reasons. It makes me so sad for everyone involved. I think a lot of people that know us think we have the “perfect” marriage. But we don’t. We have a regular, old marriage that we work hard to make so good. Every time I write a post about my husband, I feel like I should add a little P.S. He is wonderful; he’s the best husband I could have ever imagined. We DO have a great marriage. But we work really hard at it. We’ve had some really rough times. Luckily, we didn’t give up, we were able to work through it and came out stronger on the other side. But I’m here to tell you, marriage is hard work. And before you get mad at me, I definitely think there are valid reasons to get a divorce. Very valid. But sometimes I think people give up too easily.

I’m sure Matt doesn’t love getting up early every morning to make coffee, make the kids breakfast, empty the dishwasher, make lunches and get them ready for school. I’m sure he’d rather sleep in a little longer, watch Sports Center longer and have some more time for himself. But he sacrifices because it makes me happy. Because it makes the morning go smoother. Because it’s better for our family.

I’m sure Matt doesn’t always want to play with the kids when he gets home from work after spending all day teaching hundreds of elementary kids the basics of physical education. But my kids don’t ever know that. They think he lives and breathes to spend time with them. Because when he gets home (after his snack!), he’s all ours. He’ll play catch, he’ll get on YouTube with them, he’ll play games. He’s present.

There are times when I don’t feel like talking, don’t feel like making dinner, don’t feel like playing with the kids. But I do it anyway. There are times when I want more romance, more spontaneity, more of him. But it’s just not always possible. I also have redefined ideas of romance. When he brings me my coffee in the morning, he might as well be bringing me a big bouquet of roses. That’s romantic. When he texts me something naughty (sorry Mom!) during the day, that is my bed full of rose petals. When he plans a day just for the two of us, arranging a sitter and everything, that’s spontaneous and romantic. When I watch him play with the kids and be a good father, that makes me swoon. After dinner every night, when he says “Thank you for such a good dinner!” and makes the kids say it too, that’s my Hallmark card. When he kisses me and tells me he loves me every night before he goes to sleep, that makes my heart melt. I know I matter to him. I know I’m important to him. He doesn’t take me for granted. And I don’t take him for granted either.

I think it’s one of the great untold mysteries of the world: marriage is hard work. No one told me that before I got married. I was completely taken by surprise. You think that being in love is all that matters. But it’s not. It takes a lot of effort to make a marriage work, to make it good, to make it a real partnership. I’m more proud of my marriage than anything else. Because if I didn’t have a strong marriage, we wouldn’t have a strong family. Marriage is everything. I’m proud to say that Matt and I work really hard at it. It’s definitely our number one priority. So when I post about him, remember that. Remember that we work hard to make it so good.

Do you?


16 responses to “Marriage is Hard Work

  1. I think that a lot of people give up too quickly. They have a fight and it’s over. I agree with you that there ARE valid reasons for divorce. I think sometimes people forget that it shouldn’t be the first option. I don’t like conflict anymore than anyone else does. But, I’m also not ready to just walk away from something that means so much to me.
    Thanks for posting this to remind everyone that it is hard work but that it can be totally worth all the effort.

  2. Agreed! When my husband stops by my office, unexpected, with a coffee (just the way I like it) or lunch (cause I forgot mine at home) – it just goes to show me that he is thinking about me.

    It’s hard work but when it’s good….it’s sooooo good.

  3. Love this post!! Marriage is not stagnant, it’s always evolving. Sometimes it’s exhausting, some days frustrating, some days dull, but then there are those days that are magical!

  4. I love this tribute to marriage. There are good days and bad days, but its knowing when to sacrifice and communicate and knowing when to pull back. Love the family pic at the end.

  5. I have been thinking a lot about the subject of marriage as well. Similar minds we must have, you and me! My parents, after 33 years of marriage, are no longer together. Mom didn’t give up easily. I watched her work hard in their marriage for the last 25 years. It definitely takes two people willing to work at it, not just one. How blessed you are to have a husband that does…and so am I!

  6. We know that there must be hard work behind it, but there are so many positives your husband does that some of us can only DREAM of! Empty dishwasher? Make kids breakfast? Bring you coffee? Your question is if we work hard on our marriage… my answer is NO! (But, it’s not my fault, of course!!!!!! LOL!)

  7. I need to be better about seeing the romance in everyday things. Thank you for the reminder.

  8. Love it and it is so true! I had my hubby read this one. It sparked some good conversation. You are changing the world one blog post at a time :o)

  9. I think “redefining ideas of romance” is HUGE. We change, life changes, and so does romance. And honestly, I love the changes it’s brought. It makes all the hard work worth it.

  10. Love this! You are completely right. It is work. As I told a friend who was struggling in her marriage recently, want to know the secret to a long marriage? Stay married. Just do it. Work at it. Every day. Don’t let it go. Hold on tight. My husband does the same thank you thing with dinner and makes the kids say it also and I absolutely love it. 🙂

  11. That is one of the best and most real posts I have read in a long time. That is exactly what a marriage entails and should be about!

  12. Thanks for the good cry Tiff! It is hard work and worth it!!!!

  13. Oh I love this! It really is a great untold story that it’s HARD. I have been to every extreme and back within my own marriage, and I can tell you that you are absolutely, positively correct – it takes work every day. Some days I don’t feel like doing it either. But I do, and then it’s done and it’s the way it is supposed to be.

  14. What a great post! Thanks.

  15. First off… gorgeous photo! Wow you guys photograph nicely.

    And yes, marriage takes work. Funny, I was just reading over an old journal entry where I was so mad at my husband lol. It’s nice to be reminded that those challenges are temporary.

    I read somewhere that there’s a way to tell when couples are going to get divorced by the way they perceive their partner. If a wife is irritated at her husband for being grouchy and she says, “Sheesh! He’s being mean. I guess it’s because he had a long commute and a bad day at work,” then she’s attributing his grouchiness to circumstances.

    But if she says, “Sheesh! He’s being mean. He’s always so grouchy and that’s in his personality,” then she’s attributing his grouchiness to HIM and his innate traits. Not good when it comes to keeping a marriage intact (how can you keep it intact if that is the way he is, vs something he can change or is temporary (a commute, a bad day at work)?

  16. Marriage is hard work but it is also so worth it. You and I are similar — when my husband makes me coffee, it might as well be a bag of diamonds! I am glad that you don’t give up (you have certainly had your challenges) — we have a couple of rough years ourselves but we never gave up on each other or our family.

    Lovely post.

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