Saturday, March 1, 2014

Why marriage is hard

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A little while back I wrote a guest post for Patty at A Modern Grace about why I'm like God.  That post came from some brainstorming I did about marriage about a year ago.  (I recommend reading that post before reading this one--it's kind of like "part 2".)

One of the things I felt like I heard a lot in the years before I was married was that marriage was "hard".  I think it's difficult for a non-married person to fully understand what is meant when we say marriage is "hard".  I certainly don't feel like I went into marriage without a lot of examples over many years and a fairly good concept of what marriage should be.  But I still think a lot of the more abstract details of what it is that is challenging about marriage were a bit beyond my ability to imagine.

So some time back I began making a little list about the things that make marriage hard.  I'd be interested to hear what you would say makes marriage hard as well.

It is hard to allow someone to do something differently than you would and just be fine with it.

It is hard to learn to love another family like your own that is weird in ways that are different from the ways your family is weird.  (Because let's face it--all families are weird.)

It is hard to support someone toward your family about decisions that you might actually disagree with in order to "leave and cleave". 

It is hard to not be able to do everything in life on your time table and when and where you want to do it.

It is hard to live with an imperfect person--a person who does not do everything right all the time and sometimes makes you really upset with their inability to act the way you think they should.

It is hard to be really upset about something and not die on that hill over it today because tomorrow they will still be living with you and you will need to find a way to work together.

It is hard to accept that you cannot change every bad habit about a person and some things you will just have to live with.

It is hard to not let too many days go by without being sure to kindle the fires of romance and remember why you love a person.

It is hard to not let the ordinary parts of a shared life overcome a marriage and allow it to become a business partnership or housing plan.

It is hard to always be in agreement about the big decisions; whether or not to pursue something, whether or not to purchase something.

What do you think makes marriage hard?


  1. Incredibly astute and comprehensive.

  2. I agree with all of those. Especially the first one. I have a very controlling personality and even though Trey and I were together for six years before getting married I STILL have trouble letting him do things his way and not micro-managing.

    I think something else that makes things hard is that Trey and I do not have a lot of shared interests and lately we've been struggling with being good listeners. He doesn't necessarily want to hear about the gross things I do at work and I don't really understand all the business stuff so it makes it difficult when we want to express our frustration or joy regarding these things...but we're working on it.

    Something that I don't think non married people understand is that there is no walking away. I put the ring on my finger and I said the vows because I DON'T want to walk away, because I'm willing to fight for my marriage and to make things right. So that can be hard, sometimes, too.

    1. Very interesting additions, Lara. I have some understanding of the lack of shared interests And you're absolutely right about the no-quitting part. Everything I found myself listing went back to what you have to do in order to make that no-quitting actually work--letting things go, working things out. It's a whole world that's so difficult to explain or understand outside of marriage.


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