Surprise, Marriage is Hard!
I heard a radio announcer the other day talking about some survey by some group on the topic of divorce. The question the announcer asked was: “Do you think divorce is contagious?” I had an answer immediately, even before she came back from the commercial with an answer which I will discuss further on in this post.
Being Married Is Hard
- I do not want to scare anyone preparing to walk down the aisle, but let’s face it, it is right there in the vows. You are agreeing, for the rest of your life, to put someone else’s needs if not before your own, at least at a level equal to your own needs and desires. It’s compromise day and night. I would like to film my bedroom at night (no not for that reason!) to see what happens when we are asleep, because I believe even in our sleep we are always negotiating. It might just be for the prime leg position, or the amount of blankets each one of us has, but it is still a negotiation.
- We also get bored. It’s true. After you have been living with someone for a number of years, my number happens to be 20, you may feel like there is nothing else you could possibly learn about the person next to you. Been there, done that. When you add in kids, jobs, chores, relatives, friends, etc. the time you do have alone may be filled more with to-do lists and kid stuff than the two of you.
- Just like in other parts of everyone’s lives you get a bit lazy and may feel so comfortable with your partner you assume you can pay a little less attention to your relationship, because it will always be there.
- Life can also take over our relationship. They say one of the most common things to cause issues in a marriage is money. There is a reason they say money is the root of all evil. When you don’t have enough of it, life can be difficult, but when you have too much yo can lose sight of the important things you need that money cannot buy.
- When you get married it is to one person, but by the time you are married for 10 years, you are married to someone different because people change. Life is about evolution and change. No one remains unchanged. The very act of tying yourself to someone is going to change you in some ways. This however, can help to remedy the fact that you get bored, because there is always a new person to learn and fall in love with.
We need to remember what is good about marriage
You need to remember that life is not going to be a fairytale every day. Was it before you were married? No, but if you have chosen wisely you will have a friend and protector to have your back on those days when it’s not very fairytale like. You have someone to support you and help you solve problems. As long as each person in the marriage remembers they are not just thinking about themselves anymore, you will be fine. There needs to be a lot of talking, don’t ever stop talking. Once the talking stops you are left with silence and that is never good! Remember the other person’s opinions and ideas are just as valid as yours and sometimes they may be seeing the issue from a different point of view that gives them insight.
Will you get frustrated? Yes. Will you get angry? Yes. Will you be sad? Yes. It’s life, it happens. Marriage isn’t perfect. Well, it is only as perfect as the two people who have jumped into it. I haven’t met any perfect people yet, so I will assume no marriage is perfect either that’s part of the excitement and fun. It makes it worth working on and improving, but, (Here is the big take away!!!) You need to protect your marriage above all else, don’t let what others do, or how other’s relationships end affect yours.
So, what was the answer to the question about divorce being contagious? The answer is yes. If someone close to you is divorced you are more likely to get divorced as well. What was my answer before I knew the results? It was yes. I have seen how one divorce can lead to another, then another, etc. I have been in the middle of this domino effect, but I saw the pattern and was able to grab my marriage and run for cover! Misery likes company and it is no different when friends and happy versus unhappy marriages collide. It could very well have meant the end of my marriage, but it didn’t. We had to make some hard choices, but I believe in twenty years when we are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary, it will have been worth it.
What ways do you actively cultivate your marriage? Has your marriage been affected by someone else’s divorce? I would love to hear any tips or stories that might help someone else. Leave a comment to share.