I remember thinking about marriage when I was a kid. All of the fairy tales end with “and they lived happily ever after.” What does that even mean? To me as a child that meant that they never fought or argued or had any sort of disagreement. I thought that life was perfect and your house was clean and beautiful because everyone worked together to keep it that way. I thought that my future husband and I would always be nice to each other and agree on how to raise the kids or what to teach them, how much screen time they could have, where we would go on vacation or who we would hang out with.
Boy was I wrong. I’m just going to get straight to the point – marriage is hard. Very hard.
We have had arguments with tears, me being held on the ground because I was so angry I wanted to burst (never any physical abuse, that is NEVER okay people). I have wanted to shut him out and hold a grudge and he’s left the house to go for a drive in order to not say things he would regret because I made him so angry.
Who would have thought? Definitely not me.
There are all kinds of temptations out there too. This guy or that with the ‘grass is greener on the other side.’ That guy is nice to me, that guy understands me, the guy who listens to me. It’s so easy to see all the faults of someone you live with and sleep in the same bed with, that doesn’t always pick up after themselves and wants you to make all the meals and snacks and change all the diapers. Sometimes I’m tired. Sometimes I don’t want to do anything and I just want to sleep.
It’s so easy to think if I was with someone else marriage would be easier. It’s so easy to live in a fantasy world in your head and imagine yourself with someone else.
But that’s just it. It’s not real. It’s pretend. Every person is going to have quirks and things that are annoying to live with or deal with.
We have to fight for our marriage, for a relationship if we want it to work. As much as I hate being wrong, I’ve been wrong a lot. I’ve probably apologized more in the last 7 years of marriage than I have my whole life (besides bumping into someone or something).
I’ve forgiven more than I have ever forgiven. I have cleaned more, cooked more and done so much more.
My husband isn’t my best friend. He is my husband. He is the spiritual leader of our house. Marriage is hard.
I had a tough time being a ‘helpmate’ rather than the ‘leader’ at first because I thought the helpmate wasn’t as important. In reality, the helpmate is just as crucial as the leader.
I’ve rejected many people before and after I accepted the one. The one who I would stand by for better or worse, in sickness and in health, in cold or hot, in storm or draught.
Both of us know that things are better when we work together. When we accept the other’s faults, pains and frustrations. Men and women think differently because we are different. Once I realized that he wouldn’t really ever understand me and where I was coming from even if he tried, it helped immensely.
We try to understand each other. We try to help each other. We do our best and trust that the other is doing the best they can too.
We could look elsewhere for love, affection or whatever else we may feel we lack in our marriage but we know that it wouldn’t be what we have together.
I thought about writing my own vows when we got married. I’m kind of glad I didn’t because honestly, I had no idea what I was getting into. Neither of us did.
I feel like I’ve been winging this whole marriage thing even though we did premarital counseling and all of that.
It’s hard. Some days I cry from exhaustion or stress (not even related to our relationship but other things going on) and I never used to cry over anything other than breaking my arm before kids. Some sort of hormonal change must have overtaken my body and I’m so much more emotional than I used to be.
Compromise on both sides happens daily. It’s hard friends, but it’s worth it.
(*Side note – if you are in an abusive relationship mentally or physically you should seek help.)