Everyone wants their marriage to work. You never hear a couple getting married make vows to love one another “till it just doesn’t work anymore.” They always vow to love one another “till death do us part.”
No one wants their marriage to be difficult. Everyone wants their marriage to just work. But that’s the problem…everyone wants their marriage to just work. We want marriage to just come naturally, without much effort.
I don’t know why we would think this. We don’t have this attitude about anything else in life…except maybe sex, and that’s a completely different post!
No one believes that you’ll just be naturally good at photography, fishing, sewing, woodworking, parenting, public speaking, etc. But when it comes to marriage, we tend to think…
- Marriage is about the magic.
- Marriage should just come naturally.
- Marriage that’s hard is wrong.
Whether it’s a young couple in premarital counseling, or an older couple contemplating divorce, they all come into my office believing that marriage should just work.
But let me let you in on a not-so-gaurded secret…
If you want you marriage to work…you have to work!
I know it doesn’t sound very romantic, and I don’t mean to bust your bubble, but marriage is not about keeping the magic alive. It’s about finding a method of living together well without killing each other. (OK…maybe it about a little more than that.)
I’ve got news for you. Marriage doesn’t come naturally. You can’t put two completely different people under one roof, 24/7, and have it just work…without some work. I know when you were dating, you thought you had so much in common and were just the perfect match. But that was just the attraction talking. The two of you have different upbringings, different experiences, different hormones, different personalities, different anatomies, and different outlooks on many things. It requires work to blend all these differences together.
Which is why, working at your marriage is not a sign that the marriage is wrong. It’s a sign that the marriage is normal and you just need to roll up your sleeves and work on it.
And the need to work on your marriage is a constant requirement. I’m not trying to rain on your parade here, but whether you’ve been married 1 year or 40 years, you will always need to work on your marriage. Just ask my wife of 40 years.
Anything worth while is worth work.
So don’t don’t be fearful or defeated when your marriage doesn’t seem to be as smooth as you think it should be. It’s not a signal to pull the plug (or spit in their cornflakes.) It’s a signal to roll up your sleeves and put some work into it. Welcome to the marriage club!