A Strong Marriage is NOT Hard Work
Pick Your Battles? Why?
They say pick your battles. I object to the work "battles". Why does every disagreement in a marriage have to be considered a battle? Think about that. In the beginning, a couple is trying to get into a groove, getting used to each other and their habits.
They are two distinct personalities living under the same roof. It is not practical to think that everything will continue on just the way that each person wants it to. But it doesn't have to be a battle to resolve these differences.
The number one word to remember here is compromise. Compromise as often as possible. Obviously, that isn't always possible, but giving in to the other person isn't a defeat, and it should never be looked at in that way.
The Truth--Marriage CAN be Easy!
How often have you heard the phrase "A successful marriage is hard work"? I totally disagree, and hate that so many young couples go into their relationships thinking that this is true. They've been brainwashed into believing that every day of a happy marriage is work...hard work.
I say it's not. I say a happy relationship can be one of the easiest goals in life to attain, if you have the right mindset. I'm not talking about living in a world where everything is rainbows and hearts, because that would be misleading. BUT--and this is important--if you both go into your marriage with the same love and respect for your spouse that you want for yourself, then you will soon see how smoothly marriage can go.
I'm not a marriage counselor, or a professional expert of any kind. I don't have a college degree in this field--but I DO have over 25 years invested in a marriage to my very best friend. I look around and see others in marriages or relationships and wonder why they aren't like ours, when it really isn't that hard to attain.
Dealing With Obstacles
Obstacles in a marriage can come from numerous sources. Some are brought into the marriage, some pop up afterwards. Dealing with them might require some finesse on both of your parts, but it doesn't mean it can't be done. They are a part of life that cannot be avoided, so learning to deal or cope with them together is an important skill to learn.
Decide, right from the beginning, that you will deal with these obstacles as a united front. Don't let these hurdles become insurmountable--talk them out as calmly as you can. Let them bring you closer together...resolve them as the unit you now are. Don't let them drive you apart--refuse to allow that to happen. You've made a commitment to each other, and you need to remember that.
Obstacles are probably the most important test to a marriage, and learning to handle them together is essential.
Find Time for Humor In Life
I can't stress enough how very important this is. A day does not go by in our home where there is not laughter. Even during difficult times, we will find something, at some point of the day, to find humor in. Our idea of funny may not be what someone else thinks is funny, but that doesn't matter. It's funny to US, and that's all that we care about!
When you get together with a friend or two, you laugh a lot, right? Well, why should it be any different with your husband or wife? As a matter of fact, it's even MORE important to keep it light-hearted when you can, because you spend a lot more time with each other than you do with friends(hopefully). What wants to live in a gloomy home with no fun?
Finding humor in everyday life draws you together even more, even if it's laughing at your own expense...because one of you burnt dinner, or the other ran out of gas because they forgot to fill up. Getting upset doesn't make the situation go away, so why not just laugh at it? You might be amazed at how much easier it is to laugh at circumstances beyond your control, rather than let them get you down.
I have always groaned about my husband's love of telling corny jokes, but I never can resist laughing at them. I think it's because HE enjoys them so much, and laughs so hard at them himself.
And together we laugh as we talk about our kids and grandkids, reliving the hilarious moments of their childhoods. Everyday something will happen to remind us of a funny occasion with one of them.
So yes, humor is a necessity in helping to make a successful marriage easier to obtain.
Last but Not Least...Love and Respect
I left the most important aspects for last. Love and respect in a relationship are first and foremost. If you have these, then there is no need at all to worry about the "hard work" part.
Remember everyday why you are with this person. Remember the love you felt in the beginning, and the respect, too. Remind yourself of how you want to be treated, and treat them in the same way.
Essential Elements to a Happy Marriage
These are what my husband and I both consider the most essential elements in a happy--and yes, easy--marriage:
Remember that love works best when both parties give it and receive it equally.
The same goes for respect.
Mind your temper. Think before you speak in harsh words or anger.
It's okay to be wrong sometimes...and to admit it. Check your pride at the door--It has no place in a peaceful marriage.
Learn tact--don't be hurtful. Do you want to be treated that way?
Learn to feel compassion for what your spouse may be going through.
Learn that NO ONE is perfect, not even yourself.
Try It...You'll Like It.
If you follow these suggestions, I think you'll be amazed at how little work marriage truly is. My husband and I believe in them, and live them everyday, and have for over 25 years now. We have NEVER, in all the years of our marriage, raised our voices at each other in anger. Of course we've disagreed on things--but we have always talked them out without all the hurtful words and vitriol that can irreparably harm a marriage.
We have the utmost respect for each other, and the deepest love. It hasn't lessened in all of these years--it has only strengthened. We enjoy being together just as much now as we did when we first met.
I don't say all this to be boastful. I talk about it because I would love it if our marriage could be an inspiration for others, an example of how a relationship can be if you really want it to.
No hard work required.