The Web Sage
Copyright © 2002 by Joe Freeman. All rights reserved.
Does Marriage Have To Be Hard Work?
About a year ago I wrote an article about the perception of marriage being hard work. After thinking about the subject some more and
doing some internal reflection (commonly called personal growth), I want to change this perspective a little bit. I don’t think marriage
has to be considered ‘hard work’. In fact, I think the term ‘marriage is hard work’ is misleading and may cause anxiety for some people.
‘Work’ is a negative word to many people. The whole idea of ‘work’ causes them to fear they will be unable to be ‘successful’ in the
job called marriage.
It is still true that what you get from your marriage is determine by what you put into your marriage. But I
have come to believe that ‘what you put into your marriage’ does not equal ‘work’ in the sense of ‘work’ as what we do to earn a living.
Instead of ‘working at marriage’, I would prefer to call it ‘focusing on the marriage’.
I am not saying that marriage should be an easy transition of love and joy. There are still two human beings involved and that leaves room for misunderstandings, disagreement and frustration. What I am saying is that it does not need to equate to ‘work’ (negatively) in order to get to the love and joy.
By focus I mean being aware of what your actions will do for or to your marriage. Are your actions creating the misunderstandings, disagreements and frustrations? Focusing on the marriage means developing an understanding of the appropriate behavior for the marriage. It should not just be a list of do’s and don’ts. It means understanding the reasoning behind the list of do’s and don’ts. There are times when a certain behavior may be acceptable and times when it is not acceptable. Understanding the difference is critical to the success of the marriage.
The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree
but hold hands.
A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth
in the individuals and in the way they express their love.
The ritual of marriage is not simply a social event;
it is a crossing of threads in the fabric of fate.
Many strands bring the couple and their families together and
spin their lives into a fabric that is woven on their children.
- Portuguese - Jewish Wedding Ceremony