“Staying focused is hard work and staying married is even harder.” – Crystal Gayle
Marriage Is Not Always Easy
Marriage can be an absolutely beautiful experience for those who are in it. It can be extremely rewarding to have a partner in life to share experiences with, to spend time with, and to depend on in both the good and not so good times in life. While being married can be both a lovely and beautiful experience, it can also be extremely tough and challenging as well.
If you are in a marriage that is having difficulties, or you know someone who is in a marriage that is having a hard time, then this blog is perfect for you! In this write up, we will discuss why marriage can be so difficult and what couples can do to address any difficulties they may be experiencing.
Why is Marriage So Hard?
Marriage can be difficult for any couple. So, the first thing to acknowledge is that it is just not you (or your partner, or the combination of the two of you!) These difficulties often come and go and are a common experience for those who are married. Okay, we got it: marriage is hard work! But why? Here are some answers (although problems are not limited to this list):
Times are Changing
Back in the day, hundreds of years ago and beyond, marriage was seen as a necessity and marriages occurred because of the need of security and obligation
Now, on the other hand, marriage is seen as optional and as an avenue for romanticism
Individuals are looking for romantic love, sexual desire, and intimacy not out of security and need
Once the romantic and sexual feelings subside, many people will consider the relationship, or the marriage, a failure
Continuing off the last point, concerns in the marriage may stem from sexual problems
The same romantic, sexual feelings and desires that were present at the beginning of the relationship may change or fade after a length of time in the marriage
Once this occurs, one or both parties of the marriage may feel as though their marriage is doomed to fail, or even worse, is already a failure
Sometimes couples get into marriages thinking that if they have any problems then their marriage is poor or is headed toward failure
Marriage involves two individuals living in close proximity to each other day after day for their natural given life, and therefore, conflict is going to be inevitable
Expecting problems to arise in the relationship will help the couple to be prepared for them when they do occur and respond appropriately in the healthiest manner possible
Marriage is Tough – What Can We Do?
We have established that marriage is tough and can be challenging for even the strongest couples at times. Therefore, it is important to have an idea of some strategies to use to respond to these difficult times.
It is absolutely crucial to understand that your marriage is not going to be perfect
There is no such thing as a perfect relationship
All relationships have issues and difficulties
Accepting this reality can go a long way in managing the expectations of your partner and of your marriage
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
A major issue that often occurs in marriages is a lack of communication
Significant others sometimes expect their partner to know what they are thinking and how they are feeling
This is a mistake! Partners may feel like they have been married for so long that their partner should know them and how they are thinking and feeling after such a long period of time
However, living in close proximity to someone and over an extended period of time does not allow for telepathic communication to occur!
This means that couples MUST continue verbalizing their feelings and thoughts to one another
The concept of social support, or getting help from others (friends, family, or other trusted people in our lives), can be extremely valuable for several reasons
Talking with others can be good for stress relief
Letting out our thoughts and feelings can be very therapeutic and is much better than keeping them bottled up
Can be helpful for getting an alternative viewpoint
Often times we can get tunnel vision and see things from only our own perspective, talking to others can allow us to see situations from multiple viewpoints
May lead to making better decisions
Getting a second opinion on decisions we are making can be helpful as others can help keep us accountable and on the right track
As mentioned in the previous bullet point: Seek help! could be considered as seeking help from a professional, marital counseling itself deserves its own bullet point
As stated previously, it can be very beneficial to get help from others in our lives, it can be extremely beneficial seeking help from a therapist for a variety of reasons:
A trained professional counselor will keep everything you say between you and them, no one else will hear about things going on in your life and the things you are saying and thinking (while your friends and loved ones are not bound to confidentiality)
It can be very difficult, if not impossible, to find people in our lives who are unbiased
People may favor one or the other person in the relationship
For example, your mother might always support you and your partner’s mother may always see things from your partners point of view
Marital counselors are trained in the most effective theories and practice for helping couples work on and improve their relationship
Marriage Is Hard, But Rewarding
Altogether, marriage is tough and comes with many challenges overtime. At the same time, marriage can be extremely rewarding and beneficial to one’s life.
If you are having marital difficulties, don’t feel bad! Most people experience difficulties in their marriage. Don’t wait to get help!
Reach out to friends and family, and most importantly, seek a trained professional and get couples counseling to strengthen your relationship and experience the reward that is lifelong commitment, love, and support that is marriage!