I’ve really been thinking lately about why doesn’t a good marriage come easily or naturally. The majority of the posts I write and emails I answer are giving advice on how to have a good relationship.
Why is Marriage so Hard?
I mean, no one would get married if they were in constant struggle with another person. So, what happens? To be honest, I really don’t know. Do you think it is because we change? Or maybe our spouse changes? Maybe we were never in love to begin with, just infatuated with the other person. Possibly we are in love with the ideal and then reality sets in and we realize love is nothing like what we thought.
People Change so The Relationship Must Change
Austin and I started dating when we were 16. There’s no way in the world that we are the same people that we were way back then. We’re 20 years forward and our lives are nothing like what we imagined they would be. For example, we own a business, and that was #2 on my list of things I never wanted to do. #1 was to be an overseas missionary.
How on earth have we survived the changes to our personality? Or stayed strong against all the crap that happens in life that knocks you off your game and turns you into a monster?
Good Examples of Healthy Marriages Help
I was really fortunate that I saw my parents relate to one another my whole life. They have a good marriage. That doesn’t mean that they don’t fight. It just means they know how to resolve the fights. I think that is the problem with all long-term relationships. Eventually, you will have a problem and either you’ll resolve it or you’ll stop being in a relationship.
Cliche’ as it is You Must Invest in Your Marriage
Sometimes I feel like such a nag by constantly telling everyone to “invest” in their marriage. But, I think it is a message that we all need to hear. Half the time, I’m reminding myself that I have to be available in my relationship with Austin.
What Does it Mean to Invest in Your Marriage?
What does investing even look like? I think it is different for other people. For us, it’s setting up our life to include one another. We’re pretty extreme in this because we live together, work together, raise the kids together, workout together, etc. I don’t think that’s the best idea for everyone. Some couples do not need to spend every waking minute together.
My parents had a beautiful marriage and dad wasn’t home with us 5 days a week. Investing for them looked like him calling her long-distance every night. Long-distance means nothing to anyone anymore, but my dad contracted with his company to have them pay for those calls. Also, it looked like mom driving us out of town to visit with dad when we could. And every Saturday night, they went out on a date.
I think investing simply means to do little things every day and realizing that it adds up to something really big. Today it might be something as little as having an intentional conversation with your spouse about a topic they find important. Or, it could be bringing home their favorite candy bar. It’s just like a savings account. Small deposits rack up to large sums.
I’d love to hear why you think good marriages don’t come easy. Let me know.