I’m not really sure why I thought it would be easy.
Maybe it was all those fairy tales with their final line of “and they lived happily ever after” that made me think that everything is easy after the wedding.
Maybe I thought those powerful in love feelings would be enough to carry us through everything, no matter what.
It took until we were married for a few years and had two very small children for both of us to realize that a marriage takes work.
There’s nothing you can really ignore or treat badly and think that it will still be okay. Friendships… your own body… your house, just to name a few. Ignore a friend and see if that friendship is really as strong as ever. Feed your body only crap and refuse to exercise and see what happens. Wait for your house to clean itself and see how that works out for you.
Maybe you don’t call it work necessarily. You say you’re having a much needed girls’ night. You talk about eating healthier and making exercise a priority. You make a list of the chores around the house (okay, THAT one you call work… or I do anyway).
But whatever you call it, you’re putting effort into something you want to keep. You are showing by your actions that it’s important to you. Sometimes those actions are really easy and natural and other times, you do have to put thought into them and puzzle out what you need to be doing.
We weren’t relying on some emotion to carry us through, we acknowledged that love isn’t just a feeling, it’s a choice you make, sometimes an easy choice and sometimes one you make over and over again, but it’s a decision. Though if you want to know: I am madly in love with my husband, even moreso than I was in our dating days or honeymoon days.
Though what else sticks out in my mind about that long ago time is another woman telling me that her marriage has never felt like work. That if it feels like work, you’re with the wrong person. That marriage should be easy. Which sounds lovely and right when you’re having an easy time in your marriage… and most of the time these days, I would say that marriage is easy… but to say it’s always easy or it’s wrong is probably one of the most disheartening things you can tell someone who is going through a rough spot in their marriage.
I’ve often wondered over the years, if she’s since had any rough time in her marriage where she’s stopped and thought well, damn, this isn’t always easy. Because real life isn’t a fairy tale, with just a happily ever after.
So, what I want you to know, if you’re reading this and you’re going through one of those rough times: it is normal, it is okay, and it’s still possible, if you’re lucky, if you work at it, if you both work at it, to get your happily most-of-the-time ever after.
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