Jun 272012

I’ve heard a couple of celebrities mention that marriage shouldn’t take work. It should be easy. So here’s my public service announcement for the day: that’s ridiculous.

Marriage is hard work. And I’m saying that as someone who has never, ever, not even for a split second regretted marrying my husband. I’m saying that as someone who believes I hit the jackpot in the husband area (and he didn’t do so bad himself :)).

But it’s still hard work.

It’s hard work to both love and like your spouse. To refuse to ignore problems that surface. To learn to understand each other despite the different ways you communicate. To make your marriage a priority in a culture that doesn’t.

It takes time. It takes committment. It takes hard work.

And it’s worth it.

What are your thoughts on whether or not marriage is hard work?


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 Posted by at 12:01 am

  9 Responses to “PSA: Marriage is Hard Work”

  1. I totally think marriage takes work, or maybe effort is a good word too. In marriages, you have to consider another person’s point of view and empathize with them: “How would I feel if I were him?” You have to figure out how to divvy up the workload, consult him before making big plans, make sure your goals are on the same page, and have a general similar philosophy when it comes to big issues like parenting, money, ethics, etc.

    I think when people say work, they’re saying that it shouldn’t suck. I read a statistic somewhere that there’s actually a number, I think 5-to-1, where if you’re getting 5 positive things for every 1 negative thing in your marriage, you’re okay. The gist is that so long as the marriage is mostly good, then yeah it’ll be “easy” and fun. But if there are so many conflicts where there’s way too much negativity, then yeah it seems like work and it sucks.

    • I like the word effort. I agree that sometimes people misunderstand hard work for no fun. I also think there are seasons. Sometimes positive to negative may be 15 to 1 and other times it might be more 1 to 1. The key is a willingness to work through all seasons.

  2. I definitely think that a good marriage takes work. This is always true, but especially when little ones enter the picture. I completely agree with your point of refusing to ignore problems. I think communication is key and having fun together. Nothing is perfect and no marriage is, but as long as you can talk with each other and find ways to enjoy each other, no matter what you are doing at the moment (and if it is changing a dirty diaper), then it’s working. And yeah, it’s totally worth the effort.

    • I agree that little ones make effort even more important. And I love your point about having fun together…that can be so easily lost in the day to day matters that must be attended to.

  3. Uh, yeah it’s hard work!! And I think this is such a testament to our spouse, and vice versa, that we’re willing to put in the work/effort. They mean that much to us and we to them. It’s beautiful, really. Life is hard. Why would marriage be an “easy” aspect of life?? Sad, isn’t it? So many misguided celebrities (and others of us, too) wanting the easy way, all the way. That mentality is like grasping for straws. All the more reason to pray for seeds of truth to be sewn in their path -at some point, sooner rather than later.

    • “And I think this is such a testament to our spouse, and vice versa, that we’re willing to put in the work/effort.”


  4. It’s easy to push difficult issues aside, saying that you’ll get to them later and then (conveniently) forget. It’s easy to pretend that you have no problem with the money your spouse spent on that pair of shoes that they didn’t actually need. It’s easy to play the I’m-more-tired-than-you-so-please-do-the-dishes game (as you reference in a previous post). It’s easy to show the world that you have your marriage all together and that (especially as Christians) you’ll make it through anything. After all, you have the key to all relational difficulties!

    It’s hard work to stay awake into the early hours of the morning, hashing through tough issues, knowing that your spouse won’t be able to fall asleep if you don’t. It’s hard work to put your spouse first when you see that really cute blouse or think you ‘need’ some new running gear. It’s hard work to challenge each other to live your lives together with dignity. And it sure is hard work to think of someone else more often than you think of yourself. Yeah. It’s hard work to maintain a decent marriage, let alone one that is healthy and thriving.

    My negativity can get the best of me at times when thinking about how much work marriage is. Yet when I think back on when we got engaged and then married, I realize that I have never loved my husband more than I do now. and that’s because marriage is hard work.

    Good post Steph!

    • Thanks Cassie.

      “I realize that I have never loved my husband more than I do now. and that’s because marriage is hard work.”

      I feel the same way and it’s so encouraging to know the hard work results in something beautiful.

  5. [...] Living Undone writes that marriage does take work. [...]

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