Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"Marriage is hard work"...... Really?

A beautiful bride, a handsome groom, delightful wedding guests and perfect plans can make for a great mix on a woman's wedding day. You can tell by how she gushes as you congratulate her on her big day, the tear drop that travels down her cheek when the vows are exchanged and the ear-to-ear grin that seems glued to her face.

Fast-forward, a year or two later, she's sitting with a single friend, discussing relationships and marital bliss and her next words are "Marriage is hard work". Jeez! The next time I hear that statement, I'll throw a tantrum! Why do most people make marriage sound like a chore that robs them of the right to enjoy life as they would love to?

At some point, I started to wonder if married people uttered that statement in order to make themselves look 'busy' like "hey, we're both employed at a Fortune 500 company but I'm married so I'm doing more work than you." I wondered if it is a statement uttered by many to sort of elevate the married people in society, in an effort to make them seem more important, like they're carrying the burden of the economic welfare of the world on their shoulders.

Luckily for me ( I count myself lucky), I met a few old couples at a church retreat and as we talked, I asked them a question that had plagued me for months "Is marriage hard work?" One of the gentle old ladies smiled at me and said "Yes it is.... If you marry the wrong person".

Don't get me wrong, I'm not disputing the many trials and test of wills that come with marriage, but to call the whole institution 'hard work' like it's a NECESSARY EVIL takes the joy out of it. The term 'hard work' implies that you have to work to love your home, you have to work to love your partner; basically everything you do is a laborious task that wears you out.

 If you see your marriage as hard work, it's only a matter of time before it becomes a chore you have to carry out/put up with, whether you like it or not. It becomes a bore, it becomes a robber of some sort, robbing you of a life you'd have loved to live. As time goes by, it starts to seem like manual labour.

According to one of the old couples I had the privilege of meeting, when couples fail to communicate effectively, marriage becomes work. It becomes a partnership filled with many unsaid words, many unexpressed feelings and that subsequently leaves room for intrusions that in turn lead to MORE WORK. One partner might go off gallivanting while the other is burdened with the task of making the marriage a success, and that of course is HARD WORK!

When you love someone, being with that person should not feel like work! Does it feel like hard work when you're in God's presence? I hope not! In God's presence, you find love and it should be the same with your partner. There will definitely be bad days, trials and tribulations that may try to threaten the foundation of your union but believe that together, you can stand! Trials fade with excellent communication and love that's real and true.

If something bothers you, talk to your partner about it but remember you can't be the talker all the time. You must be a listener too when your partner wants to vent! Before you make a snide remark, think of how it would affect your partner and either 'bite your tongue' or say something more pleasant. Whatever you do or say, stop broadcasting how much hard work marriage is, and please stop scaring other people that want to get married!

Marriage is not hard work! Does it require a certain level of maturity before you should consider applying to be a spouse? That's for sure! Does it require a foundation based on the word of God? Of course! Does it require you to sometimes go out of your way to make the other person happy? Sure, selfless-ness is one of the ways you can express your love!

Marriage requires a lot of things but it definitely should not be perceived as a laborious chore!


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