This is going to sound somewhat pessimistic coming from an optimist like myself, but I think generally speaking, marriage is hard.
I’m not just talking about my marriage (although, I do think there are quite a few hard things about my marriage).
I’m talking about the landscape of marriage—as in, if you randomly plucked 1,000 marriages out of a crowd, I think a great majority of them would have a fair amount of difficulty pulsing through the relational vein.
Frustration. Discord. Disappointment. Miscommunication. Boredom. Disconnect. Apathy.
And yet all of us know of marriages that appear seemingly smooth and enjoyable. Not perfect, mind you, but they just have a genuine ease about them. Maybe your marriage is the one that people glance at and think what you and your spouse have is remarkably cohesive and relatively free of struggle.
Or maybe it’s your neighbor’s marriage or your sister’s marriage that would get that sort of glance and conclusion.
While I think we always can learn from other marriages (good aspects to emulate and bad aspects to prevent), we have to be cautious to not get caught up in comparing our marriage to someone else’s. I wrote about this more extensively in the post 3 Things to Do if You Envy Someone Else’s Marriage.
The truth of the matter is that your marriage may be harder than someone else’s. And it may be easier than someone else’s.
Some of this we can chalk up to the external circumstances (good and bad) that impact a couple’s marriage. And the personalities of the two people in the marriage can reveal how hard or easy their road may be.
Some people are more easy-going, and it stands to reason that if two easy-going people marry, their marriage will likely have less volatility than a marriage between two people who are irritable or melodramatic. And what about the resiliency factor? How resilient are the people in the marriage? Do they have grit or do they give up quickly?
Reality tells us it’s a combination of all those things—the external circumstances and how the people within the marriage respond (the personality factor, the level of grit, etc).
I know I sound like I’m just rambling, but I’m simply sharing authentically about coming to terms with the futility of craving someone else’s lot. I’ve been in that place of craving someone else’s lot. And I just end up feeling worse.
I feel better when I work on healthy changes within myself and healthy influence I can bring to my marriage. I feel better when I walk in what I call micro-gratefulness… being grateful for tiny seemingly insignificant things. This kind of micro-gratefulness seems to have more residual and ancillary effect than when I try to list monumental gratefulness.
Maybe I need to write more about micro-gratefulness. Hmmm.
Your marriage may be harder than someone else’s. It may be easier than someone else’s. Are you able to reconcile this in your heart as you navigate your road?
For more reading, you can cruise through my list of past posts, as well as my page with a bunch of posts on orgasm.
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3 thoughts on “Your Marriage May Be Harder than Someone Else’s Marriage”
Thanks for this post Julie. I do like what you said here: being grateful for tiny seemingly insignificant things. What I have learnt from my personal experiences in life (which does include my marriage) is that I live a generous life when I live a grateful life. Somehow, choosing to be grateful for those little things in life has a way of overflowing in my to others and I find myself being generous with them, whether this generosity is in the way of words, or acts of kindness or in any other way.
It’s amazing the difference perspective makes, when I choose to look at what I do have rather than at what I don’t have. Gratefulness flood my heart and overflows in a generous spirit.
I think any relationship can be hard, a work in progress, including marriages. My wife and I have had a LOT of tough times but we are learning gratefulness and this keeps us moving forward, growing together.
I know I made my marriage more difficult than it should’ve.
A lot of pain and prayer to accept that I was the one that needed to change in how I approach everyday life and embrace being a better communicator and be more understanding to those around me.
I had to realize I was the one with the problem, I wasn’t being “loving”.
Some might isolate the rare occasions where anger is justified, like Christ tipping over the merchant tables in his father house, but I’m not Christ and typically when I see anger in most people (including myself) it isn’t exposing the love of God that should be embedded in our hearts.
I thank God, that my wife and I were opposites. if her personality was the same as mine, then it would’ve been much harder for me to recognize the negative energy flowing through my veins.
Don’t know what she ever saw in me, but praise God, she expresses “I love you” every single day of our marriage.
If you are serious about saving your marriage, it’s important to recognise that the only way to do this is through communication.
You will have negative thoughts and emotions, but try to put these aside and allow yourself to feel the love you originally felt for your partner.
There is nothing wrong with disliking many aspects about your spouse and still love them.
You will both need to be flexible and willing to compromise on certain issues to be able to work through your differences.
At the same time you also need to give each other space, to help process what you have discussed and deal with any negative emotions.