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?
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