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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We hear this all the time; marriage, or long time relationships, are "work". Common phrases are bandied about such as "marriage isn't easy!", or "you have to fight to stay together".

I totally agree that building a solid foundation for a relationship requires work. But does there ever come a time where you feel like the building is pretty much finished. Sure you have to maintain, but should it always feel like "work"?

Do you feel that how much marriage feels like actual, hard work is related to how compatible you are with your spouse? How much you are still in love?

Are there any people who there who actually find being married to be more smooth sailing than rough waters? Who feel there is a genuine easy to being with their partner, and not so much "work", or a fight?
 

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Sure you have to maintain, but should it always feel like "work"?

I don't believe that it should always feel like work, but you should always put at least 90% into making a marriage worth staying for. If both partners do so, the marriage will seem easy.

Do you feel that how much marriage feels like actual, hard work is related to how compatible you are with your spouse?

No, but your spouse should never be considered a second option to work or kids.

How much you are still in love?

More than ever on my side. I think he finds it harder as I tend to speak up about my dissappointment more than I did before.

Are there any people who there who actually find being married to be more smooth sailing than rough waters?

I did until he cheated.

Who feel there is a genuine easy to being with their partner, and not so much "work", or a fight?

I only find it is not work or a fight because I expect more. I have always been the giver, expecting nothing in return. Not so much anymore. I want to know that I am worth being here for.
 

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Great post!

And +1 for the easy going camp. My marriage isn't really work at all and I believe it's because we're very sympatico. No fighting, we discuss things. We don't always agree but we are both compromisers. We don't want the other to be unhappy for the sake of or own happiness.

I think givers should marry givers 100% of the time. The giver married to the taker is the marriage that suffers. Been there done that, was NO fun whatsoever.
 

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The only work I do is on myself to be the best wife, mother and woman I can be.

He works on himself too.

Together, I don't really think of anything that is work. We have worked before, but lately, it's just flowin. Taking responsibility for ourselves and checkin' in every so often.

Plus, good sex is helpful.;)
 

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Mine is probably 70% work, 30% smooth sailing.

but work worth doing in that we are very different people who value the strengths of the other party and try to learn from them. often this can be difficult, but in the end we both grow much more from it than if we were to have married someone very similar to ourselves. IMO

our morals match, but our backgrounds are very different. so our journey is blending the best of 2 paradigms.
 

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Good question, and one that I've never really thought about in this context. I'm very much in love, and the work that I have done, still do, and what I speak about here on TAM, has been mainly on me but it directly benefits my marriage and sex life.

Of course we have our ups and downs, but I don't feel like I have to work or fight to be with him. We do put in a strong effort to meet each others needs and creating a healthy marriage, it just doesn't feel like "work" to me though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My wife and I were together for many years before we got married. We were very much in love, but we were totally different people in so many ways (we did not look very compatible on paper at all). There were times when it was very much "work" to be together, as we had a lot of internal, and external, barriers, so much baggage. So many hours were spent discussing and pontificating our relationship, it's almost unfathomable to recall.

First year of marriage, as is typical, was the hardest. We had a ton of growing pains, especially since our marriage came with real change; we weren't living in the same state prior to marriage, much less ever shacking up.

Now? It's pretty smooth sailing. I acknowledge objectively that there are a lot of elements to our life that serve as common points of friction for others, we both do actually (we just talked about this two nights ago). But we seem to avoid the land mines.

What's different between now, and back in the day? Well we're 18 years deep in a relationship (bestfriends/relationship/marriage all combined), so we know each other well. We did put in all those hours hashing through (and praying, praying, praying) our relationship, over, and over, and over again. We are still very much in love; love, for us, isn't just an action, but it's still a feeling.

But what really, I believe, was the clincher to help us move beyond all that damn work was a key action that is less and less spoken of:

Surrender.


At some point we just let go. Let go of trying to recreate the other in our preconceived image of what we should be. Let go of the delusion that we could each be 100% of what the other needed. Let go of the delusion that we had to always find agreement on everything. We just surrendered, somewhere along the lines, and made the decision to love, cherish, and adore the person who was right in front of us. To change when they change, and not be afraid of those changes. To be malleable. To let A LOT of sh*t go.

It's been extremely freeing. Like others have mentioned, these days we do a lot of individual self work. We give each other a ton of room for self work, and self exploration. So there is definitely a since of ease, and freedom with us, that was absent at many times during our relationship.
 

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Yep. we just let go too. It's life. Flow. Embrace the changes. I can't explain it, but it's just been a hell of a lot easier once my control-freak-of-a-mind just learned to let go. Just Love.
 
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At some point we just let go. Let go of trying to recreate the other in our preconceived image of what we should be. Let go of the delusion that we could each be 100% of what the other needed. Let go of the delusion that we had to always find agreement on everything. We just surrendered, somewhere along the lines, and made the decision to love, cherish, and adore the person who was right in front of us. To change when they change, and not be afraid of those changes. To be malleable. To let A LOT of sh*t go.
Yep. That's it.

I'll add something else... ACCEPTANCE. I love him for exactly who he is, and welcome his evolution into who he's becoming. He's the one person that I like the most in this world. Every quirk, habit, weird idea... everything that makes him him. My journey with him has been like a thrill ride and I don't want to get off.

I'm sure he'd say the same about me. I'm an adventure. lol
 

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my marriage is work. i like work, i dont view it as "a bad work", but "a good work". kinda like shopping for and wrapping christmas presents is hard work, but its not a fate worse than death, and if your shopping buddy is a hoot and a half, can make a 45 minute line fly by in 10 munites, and the two of you cant stop laughing.

thinking of another person is hard work til it becomes second nature, making time for sex is work, til it becomes second nature. it takes work to communicate with my husband, i dont need as much "quality time" as he does, so i have to put forth more effort on my part, he isnt into "gifts", so he has to put in more effort for me.

i require dates, he requires bj's. we both work to make sure the other ones needs are as fulfilled as possible, and that takes work....daily. like i said, its not bad work......
 

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There always seems to be something to work on. For me though the action of doing the work seems to get easier. It's like I know i have things to improve on for my own growth and for our overall happiness, and I know I want him to improve certain aspects of himself for the same reasons, but the process doesn't seem so daunting because communication and trust are much more solid. What I can't imagine, what i think would be too much work, is ever giving up on my marriage and having to start all over with someone new.
 

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Yes I find it very easy but it was not always so. The first 10-12 was very much like work.
 

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jaquen said: At some point we just let go. Let go of trying to recreate the other in our preconceived image of what we should be. Let go of the delusion that we could each be 100% of what the other needed. Let go of the delusion that we had to always find agreement on everything. We just surrendered, somewhere along the lines, and made the decision to love, cherish, and adore the person who was right in front of us. To change when they change, and not be afraid of those changes. To be malleable. To let A LOT of sh*t go
OK, I think the overwhelming majority have had to do what you just described here ^^

Can we Be the odd couple... When we found each other in our teens... it pretty much CLICKED and clicked very well .... Now granted, neither of us expected PERFECTION from the get go... One could say I had a few chips on my shoulder (due to my family life)...a little brash -depending... and he was a Nice guy - a little passive... but we loved what we found in each other...He could handle me - and yes, I was the love of his life...... and what he brought to my world - made me a better person....like this song >> Because You Loved Me

We craved the togetherness from the time we met.

"Free Flowing" describes us. We've never looked upon our Union as "work". I know how utterly rare this is...I owe all of this to compatibility though, not who WE are..had I married another I could see alot of this >>>


If there is one thing about me I know... I am NOT all that easy to please. Him... more so... but this is not a case of settling ...or putting up with me ...I was really his type.

Even when he wanted more
...(when I was in Mommy mode)...he's said of our past ....."Even when things were Dry, we had the kids, I was still happy".

Neither of us has ever wanted another..... We've never had a fight over $$ (both savers).... always on the same page in what we dreamed (country home ~children ~me staying home to raise them).....he's a Simple Man... I tried to be the Proverbs 31 women as best I could.......he's been happy with my Housekeeping... for the most part - my Cooking. (Could use more variety here)

I've been happy with his bringing home the bacon...admired his superb handyman skills, I was his helping hand with many projects.....we're both Homebodies who love to cuddle up to a movie together...with the same Love Languages in the same order ....

Where one is weak, the other is strong & vice versa .... we are both "interdependent" -creating an atmosphere to not be a burden to each other but a blessing/ a helpmate....we've always owned our own faults....Communication one of our greatest strengths.

I love his DRY sense of humor - always gets me to laugh at myself & lifts my spirits.. He loves my livliness/ feistiness ... we always been each others
....

He doesn't run with the guys /the bar/ He's not a Sports fanatic... he loves to spend time with me/ the kids ... he's told me he doesn't care where we go ....so long as we're together...

We're both mushy sappy Romantics.... we look upon
in the same sacred light...... it's never been a chore ....but a JOY...we both get off on pleasing each other....still got the physical attraction going on... He is a superb father, they love him more than me ~ can't say I blame them.

Sure...we have some conflict now & then (he married ME).. need to keep things STIRRED....(Great for make up sex anyway!).....but we never "let the sun go down on our anger"... he'll stay with me till we've talked it all out .... back in each others arms, holding tight.

Our hardest time was 6+ yrs of trying to conceive (tests, tears, pokes, prodding, dashed hopes)....the large family dream appeared to be slipping ...Then the breakthrough ...seemed like the heavens opened up to us.

And when my sex drive exploded after our last son ....me questioning his desire .... a little rough on me....even if it was all in my head...(I can have a thick skull at times/ worry too much) ...

But through all of this....He was there for me like a FLOOD, opening his arms and loving me through it... I Could Not Ask For More
 

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I don't think marriage is work as in exhausting physical or mental effort that leaves you feeling drained and spent.

Arguments or times of strain can take their toll in a real physical and mental way but those are hopefully sporadic and not constant.

I view the work analogy more like the satisfaction one feels with effort expended but a feeling of satisfying results at the end.

I do think healthy marriages can get smoother and somewhat more effortless as time goes on and comfort levels are achieved.

At the same time, I think, based largely on my own experience, that marriage always needs attention and, in that respect, constant work as the term is being discussed here.

I was married over 35 years and the the last few years I quick really working at maintaining. I won't speak for her but I feel as if we both quit "working" to maintain.

The result was divorce. I think, in retrospect, the work never ceases. It may change, may get easier, but never ends.
 

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The marriage I have now doesn't feel like work. We've had to overcome our fair share of issues like conflict avoidance, poor communication and hidden resentment. Now we have open communication, a better understanding of each other love languages and both of us will address issues that bother us instead of stuffing it, seething inside and mentally keeping score. We're not taking each other for granted like before. We now do period checks with each other to see how we feel. There's always room for some improvement, but I love the marriage I have now! It's a very easy relationship and probably one of the best things I have in my life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It's like I know i have things to improve on for my own growth and for our overall happiness, and I know I want him to improve certain aspects of himself for the same reasons,
Thanks for writing this, as it's helped me to start thinking about my own marriage in this regard.

We both have changed a lot over the nearly 20 years since we met as barely teens. Now together, we are very into self improvement, and personal growth. I know that the last couple years, after dealing with major loss in my family, has leveled me, and I've been undergoing a slow, but powerful, metamorphosis.

What I am realizing is that this surrender, and this acceptance as A Bit Much stated, has helped us to enjoy our individual growth without the pressure of changing for the marriage. We give each other such a wide berth that we don't necessarily look at the changes as being implemented for our mutual happiness, but more so for our individual contentment, which in turn positively affects the marriage.

These days we seem to be using our relationship as more an oasis in the midst of our growth, a place to come and release, and relax, on the journey of life. So there is a lot of work being put in, but it's not being poured, per say, into the marriage. We both are pouring a lot into ourselves, and the marriage is serving as a great place of rest from that work.

But then again I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. My wife and I have a more...individualized, for lack of a better word, than a lot of other people. We are in love, we live together, we are deeply bonded, but in some key ways we still live separate lives.

What I can't imagine, what i think would be too much work, is ever giving up on my marriage and having to start all over with someone new.
I can't fathom wanting to be married again. It's one of the greatest decisions I have ever made, to marry this woman. But, unlike when I was a kid/teen, the concept of marriage no longer has any appeal to me. I want to be married to this woman, or not at all. Can't speak for the future, but it's how I feel now.
 

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I totally agree that building a solid foundation for a relationship requires work. But does there ever come a time where you feel like the building is pretty much finished. Sure you have to maintain, but should it always feel like "work"? I don't think it should always feel like work, but I do think that married people should always think about how they can work to improve both themselves and the marriage.

Do you feel that how much marriage feels like actual, hard work is related to how compatible you are with your spouse? How much you are still in love? How compatible you are, and how much in love, I think are two separate things. Related but separate. Compatibility is more linear, whereas being 'in love' fluctuates more. Some days I am so in love my heart wants to burst. Others I could wring his neck. But our compatibility doesn't go up and down like that. As for the amount of 'work', I feel like I need to work harder on the days I"m just not feeling the love as much. It's a much more conscious effort.

Are there any people who there who actually find being married to be more smooth sailing than rough waters? Who feel there is a genuine easy to being with their partner, and not so much "work", or a fight? I feel this way for the last year or so. Things have settled down since Dday#2 and I feel far more balanced and secure, both in my own skin and as far as our relationship.
 

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We hear this all the time; marriage, or long time relationships, are "work". Common phrases are bandied about such as "marriage isn't easy!", or "you have to fight to stay together".

I totally agree that building a solid foundation for a relationship requires work. But does there ever come a time where you feel like the building is pretty much finished. Sure you have to maintain, but should it always feel like "work"?

Do you feel that how much marriage feels like actual, hard work is related to how compatible you are with your spouse? How much you are still in love?

Are there any people who there who actually find being married to be more smooth sailing than rough waters? Who feel there is a genuine easy to being with their partner, and not so much "work", or a fight?
Work , no. Probably due to the fact that we seem to have the same passions in life. We don't care about money much just spending time together and with our kids. Our love is always felt.
 
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