Do you think you realised how hard marriage would be before you married(266 Posts)
I think I was very naive
I thought things would fall into place like a romcom
Love dh but I definitely don’t think most people realise it’s work
I don't find it hard either. Occasional annoyance at how we do things differently. But not hard.
Nope. Not hard here either. Mind you, I didn't think life was a Disney film either. How long were you together before you got married? Did you live together first?
I didn't find much difference between living together unmarried and living together married. Maybe if you haven't lived with the person or hadn't known them very long, it would be hard to adjust. Is there something specific you are finding difficult or just marriage in general?
I don't find it hard either. Parenting on the other hand...
Are you having a difficult time OP?
I don't find it hard. What makes yours hard work?
Been married almost 2 years and was with my DH for 5 years before we married. Marriage changed nothing. Our relationship is not difficult and hasn't required work. It's easy and natural.
I'm not sure marriage should be hard work. I think arranged marriages can be hard work, and so can those where you don't have sex before marriage. Because you don't really know the person 100% beforehand
Partner should make your life better and easier.. if they don't, they shouldn't be your partner.
I dont find it hard... at least that's not the word I'd use... it does take work but I wouldn't say that work is actually hard if you love your partner... as the drive is very much there to do the work iyswim if you have the love and goodwill for each other.
We've had difficult times. I went through bad PPP and PND after the birth of my first... wev had struggles with money... moved house suddenly over Christmas when I was pregnant (that was a nightmare)....
So obviously we've had to put effort in to have compassion for each other and be kind when we've both been at our wits end.... but I'd not call it 'hard work'
I didnt think of it before we married but I think you do these things as a result of loving someone anyway... in any long term relationship... so it's not like it came as a shock. I knew life might not always be rosy for us as life often isn't in general... but I've always thought if you love someone and they say they love you then you get through it together by making the effort to understand how the other person is feeling and what they need and vice versa...
No we’re good actually but never lived with anyone before so I guess
I learnt on the job 😋
I guess I have to remember most people will have lived with at least one person before they marry
A lot harder than I thought and
I've been married well over 20 years and I dont find marriage hard. We have had difficult times but they would have happened if we were married or not.( financial issues and illness being two) but not had relationships problems.
I agree, people often say you have to work at it but I don't see it that way. Of course you may sometimes have difficult times, but your relationship should be a source of strength that helps you, not the opposite. I suspect this 'you have to work at it' is what we (women) get told so we will put up with crap. Don't put up with crap.
What are you finding hard? I find parenting and working hard but not marriage.
I agree with you, relationships aren't always easy. There is a lot of compromise and taking the rough with the smooth. I would take with a pinch of salt anyone who says their relationship is perfect.
Having said that, it shouldn't feel like constant work. What are the particular issues that you are having? Irritation with different ways of stacking the dishwasher is easier to overcome than fundamentally different values.
I also don’t find it hard. Not trying to sound smug but I don’t really understand it when people say that marriage is hard work. What is it that you’re finding difficult?
I guess it depend on your expectations beforehand. If you are realistic then it shouldn't be hard work.
Why is it hard work?
You'll be better on the relationships board op, rather than have scores of people gleefully tell you that theirs is a breeze if never ending agreement.
these are always the women shocked to find out their oefect husband had a mistress for ten years
I don't find it hard. I did live with someone before and he was a twat so it was hard then.
It's no different to before for us. Were u not long together when you married?
Marriage is harder than work and harder than parenting for me. I guess it depends who you're married to. Plus, I always wanted kids, was never sure about a partner. I crave time with no other adults. I am very independent. My husband is not.
There’s certainly adaptation and compromise. No, it’s not always easy to consider someone else in every decision you make.im not sure it’s continually hard but there are times when the stresses of life make it feel hard.
On balance though, like most things in life, what you get out is directly proportional to what you put in. I like marriage and we’ve reached an age/length of time together where we really are an integral unit - two parts of a whole. It’s nice.
I agree with you OP. I think that it involves compromise and negotiation, a lot of giving and taking etc.
All of the PP's obviously have perfect marriages. Perhaps the reason people don't "work" at their marriage is that it's perfect until it isn't, and when it isn't it's a divorce.
I am happily married, FWIW.
I think if you are finding it hard you are probably married to the wrong person . We’ve been married 30 yrs this year and neither of us had lived with another partner .
I had a very romanticised idea of marriage, relationships, motherhood etc.
The reality has been very different and it's taken many years to come to terms with it. I'm still happily married luckily, but with a much more realistic perspective.
Yes it has been hard work at times. I was 20 when we got together and I've changed a lot. I sometimes think my husband didn't sign up for who I am now but he still loves me. The hardest times have been bereavements, we had a few years with just one after another. My husband's mother and brother died within a year of each other and he completely withdrew from me for many months. Hard to explain now but that was torture.
Also secondary infertility and multiple miscarriages. I was broken and angry that he didn't understand how much it affected me. Hard, hard work getting through it.
I am married 21 years and first met him 31 years ago, got together 25 years ago. I did find it hard. Very hard, especially in the beginning. At the 21 year Mark I realise we may always irritate each other in some ways but we are lucky to have each other. Our relationship is in no way perfect but we support each other and pull in the same direction.
It is hard work OP. I don't understand why people would say otherwise. I believe it's almost impossible to align two lives together seamlessly in the way marriage is sold to us. But after 25 years we have found a happy, loving relationship that is not rom com like but realistic and, so far, enduring!
My third husband has made me realise why my other two didn’t work. This one really isn’t hard work at all
I didn’t live with DH before we got married, in fact we lived in different cities and didn’t get to see each other much due to work as I work shifts. When we first got married we were very much in a honeymoon stage where everything was nauseatingly lovely but equally, it was quite hard as we are two very different people. It also wasn’t until I got married that I realised how much of who I am is due to my upbringing, which really affected how I interacted with DH far more than I thought. We had a lot of arguments and bickering at the beginning, about both big and small things but after about a year and a half, it really smoothed out. Probably because we knew each other better by that point! Now, marriage is easy, just how it’s supposed to be
I agree with pp - it depends who you are married to. My first year of living with my partner - fine. My first year of marriage - fine. Because my husband respects me and works with me to ensure our partnership works.
If you are finding it difficult, perhaps this isn't the right man for you? Your posts suggest this is your first ltr and that you didn't live with your husband before marrying him. Perhaps this is your first opportunity to get to know him.
We didn't live together before marriage. I don't think it's hard, we get along well most of the time. He's more laid back than I am so any disagreements are definitely instigated by me, but I certainly wouldn't class it as work.
Parenting...now that's a different matter...
I think in a whirlwind of work, kids, childcare, logistics etc it is very easy to take your other half for granted. So while I would not say it's hard, it does take a bit of effort to make sure everyone is doing okay
I don't find it difficult either, but I'd lived with three previous boyfriends, who were all bloody hard work, so I appreciated a good one when I met him.
I don't find it hard, but I also never thought so many Calendar invites would be involved
We'd been through a lot before the wedding, been together 10 years and living together for four of them, didn't know if I'd be able to stand up for the whole 15-minute ceremony.
Some tougher times since (health, kids...), but never felt like giving up on him for more than a week at a time, a few times (both when I had PND verging on psychosis). More often I've had DH say "you know that whole in sickness and in health bit? Do you think you could try the 'in health' sometime?" We joke that the "for richer" will have to be his responsibility...
There's been some times when it's been a lot of work but worth it. Bit like having kids, really.
well we have been together for 31 years and on the whole it is lovely. Tonight he was snarky as he was tired and so was I, so not so lovely today. But I know come tomorrow everything will be fine again.
Just have to keep swimming
Marriage is hard but then life is hard and being on your own is hard. They all have their challenges.
I've done it all and am now on my second marriage and things are good.
I never take it for granted though - it can go tits up in a moment.
All of the PP's obviously have perfect marriages. Perhaps the reason people don't "work" at their marriage is that it's perfect until it isn't, and when it isn't it's a divorce.
I definitely think there's something in this. Sort of like you're of healthy disposition until you're not because you got floored by flu iyswim?
That said, my ex and I had a very angsty marriage which I now know I wrongly understood as being deeply in love. Subsequent relationships have been more or less sailing on clear waters.
I found it very hard to share my living space and then marry someone having been so independent and lived on my own til my mid-thirties. I do not enjoy domesticity whatsoever and so doing that with someone else who has an opinion on what shopping to buy or which towels to use is just hard work IMO!
Emotionally it is also way more demanding than I predicted, as well, due to massively changing circumstances. What marriage requires of you in terms of in sickness, health and death is not always visible in those early years.
Some bits are easy (laughing about the children's antics, watching Netflix series together, chatting about your day) but other bits are very difficult, especially if the parameters are changed through ill-health or the person alters substantially through no fault of yours/their own (e.g. gets dementia/severe illness).
I have a happy marriage now but found the firsts year hard - but I think it was down to the “you’re married now, you can’t just leave” element. I don’t want to leave my DH obviously but the realisation that I couldn’t just move out if we had a row I thought was annoying, was a big one.
Marriage being an effort is fine. I am not always a good wife and I need to try a bit harder sometimes not to be selfish or lazy about various things - marriage being horrible or making you sad is not good. So you need to work out what’s what.
It's easy until one day he says he doesn't love you anymore
Seriously it's not easy as you change over time. I don't know if we can save ours, he doesn't want to try. My advice is if you think it's easy, are you working hard enough? I thought it was easy 6 months ago
Married 10+ years here. Has never been hard.
Previous relationship was awful though!
For me the issue is what does 'work at it' mean? How do you work at making it better?!
I'm utterly undernoticed and underappreciated. It's making me miserable - my therapist (talking therapy for depression) thinks I just need to give DH clearer instructions about what I want. So my whole life is spent going, "please can you scrape your plate and put it in the dishwasher", "please can you interact with the kids now", "please can I have a hug I'm feeling sad" etc etc. I'm going out of my mind with the lack of affection and he wonders why I'm so snappy and angry. He forgot Mother's Day (because I was determined not to remind him about that)....
I really crave physical affection but after instigating DTD last night today he complained that it was too late and has made him too tired today (so not fun then...)
I had hoped that marriage would be the nice, easy part and that life would throw the difficult bits at us. But honestly I'm at the stage of fantasising about being on my own. I mean, I just don't see the point.
I love my job and the social interaction and mental stimulation it brings, I really struggle with parenting and I'm glad he does some of it.... but that's it. He's like a cardboard cutout that creates all sorts of further jobs for me.... and that's it.
Life is hard. Partner should make it easier. I don't really see the need to keep a partner who makes life even harder.
OP your update makes sense- I think living together shines a light on issues that don't exist beforehand. I would caveat that with the fact that I've never married but lived with two guys seriously. First guy it was awful, this guy is beyond awesome. What I would say (and this isn't a direct reply to the OP) is that many ppl plan their dream wedding and are then left afterwards with the reality of married life which dsnt fit the expectation/dream. Maybe iabu to comment as I have never married, but I think marriage being hard may be the wrong post title
I think marriages can go through hard and easy times. Everyone is different so some may have hard times near the start, some not.
I know very few people who’ve been married for a long time who haven’t said “marriage can be hard”, so I don’t think it’s unusual to feel like you do OP.
Do you love each other, are you being kind to each other?
I don’t think it should be hard 😮not hard here sorry😐 whatare you finding hard exactly?
I think you would be incredibly lucky or a liar if you felt marriage was never ever hard so I agree in some ways. One thing I’ve learned over the years is for anything to be good quality and flourish you have to work hard and I agree that yes that includes a marriage, however I wouldn’t say it’s hard all the time it has peaks and troughs just like friendships, family and work. I don’t think anything in life is 100 percent easy including marriage, but then again I have high expectations lol.
I haven't yet found marriage hard, although perhaps that stage is yet to come.
Year 1: Took a bit of adjusting to, but it was also our first year living together.
Years 2-4: Easier. We had a fair amount of loss and sadness which was challenging, but our relationship got stronger.
Years 5-20: Easy.
I think I would find marriage hard if DH were to become 'not himself' e.g. dementia or a brain injury which significantly affected his personality or behaviour.
I've been living/married to dh for 25 years, together for almost 30 years.
Of course it is hard sometimes, never had even the slightest problem with trust, respect or an equal partnership. The honeymoon period (first 10 years or so) was a breeze but, there have been a couple of extended periods where we just weren't on the same page and it was only our commitment to each other that got us through when many would have thrown the towel in, we are in a good place now.
It really depends on why you are finding it hard?
Also I quite like the hard times, call me mad but in life I’m the sort of person that enjoys a challenge - some might say argumentative so I’d get bored if my marriage or anything else in my life was plain sailing...maybe that makes me weird I don’t know lol
Marriage isn't the hard part in your case. It's the moving in together part. It will get better once you get used to each other and set up routines.
Remember that the MOST important thing is a clear communication. Don't let things "slide" and just quietly stew about it, because it will once all come back and it won't be pretty. Just talk to each other about what bugs you and work on solutions.
Good luck and congrats on the marriage.
I have been on my own for years. I'm engaged but I'm really concerned about getting married. Its not him, its the lack of space. Personal space. I hate sharing a bed I don't sleep as well. I hate not having control over my tv. I've said if we are going to make it work I'll need a granny flat for me.
@donajimena second bedroom. Bloody saviour especially when snoring is present 😂
Why is it work? If it’s hard you’re with the wrong person.
My marriage wasn't fun or easy from start to finish. I had never been in a proper relationship before I met ExH but each step just seemed like the logical thing to do. I should never have married him. I didn't see any signs of the narcissism or emotional abuse, financial abuse or the emotional affair he ended up having until it was too late.
Newly married was hard for us!
DH often quoted his work pal who got married and was shocked because he spent the first year of marriage arguing with his new wife. He was stunned but then said he was expecting everything to suddenly be marvellous because they were married but that they argued more in their first year of marriage than they did in the previous 3 years of living together.
I have to say me and DH were the same, we had never argued more! Like the magical (certificate) made our lives amazing....it didn’t. We argued so much in the first year I actually wondered what the reason for getting married was.
2nd year was better.
22 years later we are still married.
I just don't see the pride or achievement at sticking with something that makes you unhappy. The accusation of 'throwing the towel in' like it's a weakness or a failing.
We get one shot at this life; one precious run through and that's it. I just don't see the point at sticking with something that I'm getting nothing positive from. What is to be gained from sticking with it? More years of the same and a fancy cake when you hit your Silver/Ruby/Golden wedding anniversary?!
I think life is hard, but marriage is easy and is supposed to be what makes everything else easier.
I can't imagine what becoming an actual carer would be like. I hope I will never have to find out! Apart from that health aspect, marriage is easy. Neither DH or I would be still married if we were struggling.
OP: how long have you been married? DH and I didn't live together before we got married and it took me several months to adjust to it.
We married fairly young, and he went through a brief phase of wanting to live a similar lifestyle to his single friends - this coincided with when our first child was a young baby, so there was a discrepancy in expectations.
We developed better communication habits and things became a lot easier after that.
I dont find marriage hard, I do find parenting and life hard in general though.
Is it marriage, or is it living together?
I’ve lived with two men, ex and dh. I’ve not found it hard or a compromise. I’ve flat-shared and house-shared and every time I have fucking hated it. I found it really hard. Do you mean like that?
Dh and I have had some very hard times. We’ve lost a dd, infertility, two dc diagnosed with ASD, amongst other difficult times. We still endure. As someone above says, it’s not a romcom, but we rub well together mostly. When the chips are down, I function much better knowing I am not going through something alone.
Parenting? Well that will fucking break me, especially this Easter!
No way, but then I'm not sure it's the marriage I find hard, it's the stuff that's come since that I suppose we wouldn't have had to deal with together. So health stuff , kids (good of course but tough at times!) and of course the fun thing-money. That's what we have the biggest issue with in our marriage because I'd never been in debt before kids and it was a big shock to the system to have to deal with (beg) electricity providers, banks etc, to have no money for food, to go without heating and to lose everything that kind of made me me. Plus a lot of our romance is gone. We still love each other to pieces, still make each other laugh, still have great sex (when we do) etc, but it's definitely not the same and I never thought it would be this difficult.
If it's really hard can you try to fix it?
Mine isn't hard and I'd never lived with anyone before either.
Now teenagers. Teenagers are the hardest yet.
Happily married for 11 years and I agree it’s hard. I like everything my way, he likes it his way and it’s a lifetime of compromise. Some may say I married the wrong person if it’s hard but I knew from very soon after I met him that he was the only person I ever wanted to be with and I would rather him driving me crazy than be without him. If it wasn’t him I definetly wouldn’t have got married at all.
I think marriage INVOLVES hard work ie the ups and downs of life over many years, but it’s not hard work (or shouldn’t be) in itself.
I think the hard work is reminding yourself that this is a marriage and not just a relationship and so when you go through a difficult patch you can’t just chuck it all in easily like you would in a boyfriend/girlfriend live in partner type of way.
I do take my vows seriously and so does DH, I think. 23 years together. So sometimes if there’s a difficult time in my life he makes a positive difference being there, he’s been my rock, my partner, my reassurance. Very occasionally he has himself been part of the reason my life has been difficult, usually through reasons and strains outside our marriage, but it has affected him and how we interact with each other. Other times I’ve been the cause of the difficult part of my life!
So if you attend a marriage ceremony in church the vicar will sometimes talk about the “for better for worse” bit. We had a civil ceremony, but every time I attend a church wedding and the vicar does a little sermon about those times, then yes, I know exactly what he/she means.
It’s ups and downs and getting through it together, and sometimes that is hard work.
Never lived together before we married. I didn't find to hard work as such, just different. The fact that I developed severe depression 6 weeks after the wedding was probably challenging for my DH, but we got through that.
I couldn’t put it any better than CherryPavlova. Sums it up perfectly.
I have found it very hard too and I've been married 11 years. It's been hard for most of them, very hard the last three since we had our first child. We didn't live together before, we were young, we both had and have hang ups, issues - like everyone does. It's a gritty, shitty compromise. But I don't want to end it. I don't think it can't get better. I love him and we're family - we just sometimes really really hurt each other and a lot of those wounds have never been fixed. Might take us another 11 years... But we are where we are
I know quite a few people who found marriage very hard at the beginning, for different reasons, and so I went into marriage thinking it would be this hard grind, basically expecting to be miserable. In fact it was easier than I thought it would be and more fun. This was maybe down to more realistic expectations but maybe also due to choosing a partner who has a very similar approach to most things in life.
Even 'easy' marriages are work in the sense that ideally you should be investing in it / each other on an ongoing basis -- making sure you're not taking each other for granted, trying to spend quality time together, caring about each other's emotional needs as well as helping each other practically, doing activities the other enjoys that aren't you're favourite, etc. This may come naturally but it doesn't always, especially if you're tired, sick, stressed, or hungry yourself!
All relationships take work, did you think getting married would solve a crap relationship?
No... and if I were getting married again...I'd do a lot differently with age and wisdom.
I don’t think it’s supposed to be hard. I think often that's a lie to help people justify staying on toxic situations and to encourage women especially to put up with all manner of shit in the name of love. My Mum often said how hard it was but hard work for them seemed to consist of screaming “passionate” arguments where something usually got smashed and someone usually had violence committed against them. They’ve been married for 45 years and they’re so smug about it, as though they’re this united couple with an amazing solid marriage that they built for years. I was there. I remember the tantrums, tears and dramas and my Dad trying to leave her at least three times. They’re unhealthily co-dependant not happily and solidly married.
I don't think marriage itself is hard, but life itself and growing older together with someone and all the changes and challenges that brings is. And life is so quick, I never realised how quickly life was going to fly by.
A year and a half after being together we had a child, both very young parents and we had to grow up a lot. Now we’re married I think it’s actually got easier, due to our circumstances, that’s not to say in the future it won’t be harder. I don’t think marriage should be hard, relationships can be hard work, but a marriage shouldn’t suddenly make it harder
It’s hard living with anyone and getting on 24/7. Marriage is not a bed of roses.
It was hard for me, the first time around, but then I married a dickhead.
But no, not hard, second time around.
Sometimes it's like swimming through treacle, but never for very long. Over the course of the last 25 years we've been through some major traumas, but also some really fun and relaxed times. Eventually we achieved a sort of comfort and ease in each others company which makes everything seem easier.
The first year was bad though. I think it's fairly normal to get married and then panic a bit (I tend to do this whenever I make a huge decision and I was totally certain when I got married so it wasn't a case of trying to improve a bad relationship).
OP, from your username, I’m guessing you and your DH didn’t live together before marriage and you’ve gone straight into being a housewife? That will make a huge difference on how you feel and I’m guessing what is expected of you in your marriage?
DH and I married nearly 14 years, and haven't found it hard. We've had tough times, but we've dealt with it together, and always remembered that we're on the same team.
We married into our 30s, though, so feel like we don't need each other, and neither of us has tried to change the other.
Marriage makes my life easier. I have someone who is always in my corner, cheering me and fighting for me and supporting me. Everything I do is easier for having the support of someone who loves me wholly.
I find the shit that life throws at you as a committed couple quite difficult. When you have to weather so much you can either unite or go your own way. It's wanting to be together that helps. Being a team can either lighten the load or hold you back.
I really wish me and my DH had more time to spend together, relaxed, not tired, not always wary of the next crisis (job/children/bereavement/health/money).
Maybe you aren’t married to the right person. I find marriage easy.
DH is the only partner I've ever lived with, got together at 25 moved in just under two years later, been together nine and a bit years, married eighteen months ago, it doesn't really feel any different day to day
It can be hard. I don't think that necessarily suggests that you're married to the wrong person. It just reflects the fact that life can be hard sometimes.
DH and I have been together for nearly 25 years. During that time, we have moved several times, including across continents, we have become parents, dealt with redundancy and miscarriage, cared for elderly parents, experienced the deaths of parents and siblings, battled a few serious health issues etc. Many of these experiences have put pressure on our relationship at different points, but we have come through them together.
We are very different in many ways. Different culture, social class, religion, even language, so we have had to negotiate and compromise a lot. Sometimes it's really tough. Sometimes he irritates the hell out of me and vice versa. I wouldn't ever characterise our relationship as "easy".
However, "easy" sounds boring as hell to me! The differences between DH and me do make things harder sometimes, but they also help to make life more interesting. I love being able to see the world from a very different perspective. I love the fact that my assumptions are challenged on a regular basis. I love the way in which he frequently pushes me out of my comfort zone. That's what helps me to learn and grow. It helps that our most fundamental values are very similar. Basically, we want the same things. We just have very different ideas on how to get there. That can be challenging but it's also enriching.
I've never understood the adage that marriage is "so hard." If it's that much work and heartache, you shouldn't be married. My marriage is a joy and has been for many, many years. I adore my husband and he adores me. We are best friends and always have been. I can't bear to think of life without him, and as we get older that fear increases.
I don't find marriage hard. Being married has made my life easier, for the most part. I suppose you have a sense of true responsibility to the other person in a way that didn't before you married, but that's a two way street so it means that your partner always has your back.
Rough patches can be navigated but if your marriage is hard more often than it's easy then you might want to do some soul searching.
No I don't find marriage hard. I also don't agree that most people live with someone else before they marry - unless you are counting mum & dad.
I totally disagree that marriages should be hard work.
If you have never lived with another equal adult OP, then I can see that would be an adjustment. Because you can't get away with the level of selfishness that children have. You do have to share a house with another adult in a way that considers them.
The things I have found hard is not the marriage itself, but life. Bereavements, I'll health, DP being in hospital very ill, stuff like that. That was all bloody hard.
I also don't agree with the idea that you are stuck in a marriage. I am always clear that I am only married as long as it is making us both happy.
I do think the idea that marriage is hard,is a story many women in not very good marriages tell themselves.
So all these posters don’t find the compromise hard? Always meeting someone else halfway and not getting to just do stuff as you like it?
I find that hard, and carving out time for yourself in family life, that’s hard.
I’ve been with my partner for 17 years and we’re getting married this summer, it’s good relationship and I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else.
Maybe I’m spoilt or rubbish at compromise, but I can’t believe I’m the only one.
I am engaged and personally can't see why being married would make things harder or easier then they are now. Then again I have lived with fiancé for 7 years and will have been under the same roof for 8 and together for 9 by the time we marry next year so I do guess we are as good as married already.
Not saying we never disagree but I never found our relationship hard work or at least any harder then could be reasonably expected.
I found the first year hard, adjusting to living together - we’d never lived together alone as a couple prior to getting married. Since then, we’ve learned to give and take. I don’t find marriage itself hard, but it’s all the other shit that life throws at you that is incredibly hard at times.
OP are you a Christian? Asking as it’s quite unusual not to live with someone first these days. I believe that the church sells marriage as this wonderful utopia that it simply isn’t. That said I think this idea of marriage NOT being hard work is a MN thing. IRL I’ve never met anyone who says their marriage is easy. Without exception they all say marriage takes effort, compromise and hard work; but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.
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