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
Sorry, I didn’t find it hard at all. DH makes my life a lot easier.
But parenting; that’s a lot more all consuming and relentless than I thought
I suppose "work on a marriage" is a perfectly reasonable thing to do if your natural impulse would be to be phyiscally or emotionally abusive, or not to pull your weight in the house as an equal partner, or squander the household budget on drink.
Again, keeping your mouth shut is a perfectly reasonable thing, indeed a moral obligatum, if you are the kind of person whose prime instinct is to make nasty personal remarks and belittle other people. But then you should probably keep your mouth shut in a wider context than marriage.
But it if means always putting the other partner first, not expecting equal treatment as an equal partner, dealing with them as if they were a fractious child- then I am not convinced you are actually doing the marriage any favours: you're just keeping the peace.
I don't know if I have found marriage hard. I guess certain aspects of being in a long term relationship take work - compromise, communication, honesty, taking the time to be nice to each other and have fun together - but I don't know that I've found that hard exactly. Maybe when life is really tough it's more work to be kind - I found it a struggle when MiL was dying and DH was in a stressed out and foul mood constantly as he wasn't really coping - but again, that isn't unique to marriage.
I'd say 80% of the time I've found marriage fun and easy, 15% of the time it's work, but not hard, and 5% of the time it's tough. And I really prefer being married to any other phase of my life.
@Robin2323 Have you read The Surrendered Wife? I have (and rejected the lion’s share of it).
Reading massively between lines of the OP, I think that falling into traditional gender roles, let alone woh and enjoying a good,
equal and fun relationship is incredibly hard.
Been married 20 years.
There are times I've found it easy and times I've found it very hard. Nobody warned me how hard it would be.
I thought we'd always carry on exactly the same as we were when we were crazily in love 20 somethings with very few responsibilities. But life, and a lot of stuff, has happened in those 20 years, we have both changed too - our DC and responsibilities keep us together at the moment.
Maybe a big part of this depends on if you've lived alone before living with a partner.
My DH and I met at university.
So moved out of our parents homes and straight in together.
So we've never lived independently from one another. So didn't have that adjustment.
We learned together what it was to leave home.
Maybe that's why it seems easy to be married?
Marriage is great.
My life would be a lot harder if I didn't have DH.
I mean actually being married doesn't really make a bit of difference. I like the security of it.
But life didn't change from us living together really.
I love being married. Haven't once in nearly 10 years found any aspect of it to be hard other than the faff of the name changing various things, anyway.
I know there are a few issues in my marriage at the moment, but if I ever end up 'keeping my mouth shut' to keep him happy, please someone come and rescue me.
Yes, robin’s post sums up perfectly what I think is usually meant by “working” on a marriage.
And robin, does he put you first? Because somehow I doubt it.
If marriage was about being a step ford wife, I would have stayed single for ever.
Fucks sake I don't put my husband first. That is not work, that is being a doormat.
So Robin what work did you do and what effort did you make
There was so much.,,
I stopped making it all about me.
I took responsibility.
I started to really listen to my husband and for a long time I started to put my husband first.
I still do ti some extent but in a more balance way as we are now in a really good place.
I had always loved and respected my husband , but after almost 20 years I'd lost my way, so Things had to change ......
I stopped complaining and bitching about him behind his back and made a big effort to thank him and show appreciation to him everyday.
I made sure I looked after him in a loving way, in a way I'd always looked after the kids (I've always been a good mum)
Instead of a
complaint when he returned home after work he got compliments and positive conversations.
Instead of spending his annual leave doing jobs/DIY for me , we went on mini break(s)
And I stopped nagging (that took a lot of effort and restraint)
In short I had to grow up.
I stopped expecting my husband to solve all my problems and expecting him to make ME happy - which meant I had to do these things. (Very scary)
But through this journey I found my true inner confidence and capabilities.
Even if I didn't feel like it because I was tired, busy or just plan confused lol - I put the effort in to be the best me I could be.
Sometimes all I did was 'keep my mouth shut.' That took a lot of strength.
But We now have a fantastic relationship (25 years)
It is the sort of marriage I use to dream about, but just seemed slightly out of reach.,,,,
But I don't get complacent.
It s been 4 years now and I came so close to losing it all I know that, for me, it takes time and effort and determination (every day) and I'm prepared to do that now.
Love can only take you so far.
The rest is up to you.
No love does not conquer all. Which is why I did not marry the first man I fell in love with. We both loved each other, he was very attractive, more than I am, but I knew if I married him or lived together, I would have to carry the emotional burden of being the responsible one.
I think it is really important when choosing a partner for the long term to know that love does not conquer all.
Marriage isn’t hard at all it’s wonderful.
Children on the other hand.....
Our marriage was easy for the first 14 years or so. Then my husband slid into alcoholism and it got very hard, until it ended.
Things change. People change.
It's not marriage you are talking about - it is living with another adult. The marriage bit makes no difference.
The first 15 years were a dream the last 9 hell on earth.
Marriage has meant a lot more compromise than I had imagined - from both of us. This isn't a bad thing but is a thing we work at.
We hadn't lived together before marrying (you didn't back then) and we were both early 20s and I would definitely have said marriage was 'hard' sometimes in the first year or so. We discovered we didn't always see things the same way. We also discovered that's OK. I think I was still growing and changing as well so that was another adjustment. We have supported each other through some tough times and I wouldn't claim it has always been easy but I don't think it should always be hard work either. Parenting I think is a doddle!
So Robin what work did you do and what effort did you make?
I used to think 'love conquers all.
We can all get complacent and take partners for granted.
After been in the honey moon period for 14 years I thought we were bullet proof.
We were not.
Bereavement, Empty nest and menopause, adult step child and job stresses all took their toll.
At20 plus years we hit a huge bump in the the road.
It was then I realised how lack of effort can effect a marriage.
It took a lot of hard work.
But we now have a marriage that is wonderful.
But it took work and I will keep putting the effort in now.
If anything I’m amazed by how not hard it is! My parents fought constantly and that was my hellish growing up normal - I did not want history to repeat itself and it hasn’t!
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