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Is marriage supposed to be hard work?

(26 Posts)
louloutheshamed Wed 23-Jan-13 19:02:55

My colleague was talking today about how hard marriage is.... And at the risk of sounding smug, I felt like a bit of a fraud as I really don't find being married to my dh hard at all. It is joyful, and he is very easy person to be in live with because he is so wonderful...

But am I just being naive thinking this? We have only been married for 5 years and are both young and in good health as are our family members- I am aware we might have hard time in the future but is marriage per se supposed to be hard?

We have 2 yr old non sleeping ds and both work full time so that has been hard, but not the relationship aspect...but .the comment made me anxious in a strange sort of way that we mustn't be doing it right if it is too easy !?!

AlwaysWantingMore Fri 25-Jan-13 13:22:51

I'm not sure, up until recently I would have said 'no its not hard work' but the last six months or so I have found incredibly difficult. A lot of damage has been done over that time just by a breakdown in communication, shifting perspectives and a change in what we want and expect from ourselves and each other. These were all natural changes that have come about after 8 years of just 'rubbing along happily'. The hard work will now be in trying to face up to our problems and put in the effort to repair the damage.

Bunbaker Fri 25-Jan-13 00:06:06

LauriesFairyonthetreeeatsCake I agree with all your points. If you are married to the right person, have shared values, love and respect for each other it shouldn't be hard work.

OH and I have been together 34 years and married for 31 of them. We have had our worries, but not with each other. We are both even tempered and never row. OH can be grumpy at times, but I have never seen him lose his temper with anyone. He shouts at DD sometimes, but she is a preteen and sorely tests us on occasion.

forgetmenots Thu 24-Jan-13 23:53:37

It should take effort, not hard work. And you should both want to make the effort. Been with DH seven years and its not hard work, at all. We have a great time together.

Cathycat Thu 24-Jan-13 22:23:00

No, it isn't supposed to be hard work, but then again, you shouldn't take it lightly either.

pointythings Thu 24-Jan-13 22:21:31

I think it's normal to have ups and downs. DH and I will have been married 15 years this April, but we've definitely had our difficult patches and in 2005 we were very close to calling it quits. Partly that was because prior to living together, we had both lived alone for a long time, so both had 'bachelor' type habits.

Thing is - not only do we love each other, we're each other's best friend. So we put in some hard work and some tough words, and we got better and stronger. We still argue sometimes, but it's less and less with every passing year.

I am not entirely sure that 'hard work' is the right term, it's more about dealing with what happens when the hormone-saturated rose-tinted glasses come off and what you do then.

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Thu 24-Jan-13 22:16:03

Narked has put it nicely with the last sentence I think. It is too naive to say 'if you're with the right person it's easy'.

Hyperballad Thu 24-Jan-13 07:21:03

Thank you for this thread, it gives me hope that the kind of relationship I have always wanted is out there somewhere!

fiventhree Wed 23-Jan-13 23:41:22

Oh you know. I think you have asked a really good question. My 20 plus years marriage has been bloody hard work since the kids came along and I'm not at all sure we had shared goals. Tbh, I should have pulled out but I didn't.

I was at a party of women a few months before discovering h' s many online infidelities 2 years ago and a friend was saying that she had advised her daughter, who is young and was in a rocky relationship, that "it should t be such hard work if it is right for you". Her words really stayed with me and made me realise she was right. And that not all marriages were like that.

I confronted my problems and things are much better but they will always be that bit tainted, and the trust and sense of past hurts will always be there a bit. Also. A leopard may change their spots but not all of them. The underlying selfishness or personality traits of some marriage partners will always show up in some situations. My h, for instance, no longer cheats and wouldn't, but I still see lots of instances of his lack of empathy with others.

I think looking back I was half to blame, as I looked for the wrong things in a potential partner- drama and fun- and failed to see that the disadvantages there from the beginning, which I was aware of, were part of him and wouldn't change.

meadow2 Wed 23-Jan-13 19:59:06

I agree life can be hard work but no matter how hard a situation is my husband is there to make things a little better.

ouryve Wed 23-Jan-13 19:57:26

Ex was hard work.

Being with DH involves very little conscious effort. We just rub along together. Yes we do occasionally piss each other off, in pretty minor ways, but tend to deal with it there and then and move on. We must be doing something right because the majority of marriages with kids with SN fail, apparently.

Narked Wed 23-Jan-13 19:57:16

If you lose your job and have no money or need to move in with your ILs for 6 months or leave your home to move miles away for the main wage earner's job it is going to put a strain on your relationship. For me the test is would you prefer to be with them and have the problem or not have the problem and be single.

MamaMary Wed 23-Jan-13 19:52:24

Marriage to DH is not 'hard work' but I think relationships do take some effort to remain alive and healthy. I probably could put a bit more effort in at times; ditto with DH. I think the romance can die unless you make a bit of an attempt to fan the flames every now and again (which, with 2 young DC, we find difficult to do tbh).

scottishmummy Wed 23-Jan-13 19:44:25

no,only if you're with a bad un

Chocaholics Wed 23-Jan-13 19:43:28

I don't find being married to DH hard work, we've been together 9 yrs married nearly 4. We both have v similar outlooks on life and want the same things. The only bit we've both found hard is the lack of sleep with young children but they have brought us closer and it's not DH who is hard work.

My previous relationship on the other hand was hard work, we had lots of arguments, nothing in common and in the end when we broke up I just felt relief.

I think if the relationship is really hard work all the time you're probably with the wrong person.

fluffyraggies Wed 23-Jan-13 19:42:39

I feel 'marriage' should be no easier or harder than a simple long term relationship. IYSWIM?

I really struggle to understand people who say they were fine together until they got married. 'The minute we got married it all went belly up'.

As Cogito says, it's gotta help if you're with the right person in the first place smile

I actually worry because i sort of forget i'm married to DH sometimes. Then i remember and think ooh yeah, he's my husband now, and it's a nice feeling. He says the same thing. We lived together for 3 years before we wed. We got married last year. I still go wibbley when i think about him, or look at him across the room, and long may that last smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 23-Jan-13 19:31:46

Shifting logs in a wheelbarrow is hard work. Shinning up Kinder Scout is hard work. Life can be hard work sometimes. But a long-term relationship shouldn't need much more than TLC to keep going if it started out right and everyone's on the same page. It's usually only hard work when people are flogging a dead horse.

That said... if you're only 5-7 years in, I wouldn't get too smug smile

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Wed 23-Jan-13 19:29:02

I don't think marriage should be permanently hard work but there are times when it is hard. If you have had no major external stress (redundancy, serious illness, housing crisis etc) then keep thanking your lucky stars, these things take their toll on many relationships.

Your colleague just may be havng a tough old time at the moment.

AThingInYourLife Wed 23-Jan-13 19:25:27

No, it shouldn't be hard work.

Nor should it be "all about compromise".

meadow2 Wed 23-Jan-13 19:20:14

I dont think its hard or work at all.Its just like my relationship with my mum and dad etc.

artyflarty Wed 23-Jan-13 19:18:40

Yes, I am a glass half full type but I think it's more to do with 'fit'. DH and I are like two peas in a pod. We're moving in the same direction, mostly like the same things and have the same outlook (like LauriesFairy says). DH is also a very good egg which makes life much easier.

Two previous relationships were fairly tempestuous (5 years and 3 years). I'm glad I didn't marry either of them as we would probably be divorced by now!

It can be and it certainly takes work to keep a relationship going long term. I think it can be very easy for the first 5-7 years but after that you really have to have a shared sense of purpose, shared values and belief in the relationship and a desire to want the other person to be happy.

I've counselled plenty of couples and the most common reasons for relationship difficulties seems to be a lack of shared values or goals (one cheats while not in an open relationship for example), lack of commitment to the relationship, spending too much time at work or away from the relationship because of a hobby. Plus the usual stress factors like money, moving and having children.

Lueji Wed 23-Jan-13 19:10:02

Quite the opposite. smile


But it's refreshing when people come here complaining they are too happy. grin

Hyperballad Wed 23-Jan-13 19:08:17

Ha! Arty, wish I'd done that with a couple of my ex's smile

Hyperballad Wed 23-Jan-13 19:07:02

Well I think that's great, I hope I feel like you one day.

Are you both positive people? , perhaps your glass is always half full, making things easier?

Enjoy it!

artyflarty Wed 23-Jan-13 19:04:47

She's with the wrong person!

My marriage is easy peasy but that wasn't always the case. I have a couple of ex-boyfriends buried under the patio...

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