Why is marriage so hard?
The institution or idea of marriage isn’t the problem. People and their persistent resistance to what it requires is the real culprit. As a culture we have poorly prepared people who are convicted about building a life with someone. The immense levels of ignorance that they enter this agreement with can be a severe impediment to their success. I’m not saying people are stupid or incapable, I just know at this point in life that you can’t act on information that you don’t have. Failure and frustration will be ready to greet any of us who take on an endeavor of this degree without the highest level of preparation. So when I hear the moans and groans of married men, it doesn’t surprise me because if I go on a cross country road trip with a quarter tank of gas and then run out in the middle of nowhere then that’s my fault. Also sharing in the blame are the folks that knew I was leaving and didn’t work with me to make sure I had what I needed. Lack of preparation, that’s what makes marriage hard.
“You are not alone”
Many of my clients express relief to some degree, to find out that they are not the only guys in the room who are struggling in their marriages or just unaware of what is expected of them. It’s like a cloud has been lifted from over their heads like when you found out you weren’t going to get a whooping for a bad report card because your mama had somewhere to be in a little while. You dodged that bullet for now, but tomorrow is another day.
Loneliness is a terrible feeling to have especially when you are struggling with something. It can leave you open to all kinds of other feelings like hopelessness, frustration and despair. That is one of the many reasons I started Marriage Declassified so that guys who need a support or just a safe place to figure some stuff out can do that and not have to worry about his dignity being at risk.
Every guy has his wing-man or one of his homeboys from back in the day that he is able to be honest with, but sometimes that go-to-guy isn’t always the best resource. His solutions always start off with “Man! Forget her, let’s go get a drink.” His solution was centered on distraction and not reconciliation. Probably because he was looking for an excuse to leave his own situation. A lack of good counsel, that’s what makes marriage hard.
“Can’t worry about what other people are doing”
They say that comparison is the thief of all joy. They is right! It is so easy to keep peeping over your neighbor’s fence to gawk at his luxurious pool and walk away feeling defeated as you drag your feet across the Slip n Slide in your own yard. Sure things look nice and shiny over there, but trust me when I say that you never know what goes on behind closed doors. You can stress over what other people are doing or you can devote that energy into partnering with your own wife and figure out how to build your own version of amazing that is tailored made to fit the specific needs in your own marriage. Besides you may find relief when the Feds raid your neighbor’s house and you find out that their shiny life was being financed by the underground Sriracha market. Yes the bottle looks the same but this sauce is seasoned with danger! When fantasy gets a downgrade from first class to coach, that’s what makes marriage hard.
So how can I make it easier?
You can find the very best that marriage has to offer by finding and demonstrating the very best that you have to offer. Don’t wait on your wife to go first, because in many cases she is holding back the good stuff until she can fully trust you with the most sacred parts of her life. When you nail that then you will begin to see crazy shifts in the culture of your home.
What makes marriage easy is when you understand that you both deserve to be your authentic self within a marriage that say’s that is okay on any day of the week. So what if she sneezes and farts at the same time during romantic comedies, do you know how unique that is? Few people have access to that physiological phenomenon. On the flip side, she has a guy who can squeak out the national anthem with his armpit. She cries out, back off ladies this one is mine! When your wife is cool with who are in totality, warts and all, then that is what makes marriage easy. When it’s not, is what makes marriage hard.
What should happy look like for me?
None of us proposed to our wives with idea or intentions of failing them or finding disappoint with them as a mate. What we signed up for friendship, romance/lust, acceptance and connection. Many have missed that path to happiness because that is what we have trained ourselves to look for which is happy. Happy is not the goal. A consistent and harmonious exchange of effort and attention make it possible for happy to happen more often. You can’t sustain happy every day and that’s why so many get disappointed so easily and are ready to leave so quickly.
I promise you that if you have some great conversations about what specifically makes her feel safe in regards, to her body, resources, emotions, identity as well as her prayers then I can assure you that the actions you take in response to those things will come back to you in ways you could never imagine.
When you have tackled the things mentioned above, then you have the right to anticipate the much coveted expressions of respect and admiration as well as the freedom to feed your own ambitions. You are built to achieve and conquer. That’s what makes your tail wag, is the knowledge that you are doing a great job. Be efficient and precise with your efforts to provide for your family and you will find true purpose and happiness. Choosing not to, is what makes marriage hard.
It’s the New I Do…