Marriage is hard. Like hard hard. The kind of hard that no one tells you about when you're about to walk down the aisle. The kind of hard other married people rarely talk about. The kind of hard that makes you wonder if other couples are experiencing the same thing or if your marriage is the unusual one. That kind of hard that makes you wonder if you're going to be able to deal with the hard work that must surely follow.
Every marriage (hopefully) starts out with a love story. A tale of smiles and laughs and constant affections, etc. All you can think about is how perfect your significant other is and how much joy he or she brings into your life. But as time goes by and life sets in, it becomes harder to live in the love story, even though the love is still very much present.
It becomes easier to see the imperfection. It becomes easy to play the blame game. He didn't do this and she should've done that becomes far too difficult to overlook. That's when the hard work must come. But, no one gives you a how-to when you apply for your marriage license. Marriage doesn't come with a roadmap, unfortunately. All too often, you learn what not to do by experience. To use Jenni's words,
I love that last sentence. Do I always follow it? No, absolutely not. But, I try. I love my husband, and I never give up. I'm not claiming to be a marriage expert, and I'm not claiming to be in perfect marriage. Lord knows I'm not on either counts, but my heart is in the right place. I know if I want a successful marriage it will take hard work, the kind of hard work that doesn't come with a roadmap.They never really get into the real stuff about cohabitating with someone, about traveling through life with them and taking the hard punches together...changing together as humans often do, and continuing to love despite that change...But the truth is, that the hard work will look different for everyone. Maybe it will be harder hard work for some than for others, depending on circumstances. But as long a you have real love for each other and are willing to accept a person as they are, you have what you need. The work part comes in changing yourself, almost 100% of the time.