Maybe my confusion lies in the definition of work, i.e., basically something you do that you wouldn’t ordinarily do because someone is paying you to do it. I know there are some people who love their jobs so much they would do it for nothing, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. The marriage is hard work theory suggests that you have to do a whole lot of stuff just for the sake of the marriage, instead of stuff you’d rather be doing if left to your own devices. I have to disagree with that philosophy because that might indicate one is either a) married to the wrong person , or b) someone who would be happier unmarried.
If, on the other hand, by working at marriage one means that it’s not a passive thing—that you can’t just ignore each other, you have to be actively engaged—then I guess I buy it. But why then, the ubiquitous advice to work hard at your marriage, as if it’s like lifting an elephant with a shoestring?
The whole concept of telling people to expect to work hard at a marriage seems to defy logic. If you are married to the right person, then all those things you do, communicating, doing an airport dump off/pick up, sharing household chores, etc., are not work. They are things you do in your life that are ever more pleasant and meaningful because you have someone with whom to share them.
Maybe it’s time to coin a new phrase to describe the efforts we make to have a successful, joyful marriage. Any suggestions?
© 2014 Tracey Enerson Wood. All rights reserved.