The husband and I have been married six years next month. We had a bit of an odd whirlwind romance halfway around the world from each other to start us off.
Me being Canadian and he being Sri Lankan, we had some fairly major cultural clashes in the beginning. But here’s the thing.
I only felt like killing him a couple of times, and all were in the first year of marriage. And the feeling passed and I didn’t act on it, so I chalk that up to fairly normal.
The first year of our marriage was the roughest – sorting out misunderstandings, unrealistic expectations, and so on. Not to say that the first year was bad – it wasn’t. It was actually pretty good. But it was the roughest.
Since then, it’s only gotten better. Our marriage isn’t hard work. At all. We have disagreements on occasion, but there’s never any yelling or name calling – we’re both quite adament about not going there, so we don’t.
I credit two things. One, his unrelenting sense of humour. He can make me laugh pretty much anytime, even when I’m sobbing (usually from hormones, actually) or really upset with him or someone else. His stoopid puns don’t help. 😉
The second is a lesson I learned in the first month or two of marriage. Gratitude. I control how I view our marriage, and I control the tone of it in my own head. If I express gratitude – every single day, regardless – for my husband, it keeps my attitude in the right place. By focusing on the good in him, I don’t allow my own demons to emerge and take over and make mountains out of mole hills. I’m not saying I ignore problems. I’m saying I don’t invent them or make them bigger than they were. I focus on what’s good and great in our marriage. It’s all part of not sweating the small stuff. 🙂
Okay, three things. Fun. We have a LOT of fun together. Number one, his humour, helps tremendously with this. But we enjoy each other’s company immensely. It helps that we have similar interests. We both love science fiction & fantasy, for example. And we play video games together -yes, we’re geeks. 🙂 He loves his Wobbler Army, and I tolerate it… 😉 We play together. And we have a great time playing. 😀
Our marriage doesn’t feel like work, never mind hard work. It’s fun. It’s the most fun I’ve had in my life. 😀
This whole stream of consciousness is brought to you by a thread over at Blogher. This started as a reply, but then I realized, no, it deserves a bigger audience, so now it’s here, too. 🙂
What about you? What do you do to make your marriage easier, more enjoyable, more fun? What works for you and what doesn’t? What would you change if you could?
6 thoughts on “Are marriages necessarily hard work?”
SHORT FORM: KUDOS
Long form= 4beers in&I’m getting WAY too deep on your blog! I’m going to post it to word&save; it’s a good base, but NOT w beer googles!
I want to respond but… out of respect, it should wait.
but, you are free to always, poke me though, via here, twitter or e-mail. I do read and enjoy what you post… I am fascinated, I am a fan 🙂
Well, you have a bit of an unusual marriage, considering that you got married almost immediately (for example, I’ve been together with my boyfriend for almost a decade and we aren’t married). Most people probably don’t need to “sort out” stuff like that, because they already know each other pretty well.
But the most important thing is that it works. :-> You’re lucky in that you get along so well. Many great relationships do require a lot of work, because some people are more difficult than others. Two difficult people together = work.
I too am coming up on 6 years and also think it gets better every year. Our first year was a little bitchy as well and we didn’t have nearly the challenges posed by a whirlwind online romance followed by transplanting a Canadian in Sri Lanka.
Graditude is definitely the key! And as I wife I find it helps to give him some space and quiet at the end of the day. He notices that kind of thing and tells me constantly how much he appreciates how much I underdtand him. It also helps to make him the occasional sandwich when he’s hungry. 🙂 It’s the little things!
This I agree with. But I disagree that it is necessarily so.
Fahim is not an easy person to live with in many ways. I could list his faults, but really, his particular list isn’t all that important. BUT despite his faults, he also takes care of me. He takes care of all the things that I find extremely distasteful or objectionable or stressful. He’s never verbalized it, but he behaves as if it’s his job to take care of my needs.
In turn, I take care of his. I see that as my job, honestly. I think, because we’re both so busy taking care of each other, we don’t have a lot of leftover stuff that requires Me! Me! Me! attention.
I think that’s one thing that destroys so many relationships – focusing on the self above the partner or the family. I’ve heard of too many relationships that aren’t working where either one or both of the partners are focusing far too much on self and not enough on the other. Leading separate lives, if you will.
Not that I’m any kind of expert. This is just what I see.
I don’t give Fahim space – I keep offering, but he doesn’t seem to want it. Odd. I also told him in the beginning that I was fine with him having boys nights out, but he doesn’t want to take me up on that, either. And he doesn’t like sandwiches. 🙂
BUT I do all the cooking, so I see that he gets fed, mostly rice and curries that he loves. And I pickle hot peppers for him. 😀
Yeah, I can definitely agree with the little things. 🙂
I’m with you on the whirlwind romance except that we were pregnant within the first six months and didn’t get married until she was seven months old. During that time, we learned a lot about each other in a hurry! Sixteen years and four more daughters later this Halloween, we still appreciate the other person in our partnership.
Part of why I think our marriage works so well is that we have no problem with giving the other space to pursue outside interests (I like ghost hunting, he likes the stock market) that the other doesn’t particularly care about but is willing to listen. And those little things add up!