Back during the Oscars Ben Affleck gave a lovely speech praising his wife and acknowledging that they have worked on their marriage.
Immediately there was controversy. People were upset claiming that marriage shouldn’t take work or be difficult. And if it is you shouldn’t be married.
I don’t know why this surprised me. This is why marriages end 50% of the time. Because when it becomes work a lot of people bail. (I realize this oversimplifies things and I don’t want to be callous towards anyone who has gone through a divorce. But I think even people who fought for the survival of their marriage and lost can acknowledge that many barely put up a fight.)
If we are married and we don’t acknowledge the realities of marriage we are doing others who are married and unmarried a disservice.
It is one of the reasons Ryan and I are passionate about our marriage ministry. We try and teach from a place of realness and transparency. And it is why we bring in other couples to help teach who will do the same. It is why posts like these from Mary and Lisa and Casey are so important.
I get the difficulty of laying private stuff out for public consumption. And I am not sure I would ever advocate sharing your marriage troubles with the world while you are going through them.
But when you are on the other side of them. When you have fought to stay together and won. When you can stand up in a better place and say, “Stay. It is so worth it on the other side.” Can I beg you then to tell your story?
Our airbrushed, Pinterest ready lives are really lovely and all, but they are rarely reality. And they can just be one. more. thing. that defeats a person hanging on by their fingernails. I think most of us are craving a little more “real” in our lives, from our social media world and from our friends.
So I’ll be the first to boldly proclaim as a happily married woman. Marriage is hard work. Often times, along with parenting, it is the best possible hard work. But it is not natural to forgive and be selfless and sacrifice and pick up the 300th sock that instead of being inside the basket, lies just next to the basket (seriously. almost 13 years in. Seriously).
And I bet those way further down the road of marriage would say it still isn’t easy. That it never really gets to the point where you coast in to the finish line. But if you are willing to keep loving and forgiving and sacrificing, it is worth it. So keep working.