It was the last day of another round of marriage preparation classes today. We always end our class with a marriage panel made up of couples with different experiences who have been married different lengths of time. The class asks questions and we, as leaders, ask a few questions during the two hour class. I always leave the class renewed and inspired.
It is always a challenge as instructors to walk the line between making sure the young and in love understand how much work goes into a good marriage and not scaring them half to death.
But the fact is more young couples with stars in their eyes need to pause in the whirlwind of planning their weddings and plan their marriages. I have read that Kim Kardashian’s marriage is on the rocks. All that money spent on a ridiculous lavish affair and very little time and effort put into the marriage.
Granted, that is a celebrity marriage and I read the information in a tabloid-esque magazine, but I think far too many of us go into marriage thinking once we are married all the stuff that frustrates us while we are dating will magically right itself. And then it is just coasting into happily ever after.
Marriage takes constant time and attention. And as my pastor is fond of reminding us, “Do you know what I have to do to let my marriage go downhill? Nothing.” Nothing.
So yes marriage IS hard work. But hard work doesn’t mean it isn’t fulfilling, wonderful, and honestly, incredibly fun. Yes some of that work is having difficult conversations, forgiving hard things, sacrificing your wants and needs and putting up with annoying habits. But sometimes that hard work means going on regular dates, remembering to laugh with each other and making sure you have lots of good sex.
And if all that work means that when I am old and gray I get to spend my last days with my best friend, then that is the kind of “work” I can sign up for. Don’t give up when your marriage gives up. The sweetest times are on the other side.