If I had a dime for every time I heard, “marriage is so hard” I would welcome the bad advice (because I would be rich). Before my husband and I met, I’d hear this well-meaning piece of advice and it made me worry. I had been in hard relationships before. Really hard relationships. Marriage was supposed to be even harder? I didn’t think I could deal.
Then I met John and our relationship was easy. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop – for our relationship to feel like work – and it never did. Then we got engaged, and then married, and eventually we settled into our married life. Before our first anniversary I kept think, “Well, we’re still in the newlywed stage.” Our first anniversary came and went but our relationship had yet to feel like “work”.
The next year was the hardest year I think I’ve ever gone through personally. I can’t speak for my husband, but life seemed like it was absolutely out to get us and I felt like I was at the end of my rope. Grad school is no joke, and being married to a grad student is pure hell. You can’t help them with their tasks. All you can do is try to handle all of the “other” stuff so they don’t have to stress over it. It’s a helpless feeling, especially in my situation.
My husband finished his PhD last month and right at the moment I thought we could breathe a sigh of relief, the job hunt really started. If anyone ever tells you that earning a PhD will help you find a job quickly and easily kick them in the groin and run away as fast as you can. Our life is proof that an amazing GPA and a doctorate does not guarantee swift employment.
Recently things have been really hard. We’re living month to month in our crap apartment and we’re still job hunting. I saw a therapist a few months ago and was aptly diagnosed with anxiety and OCD, which on some level I already knew. Talking things through with her helped until she dumped me. That’s right, my therapist dumped me. Talk about a giving an anxious girl a complex! She told me that with a big move ahead she didn’t think continuing my therapy would be a smart choice because she, “didn’t want to open a can of worms,” only to send me into the unknown. She did offer to see me for emergencies, though. Lucky me.
So, yeah. Things have been really hard around here lately. Sometimes just getting out of bed is a struggle. Sometimes I worry what we’re going to do after the official “graduation” in August. Sometimes I worry that I chose the wrong job because it doesn’t translate well to other professions across the US. Sometimes I’m angry that we are where we are… but then I look at my husband and I am absolutely overwhelmed with love.
I look at my husband of two years and I feel so happy. I look at him and I know instantaneously that I will do whatever I can to build him up and support him. I see the things he does for me without even thinking about them, and I am thankful. These things aren’t hard. They’re not work. They’re a privilege.
Life is hard, but being married is not.
Today is our second wedding anniversary and more than ever I scratch my head when I hear people claim that marriage is hard because I wholeheartedly disagree. I’m not saying my husband and I don’t have bad days. We do, just like everyone else. We disagree, we roll our eyes at one another, we go into the other room to “cool off”. However, at the end of the day, we are invested in each other’s happiness. We both strive to give each other what is needed so that when we go out into the world we’re prepared with a stable foundation. I think that a lot of times people confuse marriage for life. Life is full of ups and downs and unknowns, but marriage is built on stability.
Call me naive or shortsighted, but I refuse to buy into the fact that marriage is hard. Marriage has been the one redeeming part of life that has kept me happy and sane despite what life has thrown at it. Marriage, my friends, is the easy part. How you deal with life together is the tough part.
What was the worst relationship advice you’ve ever received? Do you agree or disagree? Let’s discuss.
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