Nearly a year into my marriage, and here I am already thinking it takes a lot of work. Not that I expected it to be easy, but I had hoped it wouldn't take too much effort. Don't get me wrong. I have no regrets (at least not yet — I am kidding!). No relationship is perfect — every couple has their new normal to adapt to and challenges to surpass. I think it gets better, like breastfeeding and motherhood.
It's comforting, though, to know that I am not alone in my thoughts, that even a wife in a 22-year marriage has her moments of doubt. Whitney Fleming, mom of three and the writer behind the Playdates on Fridays, shared her honest take on marriage on Facebook that pretty much hits the bull's eye, and I feel will resonate with many wives.
"Sometimes I want to give up on this," the first line of her post read. "Sometimes I want to give up on the stability, the memories, the relationship built on 22 years. Sometimes I want to leave the man who gets frustrated too easily or often doesn’t see the world the way I do or still leaves the toilet seat up upon occasion. "
She confessed craving for a simpler life without conflict and compromises. "Because sometimes marriage is just hard, too hard to see it through to the end."
Whitney's post came with a photo of her and her husband. She described the woman in the picture as someone who has changed a lot. "She is hardened and jaded and often feels broken...She puts others' needs before hers because that is simply what mothers do; although sometimes she resents it. She loves hard and full and fierce; but sometimes she wonders if that is enough," the mom of three wrote.
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As with most married couples, it's the kids that keep them going. There are husbands and wives who wonder if they are together if they are just afraid to be alone or to face the complexities of co-parenting. But, at the end of the day, it's the struggles you and your spouse overcome as a couple that keeps you together. For Whitney, it includes infertility struggles, miscarriages, deaths, and sicknesses.
"Sometimes marriage is hard, harder than maybe it should be. Giving up may be logical, easier or sometimes even the right thing to do. Sometimes I want to give up on this, but not today," Whitney stressed, adding that there is always a new reason to fall in love and fight for what they have and what they've been through together. "I am reminded that for our marriage 'joy cometh in the morning,' as it always does. As I hope it always will," Whitney ended her post.
Whitney tells Babble, "I believe a good marriage is when two people walk side by side in life, but that is harder than it seems....Love is a verb, and it also is a choice." And as of today, I wholeheartedly agree, and I am not alone.
There isn't always a right and wrong answer when it comes to marriage. It's easy to say something like an affair or deception is a deal breaker. But, as many couples have realized, when a betrayal happens it's not always the non-negotiable they once thought it was. It's not easy to dismiss your history together. So maybe, just maybe, when you're ready to throw in the towel, why not give it another shot, and another, or another — no matter how harsh the tide may be.