Is Marriage Really All That Difficult?

To answer the title of this post, I suppose the answer is a resounding "no."  And truly, it's not.  All you truly have to do to be married is sign some paperwork, and then mail or hand in the paperwork to the nice man at the desk of the Register of Wills at City Hall.  Or whatever municipal building is relevant to your place of residence.

All over the internet, especially on other blogs of newlyweds, I've noticed a trend of people stating that marriage is so difficult, in a seemingly surprised way.  Or, they're simply repeating a sentiment told to them by a well-meaning relative or acquaintance, usually followed by some sort of advice from that person, such as the never-go-to-bed-angry trope.  (My unsolicited advice?  Eat something with some protein, like a PB&J.  Or just go to bed angry.  You are probably tired or hungry.)

I don't think it's that difficult.  And I'm definitely not seeing my husband (or the world, for that matter) through the rose tinted spectacles from newlywed land.  We were engaged for four years, and together for two years before that.  The new-ness has been worn off for quite some time.  And I'm hoping that this is the case for lots of people.  The act and idea of being a couple, being together, should not be a novel feeling upon signing that marriage license.  Yes, the titles have changed a bit, but assuming that you've been together for a bit of time, there's nothing all that new about your coupledom.  Not really, anyway.

And I love marriage!  It totally rocks.  Being able to be Mrs. Rainville is super cool, and getting a discount on my car insurance is pretty neat.  The joint checking account is practical, and we still do the same things all the time.  I bake cookies, Chris makes awesome chicken pot pie.  He feeds the cats in the morning, and I try to figure out how to sign my new name, still being thrown off by the capital R of my last name where there used to be a Y.

I'm thinking that the main issues that make marriage "difficult" are communication and/or feelings.  When I say feelings, I mean the way that people are blinded by emotion when they take things personally which are not actually intended as an attack on their personality, character, or general self.

Communication is something that Chris and I pride ourselves on, and it has been instrumental in our relationship since the beginning.  Say what you are thinking, and think (or talk) about why you are thinking it.  Analyze what you are feeling.  Analyze why you want something, or why you want something to happen.  Is it true, or is your perspective just skewed?  Are you being selfish?  Are you ignoring how your significant other is feeling?  Are you being mean or insensitive?

Read body language.  This might look different for everyone out there, but I'm willing to bet that if you've been together for awhile, you can tell when something is off because of how your person is carrying themselves.  If you aren't sure, start reading that body language now!  Ask questions.  Ask how they're feeling.  Talk about feelings.  If that's hard, start small.

Any thoughts from folks out there?  Is marriage really all that difficult for you?

Love and light,