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5 Reasons Marriage Feels SO Incredibly Hard (And 5 Ways To Make It Easier!)

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why marriage is hard
Love

It's worth EVERY ounce of hard work you put in.

When you first get married, you're so in love, you feel like you can conquer anything life throws you.

You may have some “fairytale“ belief you and your spouse will never encounter difficulty — because you love each other and, after all, doesn’t love “make the world go round?”

Then the honeymoon is over and you enter into your new reality of living with someone every day!

You begin to wonder why he throws his clothes on the floor instead of into the hamper, why does he squeeze the toothpaste from the middle or not put the cap back on it? And why does he put the toilet paper on the holder going a different direction than you do?

These are seemingly little things but can become huge issues as the list begins to grow. Often people are taken by surprise by these small things and also some much bigger issues.

Marriage is hard from a number of different angles, and too often, we don't do the work until a marriage is in trouble. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Let’s take a look at some of those angles, as well as ways you might be able to manage them and build a healthy relationship and strong marriage:

 

1. Marriage is hard because you are two people learning to live together, not separately. 

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Learning to live with someone is definitely harder than you probably anticipated!  

This is because you each come from different backgrounds and have been taught or not taught how to do things in a certain way. One family puts the toilet paper on the holder so the squares come over the top.  Another family may put the paper on the holder so the squares come out from the bottom. 

Neither is right or wrong. They are just different! 

How to make it easier: One thing you need to do is spend time talking about these little “pet peeves”. Not arguing, but talking.  

How will you do things in your house? Maybe each of you gets to make a choice about various things and you both agree — without an attitude — that this is how you will do these things. 

Start by talking about why you think something should be one way or another, then think about your reasoning related to that.

Is it mostly because that is the way you have always done this? Maybe now is the time for the two of you to make a decision to do something different! It is not right or wrong, just different.

 

2. Marriage is hard because of how you handle stress and the different ways in which you communicate.

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You cannot change another person. You can only change you, and how you think or view something.

You can also choose to communicate with your spouse. Before you do anything, you need to learn how to communicate with your spouse in a way that he/she can hear it. 

Shouting, pouting, clamming up, or basically saying, "it’s my way or the highway" is not going to get you very far! 

It will create distance between you and your spouse who have committed to being together “til death.” You must learn to express your thoughts and feelings from your perspective and let your spouse do the same, without interrupting or blaming or putting each other down. 

How to make it easier: Talk about your feelings and then work together to make decisions you both can live with. 

Sometimes one person has more stress and anxiety about issues that come up than the other person does. Spend time talking about the stress and ways you can help each other so that the stress and anxiety are more manageable. 

Often you have a different picture of what you think your life will be together. If things are not going the way you had thought they would or think they “should”, it is important to talk about your picture and what might need to be adjusted as you move forward.

 

Related: 6 Relationship Traps Healthy, Successful Couples Avoid At ALL Costs

 

3. Marriage is hard because your expectations are different.

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Each person comes into the relationship with certain expectations — usually based on what has been modeled to them by their parents in their marriage. 

Sometimes you may have made a decision that you don’t want your marriage to resemble your parents at all, but you have be aware of why you want that and discuss that with your spouse. 

Sometimes you may think that you want a marriage that is “just exactly like your parents” because you believe they had or have the ideal relationship.

How to make it easier: Talk to your spouse early and often about what your expectations are related to security in the relationship, companionship, financial security, sex, doing activities together, staying current with what is going on in the world, how to discipline the children, etc. 

Anything that is an expectation for you needs to be addressed with the other person. Why? Because another person cannot read your mind, even if you love each other deeply. 

You may still have different views and expectations about how life “should be.”  Don’t waste time fighting about things that you haven’t honestly talked about. Each of you may have to compromise a little so that you can get on the same page with each other. 

Don’t dig in and become so stubborn that you refuse to listen to the other person or do something different!

 

4. Marriage is hard because there are so many stresses in life.

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When you begin doing life together, you may think that you will easily overcome stresses or that stresses will not be a part of your life together. 

However, in life, you encounter all kinds of stresses and pain. You will have to make choices about how to handle the stress or pain when it comes. 

One of the best ways to handle it is to do it together. It is always better to share the load with someone else and to know that someone else is there walking beside you and even sometimes holding you up!  

How to make it easier: You need to share with each other how you are feeling and how you're managing the stress. 

Sometimes you need to just talk and other times you need to take action. Having someone who can be supportive and have your back when you take action is a great stress reliever. 

You must be careful not to tell the other person what he/she needs to do. You can make suggestions and allow him/her to decide if the suggestions are going to work for them. Remember suggestions are only suggestions not hard and fast demands or rules.

 

Related: 7 Ways The Happiest Couples Fight, And Actually Grow STRONGER

 

5. Marriage is hard because you will face changes and transitions in life that are difficult.

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Those changes and transitions can be hard to navigate whether you are married or single. However, when you are married, you have a partner to go through them with you. 

Some changes that occur may have to do with where you live, job changes or even unemployment, children, aging parents, illnesses, retirement, loss, etc.

As human beings, your bodies change over time. It is not just the woman’s body that changes. Men change too. 

Women go through menopause, may gain some weight, get more wrinkles and sag here and there. Men’s noses grow and earlobes get longer, some go bald, they may gain weight, wrinkles appear, and there is sagging here and there on them, too! 

How do you react to your spouse changing and/or to yourself changing? Be honest with yourself.

How to make it easier: If both of you can talk about taking care of yourselves physically, and work together to take care of each other, you will be much happier as your life moves into another phase. 

There are good things that happen in life and there are challenges that occur. You need to be prepared for the changes and transitions that will take place throughout your married life. 

Working together is one of the best remedies for the stress of a changing life, and key to maintaining a good, successful, and happy married life.

 

If you are having difficulty adjusting to the fact that marriage is hard and you don’t know how to handle it, please make the effort to connect with a professional helping person. 

Your marriage can survive the hard realities of life if you invest in making that happen. There is no shame in asking for help. Your marriage is worth it. 

 

Dr. Deborah McFadden is a couple’s counselor at Village Counseling Center. Receive your free copy of the Better Life Magazine filled with articles with topics from taking good care of yourself, resolving conflicts in your relationship and discovering how to have success in your life.

 

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