‘Marriage is really hard’
Before I was married, I heard that phrase numerous times and I still hear it a lot from people.
When someone looked me in the eye, took on a serious tone and said ‘marriage is really hard’ I would get this giant pit in my stomach, my palms would get really sweaty, and I would internally begin to panic.
Sure, I knew in my head it would be challenging at points. Marriage was going be a whole new ball game, a new learning curve of sorts.
But still, it scared me so badly to hear the warnings of people who had gone before.
So I braced for it, held my breath, waited for the blow in those early weeks and months after that wintry afternoon in March that we were married.
But it never came. Not in the way I expected at least.
A New Normal
Starting a new routine, establishing a new normal, and transition is always challenging, even if it is something really good, like marriage.
Nothing is yours anymore.
Your money, your space, your stuff, and your bank account all of a sudden become ‘ours’ with a few signatures and vows.
The learning curve marriage presents is steep at times no doubt.
We learn to bend.
We learn to compromise.
We learn to give of ourselves in ways we never have before.
Our mindsets are questioned.
Our thinking patterns are tested.
And quite possibly the most challenging part is that we realize we’re not right about everything.
Half the time we’re wrong.
The other half there isn’t in fact a ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’
Maybe that’s why people get that serious tone, stare deep into your eyes, and warn that marriage is ‘really hard.’ I have a very hard time being wrong after all.
Often we use the words ‘hard’ and ‘challenging’ interchangeably. In the context of marriage using the word ‘hard’ connotes a certain negative vibe at times.
Learning challenges our mindsets and ways of operating.
But learning also affords enlightenment.
Enlightenment enables us to use our senses, exercise our minds, apply wisdom, expand our knowledge, and deepen our understanding.
While those are some of the amazing gifts that learning affords us, for those same reasons, learning isn’t always comfortable.
But when we are willing to be wrong we find something beautiful.
When we are willing to have our mindsets challenged, we find something profound happens.
We are changed.
Change is challenging because it requires that we grow.
Those of us that made the promise ‘til death do us part’ made it knowing that would entail growing older together. Not merely aging, but growing.
We are challenged by learning, yet learning enables us to grow. When we apply and practice what we’ve learned, growth happens. Growth ultimately is the avenue by which we are changed.