I have to confess that I embarked on marriage believing in a fairy tale.
From what I had read and watched, I thought this version of marriage would come true. Almost 10 years ago now, I found my Beautiful Benin Princess . As our relationship moved toward marriage, I 100 percent believed that my happily ever after was beginning.
But it didn’t.
Looking back, my wife and I both agree that this first decade of marriage was awful. Honestly, it’s only by the grace of God that we stayed together. Soon after our wedding, my Prince Charming Character seemingly disappeared and I definitely filled more of a bad guy persona than that of a prince. We yelled, I cried, I lied, we slammed doors. Many times , I threw I left the house in anger and pride for days even when I was wrong.
So much of our anger stemmed from selfishness and unmet expectations. Marriage was hard. And, as we added, job and location changes, children, economic struggles and all the curveballs life throws, it got harder.
“But why? Why is this so hard?” I’ve asked this question more than once in counseling myself, on quiet mornings reflecting , in my journal, to married friends.
Why do I want to throw in the towel some days? Howcome I fail so much at some things? How can she be so annoying? Why do I respond with anger and pride ? When will we hit a stride where it just feels easy? After all, we love each other, and love shouldn’t be difficult—right? Why is something that’s supposed to be so good so hard?
It’s that simple: Marriage is supposed to be hard. If it weren’t, if it didn’t take daily practice and dedication, it wouldn’t be special. The wins wouldn’t feel so great, the anniversaries wouldn’t be such a celebration. Hard things are hard for a reason and that’s because the effort that goes in has the potential to yield something amazing, someone amazing. For a long time in my. Marriage I did not put in the right amount of work into it to get the right result out of it
The answer: It’s supposed to be.
Year after year, we are checking our hearts and choosing our marriage, choosing each other.
I don’t claim to know much about a successful marriage because my wife and I are the definition of a work in progress. We always will be. And what we learn in our marriage is unique to us. Our problems are a special blend of our personalities and circumstances, as are our triumphs and joys.
What matters is that we’re committed, even when life looks like it’s for poorer, in sickness and for worse. We’re trying and making mistakes, but also asking forgiveness and starting new. Year after year, we are checking our hearts and choosing our marriage, choosing each other, because we know that doing the hard, deep work of marriage makes us better individually and together.
Marriage has called us to set aside ourselves and give preference to one another. It has turned the hoax of a fairy tale in to a more realistic, reciprocal servitude.
And that’s hard to do. Don’t let anyone tell you that becoming a spouse is easy. Being married is choosing self-sacrifice and going against the inherent selfishness of human nature. I fully confess that I am a selfish person. How could I not be? “Me” is always easier than “we.”
But, when all is said and done, I choose “we,” even when it’s hard and ugly, even when the hard days turn into hard weeks. My relationship with my wife is worth the effort and sacrifice. It’s worth the time and energy necessary for me to become a better partner for the woman who chose me.
Marriage is hard, but marriage is also worth it. As they say, “What comes easy won’t last, and what lasts won’t come easy.”
James 1 :2-5 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Wilbert Frank Chaniwa
“Talking Marriage Today”