May 27, 2023

I am a very curious person when it comes to how people’s relationships work. When I see an old married couple I wonder and often ask them what the secret is to their long marriage. The answers vary from seriousness to humor, but generally they have good answers.

“We’ve been married 62 years,” one woman said. “It’s been this long, I might as well keep him.”

An older man once looked at his bride of 56 years and said, “We learned to walk and talk. We walk around the neighborhood every evening just to catch up with one another. Once we stopped talking, we knew something was wrong and we fixed it immediately.”

However, lately when I ask couples what the secret is, whether they have been married for 1 year or 50 years, their answer is, “marriage is hard and there are many trials, but it is worth it.”

While this may seem like a sufficient answer to most, this is not to me. Why is marriage hard? What made it hard? Give me an
example of what you consider hard. When I ask about what makes a successful relationship, I really want to know.

I am a single, 20-year-old woman who wants to have a successful relationship someday and I am asking about relationships I see around me in order to gain understanding of what makes a relationship good or bad.

Often people do not make a good distinction between what
is a normal trial and an unnecessary trial.

For example, when a husband loses a job he may feel as though his self-worth has been diminished. It’s not uncommon and it can be devastating to a marriage, while the wife tries to uplift and be supportive. It can feel like a relentless and long-suffering battle, but you are together for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.

Then there are situations with trials such as addiction, abuse and infidelity.

These trials and hardships are extremely different than going through a rough patch in a marriage. The distinction, though, is lost and often left up to interpretation, which then blurs lines of what is to be fought for and endured in a relationship versus what is not to be

I would like to implore those in relationships that are good, loving, God-centered and healthy to be honest when someone asks what marriage is like. Tell me what makes marriage worth all of the times that make you question whether it is worth it.

Give me an example of what you were not prepared for when you married another person and how you have worked, or are working on how to get through it. Tell me the triumphs and failures. Tell me what you wish others had told you. I want to know.

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