Home Marriage Why Marriage is So Hard: Understanding the Real Challenges

Why Marriage is So Hard: Understanding the Real Challenges

Why Marriage is So Hard Understanding the Real Challenges

Marriage seems like such a simple concept – two people committing their lives to one another through good times and bad. However, the reality is that maintaining a healthy, happy marriage takes continual effort.

In this post, we will explore some of the key reasons why marriage is indeed hard, but also provide insights on how couples can overcome challenges through communication, compromise and commitment to one another.

Why Marriage is So Hard?

Unrealistic Expectations

One of the primary reasons why marriage is so hard is due to unrealistic expectations that many couples have heading into marriage.

Our society bombards us with notions of wedded bliss and the perfect marriage, leading many to believe marriage will be easy if they find the “right” person. However, the reality is that no one is perfect and marriage requires work from both partners on an ongoing basis.

Unrealistic expectations set couples up for inevitable disappointment and disillusionment when the honeymoon phase wears off and real life kicks in. No partner can meet all of your needs all of the time. Routines set in, responsibilities increase, and stress inevitably creeps into every marriage at some point.

If couples do not adjust their expectations to accept imperfection and natural ebbs and flows in relationships, this mismatch alone can undermine the marriage over time.

Lack of Communication

Another reason why marriage is hard is a lack of open, honest and meaningful communication between spouses. Busy lives, stress, technology distractions and simple fatigue all contribute to building barriers instead of bridges between partners.

However, a lack of communication leads to assumptions, increased tension, festering issues and partners growing emotionally distant.

Regular check-ins, meaningful heart-to-hearts and active listening are all vital components to maintaining healthy communication that can weather challenges as a why marriage is so hard arises.

Communication is the lubricant that keeps marriage moving positively rather than breaking down over time from unspoken problems or unmet needs. An effortful commitment to communication as a priority can help overcome this common obstacle.

Financial Stress

Money is arguably one of the leading causes of conflict, arguments and strain within marriages. In today’s economy with rising living costs and job insecurity, financial stress impacts nearly every married couple to some extent.

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Differing attitudes or philosophies around spending, saving, budgets and long-term financial planning all introduce why marriage is so hard into the relationship if not discussed and navigated supportively.

For many, financial problems are a taboo subject not given enough airtime. However, openly tracking spending and income, sharing financial responsibilities cooperatively and making mindful budgeting decisions as a team can really make a difference.

With effort, financial challenges no longer need to be a relationship rift but rather brought couples even closer through solidarity in tough times.

Lack of Quality Time Together

When life gets busy, shared leisure time with a spouse often gets squeezed out. Kids’ activities, long work hours, social commitments and more all contribute to couples growing distant rather than closer together over the years.

However, maintaining emotional and physical intimacy through quality 1-on-1 time is absolutely critical to feeling connected to your partner and fighting off the why marriage is so hard mentality.

Setting aside intentional date nights free from distractions, focusing on fun shared hobbies and activities together, and giving each other your undivided attention shows a partner you still value them amidst the busyness.

Making each other a priority, especially during stressful periods, helps keep the spark alive in marriage through even the most challenging of times. Quality time nourishes intimacy that, in turn, reduces conflict and eases the difficulties of wedded life.

Lack of Compromise

No two people share identical opinions, needs, habits or preferences. Some level of mild irritation or inconvenience is simply inevitable when joining two separate lives together.

However, an unwillingness to compromise derails many marriages from their positive course. Rigid thinking that fosters a “my way or the highway” attitude only breeds resentment as partners are left feeling misunderstood or unappreciated in their needs.

Healthy marriages are built upon compassionate compromise where both individuals are willing to meet halfway, or three-quarters of the way, for the greater good of the relationship.

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Practicing flexibility in thoughts and behaviors around smaller, everyday issues prevents larger problems from taking root down the line. Compromise diminishes conflict as partners thoughtfully consider each other rather than perpetually clashing over differences.

Lack of Shared Values and Goals

While passion may bring partners together intially, shared core values and life goals are what truly sustain a marriage for the long haul.

When partnerships lack cohesion around key areas like priorities, responsibilities, lifestyle, vision for the future and intrinsic views like money habits, career aspirations, family planning or spirituality, it introduces ongoing why marriage is so hard that chips away at unity over time.

Regular discussions exploring each other’s deepest thoughts and revisiting life priorities provide an important check-in that values remain synchronized as people naturally evolve.

Finding synergy between individual needs and mutual aspirations fosters a resilient team approach to problems that comes much more naturally than constant tug-of-war between differences. Shared direction on what really matters prioritizes the “we” over any “me” mentality.

Lack of Self-Awareness and Personal Growth

One final reason why marriage is difficult relates more to individual factors than problems inherently between partners. Specifically, a lack of self-awareness regarding one’s own faults, weaknesses or room for growth invariably strains relationships to some degree.

Additionally, becoming too dependent upon a spouse for validation, purpose and well-being rather than maintaining an independent sense of self outside marriage intensifies why marriage is so hard.

Regular periods of self-reflection along with efforts to continuously better oneself through hobbies, education or professional development all contribute to greater resilience, independence and healthier dynamics with a partner. Mature relationships are two whole individuals coming together, not one completing the other.

Overcoming the Challenges

While commitment is a given when marrying someone, maintaining that commitment also requires effort. However, many of the reasons why marriage tests partnerships can absolutely be overcome with diligent effort and an open, understanding spirit between spouses. Here are a few suggestions:

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Reset Expectations Realistically

Review initial expectations versus current realities, then work as a team to establish a new normal both find fulfilling. Recognize that imperfection and natural ups/downs are normal. Focus on growth together rather than a perfect ideal.

Prioritize Quality Communication

Schedule regular check-ins to share feelings without judgement. Listen actively, validate each other and find compromise when views differ. Openness and understanding, not defensiveness, eases problems.

Join Finances Cooperatively

Agree on budgeting together, save both jointly and separately, automate finances for simplicity, and celebrate meeting goals as a united front against fiscal stress.

Cherish Quality Time Daily

Wake early one day/week to enjoy coffee and chat freely. Have a monthly date night and weekly fun activity just for bonding without distractions. Quality reconnects strengthen marriage during busy seasons.

Practice Compassionate Compromise

Discuss separate perspectives on issues with an open mind and willingness to understand each other fully before deciding mutually agreeable solutions whenever possible. Flexibility reduces power struggles.

Revisit Shared Values and Goals

Refresh understandings of deeper philosophies to uncover ways to further support each other’s growth. Finding renewed mission together rekindles purpose and partnership across life changes.

Foster Self-Awareness and Growth

Read, pray or journal for insight on weak areas to address. Prioritize self-care, hobbies and continuing education to broaden perspectives and strengthen independence while still relying on spousal care.

Recommended Reading: 11 Enjoyable Activities That Couples Can Do Together.

With patience, empathy and an ongoing commitment to each other’s happiness through open dialogue, even very real marriage challenges can be overcome. Focusing on togetherness over individual needs reaps lifelong rewards well worth the effort to strengthen bonds of love.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, marriage is both profoundly rewarding yet also hard work – no marriage is immune to difficulties. However, cultivating understanding and cooperation between partners through frequent heartfelt communication, mutual respect, and a shared goal of helping each other thrive sets the stage for overcoming obstacles together as a strong, unified team. Face challenges with compassion, not criticism, and marriages stand the test of time.


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