My good friend Bridgette over at BlackBridalBliss.com posted yesterday about a controversial article on marriage that she read in Harper’s Bazaar. She posed the question, “Is staying in love a choice?”, which came directly from the title of the piece; a piece that I honestly found to be quite laughable.
The author argues that most marriages today are more like “second jobs” and that “it should be a joy almost every day to be married, to feel relief and gratitude, and if it isn’t, you’re in the wrong marriage.” Now, her point is really that “sometimes you luck out” and “sometimes marriage is easy” so ultimately that means that “love chooses you”, but if you’re unfortunate enough to be a couple who argues about who should do the vacuuming you’re destined for divorce. No kidding? I thought to myself after I read it, is this woman for real?
I could write a manuscript about the gaping holes I see in Alex Kuczynski’s argument but in an effort to be brief so you’ll actually have time to go over and read her piece, I’ll refrain from a super long rant and get right to my point. Fortunately for all wives there is no one definition of a “happy” marriage. Marriage is a bond that two people share solely with each other, and how they choose to define happiness is a personal choice. If there is a planet where women and men don’t argue over housework or have tough times with one another I can assure you it’s not called Earth. Frankly I think the author’s argument is rather reckless and potentially dangerous to a husband or a wife’s mental health. I find myself under enough stress trying to juggle bills, love, life, and all the other things that come up in between and if I had to add to that weight the idea that having to worry about those things was in fact a giant flaw in my marriage or that having an argument with my husband over our differences in cleaning styles meant we were headed for divorce, I might seriously lose my mind. Marriage isn’t perfect, but that doesn’t mean that the imperfections aren’t normal, healthy, or even part of what ultimately makes up the foundation that holds the whole institution together.
I’m only six months into my marriage and already I recognize that it’s the easy and the hard things that shape who we are as a couple, as husband and wife, and ultimately as people. In this very moment I would proudly tell anyone that I’m in a very, very, happy marriage. I’ve found that although it’s so easy to love my husband and for him to love me back, it’s not easy to stay as happy as we like to be within our marriage – it takes work, hard work! There are so many negative facets of life constantly pulling at a the bond that holds a marriage together that even when you’re the opposite of miserable it can and will take some hard work to maintain that happy place and rise above adversities that you face. Just because I’m not fighting with my husband over cooking and cleaning that doesn’t mean that I’m not working at making sure he and I find peace at home after a long, rough, terrible day. Or, that we’re not working hard to organize our finances and plan our future. Whether this writer likes it or not, all of these things can be considered “working” at my marriage. But I’m here to tell you that it most certainly doesn’t feel like a second job. I love being married and I love my husband, no matter what the day brings us!
Okay so maybe I went on a bit here, but I just had to respond to this. So what do you think ladies (or gents)? Is love a choice that should always be easy? Do hard times equal a tough divorce down the line? I say heck no, but I want to hear your thoughts either way. So let’s have ‘em!