Meredith from one of my new favorite blogs, Penelope Loves Lists, makes an interesting observation on her site. She writes:
My marriage to J is my second, and I know now that happy marriage isn’t luck, or sex, or even just promises of forever. It’s daily maintenance. Not “work”, because I don’t think marriage should feel like work, but maintenance. It’s paying attention and clearing a path for your partner through every day life.
Anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows that the reality is far more complicated than the fairy tale. We have these set “ideas” about how a relationship is supposed to look. What our partner is supposed to do and say and how they should act to keep us happy and content. We want to stay confident in our decision that this person is the right person for us. But we are all human. We make mistakes. We choose the wrong people, we overlook the right people. We can be overly critical or not critical enough. We need to understand and accept (that’s the hardest part) that no one is perfect, including ourselves. No one really wants to compromise. Most people want things to go exactly how they see fit. And a relationship is work. It’s a get-your-hands-messy kind of work. It’s tears and red-faced anger that sends you running to your friends and family kind of work. But it’s also happiness. It’s laughter. It’s safety. This up and down happens to everyone and in every relationship. No one is immune. But the times when you aren’t working, when you are just sitting in the stillness together, when you can put the troubles, the “issues,” the questions out of your mind, if you are a happy in these moments, then the relationship is working, so you don’t have to.