I have often read in blogs, articles (and other things that people with time write on the internet) that marriage is not work, because loving someone means the time and effort you put in to your relationship doesn't count as "work". Let me just say that from my own personal experience - what a load of
Living with a person, sharing a home, children, extended families, dreams and fears - this opens up a world of vulnerabilities, and an infinite number of opportunities to hurt and be hurt by this person, on a level that is unimaginable. Your Venn diagram intersects for the really important issues/values, but there's so much of your individual circles that are still separate (refer diagram below for geeky mathematics illustration).
|Their circle, your circle, and the intersection|
After 5 years of marriage I thought we had made it over the hump and it would be smooth sailing the rest of the way. As it turns out, life isn't quite done with us yet. There have been many more highs, lows and kids. I would be lying if I said that maintaining a stable marriage in the midst of the craziness of life isn't work. But through this work, our relationship has matured and deepened. It's different. It's better.
This rambling post is not to discourage from marriage. I am happier today in my marriage than I ever have been. But along the way I have also been the unhappiest I have ever been too. I am now more understanding of those who have made the decision to end a marriage. I am now more understanding of those who have persevered to save a marriage.
So what's the secret to a successful marriage? When you see someone who has gone through a drastic weight loss, you want to know the secret to their success. The shortcut. But the answer is already widely known, it's the same and only answer that has truly worked - diet and exercise. I have found the same to be true here. There is no secret ingredient. Communication, compromise, forgiveness, acceptance, love. That's all. Now good luck ;)