I’ve always thought that marriages don’t work.
Back in my 20s, I wholeheartedly believed that marriage is a failed institution that sabotages love and authentic connections. I even doubted the whole idea of romantic relationships.
I don’t blame myself, though. Somehow, I always ended up in the same relationships: they were painful and doomed to fail.
One particular relationship (that later turned into a messy situationship) brought me to my knees and distorted my view of love. It went on for many years, and although our love was genuine and strong, it wasn’t enough to bring (or keep) us together.
I cut ties with him when “I love you” was no longer enough for me. His commitment issues and indecisiveness stopped making sense, and so I decided to turn the page and move on.
I did, and I never looked back. However, I didn’t know what to do with the skewed notion of love I was left with.
I’m now married to the man who has constantly proved to me that the problem isn’t about the institution of marriage. The problem is you, me, and everybody else.
When a marriage or a relationship doesn’t work, it’s because we don’t work. When a marriage fails, it’s because we fail.
Yesterday I came across a reel on Instagram by Tim Ross that perfectly explains what I have finally learned about love and relationships:
View this post on Instagram
“Marriage is work. Staying with the same person for 50 years is work. Same with the same person for 65 years. That’s work. That’s not just love. That’s work. Love works. True love will work. True love will make you work on yourself. It will make you work on your relationship. It will make you work on your communication style. It will make you work on your tone. It will make you work on being home on time. It will make you work on cooking. It will make you work on cleaning.
True love actually works. It ain’t just a feeling. It’s an action. I’ve been married for 23 years. I’ll be married for 24 years. My first of 2023. Our love works for each other. We work at this. This ain’t just we wake up every morning just in love. We work at it and we’ve worked at it for 23 years. And that’s why the relationship is so good. Juliett’s my girl, you know what I’m saying?
But we work at this. It’s not just some. I woke up like this. I woke up like this. No, I didn’t just wake up like this. I worked at this, I worked at this. We worked at this. But when you don’t work, it doesn’t work. If only one of you is working, it’s not going to work. And so if both people don’t show up with the tools or both people don’t at least show up with the mindset that, hey, we want to make this work…”
This is why my past relationships didn’t work, and this is why my marriage is (still) working.
My husband isn’t perfect; I’m not perfect; you’re not perfect; nobody is perfect. But what keeps us going is the work we choose to do every single day. The tough conversations we choose to have. The sadness we choose to overcome. The hurt we choose to feel then the happiness we willingly bring back in.
This is love. Anything less than that is just empty talk.