Marriage, Where’s the Manual


Pass the Instruction Manual

Oh wait there isn’t one? Why is marriage so hard is a frequently asked question the answer isn’t easy but then again, maybe it is. Marriage is hard because there are no guarantees.

When we marry, we are binding ourselves to one another, body and soul and all the other important bits. It  may seem body and soul should be the most important, but reality bites. It is rarely lack of love that causes marriages to crumble; money, career and family pressures are often the reasons why marriages dissolve. Love alone simply does not conquer all. Couples today, whether young or older, face so many outside stressors and that, along with the combining of two or more lives, is what makes marriage hard.

Why is marriage hard? Because it is impossible to be prepared for the reality of marriage.

When you marry, it should be because you can see yourself in the future with the other person just as they are, but older. You appreciate who they are and enjoy their company.

My Parents

You value them as a friend, a lover and desire them, as they are with all their quirks and idiosyncrasies. In short, you like them just as they are. When you marry, you shouldn’t marry with a list in your head of how you are going to change them, tweak them so they will be perfect. You should think their imperfections make them perfect for you.

When we marry it is the partnership of two adults. Today people are waiting to marry until later in life, thus they have the opportunity to form their personalities and their personal living styles to a much greater degree than in the past. Unless the couple has lived together for some time prior to marriage, many of the day-to-day quirks will come as a surprise to their new partner once the honeymoon is over.

The Honeymoon is Over Now What?

What do I mean by living styles? These are the day-to-day quirks we develop. The habits that become ingrained as we mature such as how we maintain our homes or whether we watch television in bed, sleep with a light on or off. From the mundane to the truly trivial things that never bothered you, maybe you even found endearing during your courting days now annoy the hell out of you; they all become fodder for the list of annoyances you might build in your head. The question begins to arise, “what have I done?

Do you speak out early and find compromises? Do you dampen down your annoyance until

Wikipedia Image

it rushes out during an argument about something else entirely? Surprising how the little things in life can add up during a marriage so over time they become a herd of elephants in the living room each with a name from your list.

Did I do it Right or Just Ignore the Obvious?

Finally there is the Big Kahuna, Money. One of the more difficult discussions to have is the finance talk. Without frank discussion eventually this one will rear its head and it can

Money Wars

be ugly if there hasn’t been honest disclosure prior to the marriage. How individuals handle money can be a source of great contention, which is especially true for those couples who marry later in life. Agreement on how to handle money within a marriage is something to do prior to the “I Do’s” not after the fact. Agreement on what is “yours, mine and ours” will create early trust and establish the boundaries of financial responsibility.

Why is marriage hard? You tell me.

The Family Blend In-Laws & Out-Laws, Part Two of Why Marriage is Hard


  1. I agree with Red. AND….Let’s face it, unless we have all evolved with such grace, kindness and patience…..”we all want to be right”, which leads to many a battle.

    • Are you saying I can’t be right, that is correct all the time? Dang!

      Red is my muse, my sister of another mother and we seem all to often to run on the same track in our thinking and blogging (not by design). I rarely disagree with her (she might beat me if I did).

  2. Yesterday, my husband was looking for a photo to send of our daughter to an elderly friend. We only have one decent current photo of our daughter because she is always in her ugly college band uniform. The good photo is of my daughter AND my husband.
    Husband: I look angry in this photo.
    Me (jokingly): That’s because you are always angry..
    Husband: I thought you were the one who is always angry.
    I laughed hysterically (as I write this I’m realizing it might be a “had to be there” moment).
    My point is – love might not conquer all, but a sense of humor sure does.

    Looking forward to part 2.

    • You made me laugh, thanks! Humor among many other things but I will get to that in some future chapter of why there isn’t a manual, why there is a Wife Manual, why the rules change and why we never tell “them”. 😉

  3. People think marriage is hard because they are trying so desperately to be accepted they are willing to forego the important opinions which absolutely need to be shared PRIOR to the altar. the open, honest discourse of all thing great and small is far more important than what kind of flowers to have at the wedding. I think too many people find the wedding significant and the marriage a side-effect to the feel-good drug of nuptials.

    Stopping here, lest I run off all other commenters by the remainder of my opinion 😉

    Speaking of altars…I feel a blog post coming on in February.


  1. […] the question of why is marriage so hard( Where’s the Manual)? All of us enter marriage with expectations, women with a more detailed list of expectations than […]

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