Debunking Common Marriage Myths- Myth 2: Good Marriages Should be Easy| Episode 65

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Today is myth number two. Good marriages should be easy. If this wasn’t something people believe, then why would they question whether they’d chosen the suitable mate when the going gets tough. Why would they choose to stay stuck in what’s not working instead of saying-hey, these problems are a part of marriage. What can we do to overcome them?

I wish I’d known this early on, as I think my reality would have been different. My disillusionment, not so great. I’d look at other couples that seemed to be thriving and thought they were just lucky. They seemed happy, content, working in tandem with their partner. And then I’d think, there must be something flawed in my marriage. What I never ventured to ask was, “How do you guys do it?” After all, I certainly didn’t want to seem like we didn’t have it all together in my marriage.

Isn’t it like this when we see accomplished professionals like athletes, actors, business moguls, musicians, and artists. I can narrow it down to anyone who can do something I can’t do but wish I could. They make it look so stinkingly easy like it is just natural to be so good at what they do. It’s like it is in their DNA. We even attribute success with having some special “gift” as it requires little to achieve great things. Even with gifts, there is a climb to any level of success.

It’s easy to compare ourselves to the “ideal” and not know or consider the grueling journey taken to get there. Again, because it looks so natural.

Take the athlete.  An athlete usually follows a sport because there is a passion there.  They have aspirations and high hopes like we do when we first get married. Even though they know or are told it’s “hard” work, they can’t fully see until they are in the thick of it. I honestly believe that if we could see how much struggle there is in reaching a goal, we might be too overwhelmed even to attempt it. Ignorance is bliss, right?

I like football, and my favorite team as a Tennessean is the Tennessee Titans. I’m amazed by this player Derrick Henry. He is the leading NFL player in rushing yards. I think the guy could run through a freight train the way he moves through a line of huge guys. He seems like a natural. Then my son showed me some videos of his workouts, and it made sense. They were more challenging than I could ever have imagined. The things he does to perform as he does on the field made sense. He works hard for it.

Any professional has to struggle, fight, and claw their way to excellence. There is exhaustion, frustration, and constant acquisition of new skills. There are failures, and there are days when the motivation to keep going isn’t there. There is pushing yourself beyond what you think you can endure. There are even days that quitting looks good.  It isn’t easy to be good at something. You have to pay the price. It is the same with marriage.

If you want a good marriage, you will have to get in the mindset that you and your spouse will have to work and work as if your life depends on it. Letting things slide and wallowing in what isn’t right will get you no further than you already are.

Don’t get mired down in the idea that marriage is hard. That is true. Move on to the truth that is it is hard work as well, and that requires action.

Good marriages don’t just happen. They are built. They don’t give up, and when they face the mountain, they don’t run away.

Four Ways to Get Into the Hard Work

  1. Research what makes a successful marriage. Study it. Listen to podcasts, read books, go to webinars or couple’s retreats. Ask questions of other couples that have been married as long or longer than you have or even younger couples that seem to have what you want. Be vulnerable. Be teachable.
  2. Put into practice what you learn- one thing at a time. What good is a head full of knowledge without action? Don’t work on perfection-just progress. Once you know better, do better.
  3. Keep the goal in mind. It may get frustrating. You both might fall back into old patterns, or you might screw up. Don’t give up….envision the goal.
  4. When things go array, ask yourselves, What can we do better? If you aren’t on the same team, you won’t be working together. Stay away from criticism, blame, and judgment.
  5. If it is too much for you to go it alone,  get a coach or therapist. And surround yourselves with others that are seeking the same level of success. It would help if you were held accountable as well as be encouraged.

Excellence is honed, not given. A good marriage is not luck. It is not good chemistry. It is not finding your soul mate and riding off into the sunset. It is damn hard work, and it is not for the faint of heart.

I encourage you to consider your beliefs about marriage. Is it keeping you stuck or propelling you toward something better?

If you have a goal in mind but find that you don’t know how to reach it on your own, I have two slots that have opened in my midlife marriage breakthrough program. It is a six-month intensive program that will address the most common marriage problems, teach you skills to hone your craft, and put you on the road to excellence. You can go to my website at and learn more about the program. On the contact page you’ll find a link to fill out a questionnaire, and we will set up a free discovery call to discuss where you are. I honestly believe that most marriages would benefit from consulting a professional at some point. Marriage is the challenge I find people are least prepared for. Even in parenting, we consult other parents, read books, articles, and aspire to be the best parents we can be to our children. Not so much in our marriages. We buy into the myth that good marriages are easy marriages. It is a myth.

” Your complaint, your dreams, your victim mentality, your whining, your blaming, and all of your excuses have never gotten you even a single step closer to your goals or dreams. Let go of your nonsense. Let go of the delusion that you deserve better and go earn it!”

Steve Maraboli


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