Marriage is hard.
There are tons of great things about marriage, of course. Love. Sharing. Partnership. Never having to pick up another dead cockroach or live spider ever again. Someone to binge watch Supernatural with. That stuff is great.
But don't be fooled for a second by all those romance novels. Before marriage, the blinders about marriage need to come off. Romance novels make it seem as though spouses never fight, that they agree about everything, and that they have sex like rabbits. Don't be fooled by those romantic movies, either, where Richard Gere rides in to save the day and carry off his love. That sort of romantic stuff may happen during the initial stages of a relationship, but the bloom wears off the rose pretty quickly once the marriage is on the books.
That's when those bad habits that we developed when we were single show themselves. While you were single, it didn't matter that you left half-full glasses all over your apartment until they grew legs and migrated to the kitchen sink. When you were single, you could hang out on the couch all weekend without showering, or eat food right out of the container, or order take out every night.
They were bad habits when we were single and lived alone, with nobody to see them. When displayed around your partner, these habits become downright annoying. Yes, your spouse is the love of your life, and they make you complete, but there are just those moments where they get on your last nerve. There are moments that you would rather die than listen to one more story about which audio system is the most innovative or how many gamers prefer Xbox One to everything else on the planet.
That is part of life, and that is part of marriage. Marriage is about reciprocity. You sit and listen to your spouse discuss the finer points of the Marvel universe for hours, not only because it makes him happy, but because there will come a time when you will want to discuss the finer points of crochet, and he will have to reciprocate. Without reciprocity, a marriage becomes tedious for one of the partners. One person is giving and giving and giving, and getting nothing in return. That gets old.
Marriage is also about compromise. Neither person gets their way every time, and each person has to give a little. That's how partnerships work. I will listen to some songs I don't like when we are traveling together, and my spouse should be willing to listen to the music that I like. Compromise. It's not always easy to compromise, because we think that we are right, whether that is true or not. Just because it's difficult doesn't mean that we drop everything and run home. It just means that we work harder.
So what do you think is necessary for a happy marriage?