There could you many out there who disagree with the contention that marriage is hard work. Kind of like housework, if you will, since it's never ending. And the funny thing is you might find it astonishing, but nobody else does. Because everyone is also doing their own dance in their own way.
I remember the time when I used to say something nice to my husband before critiquing him over some chore he did not do my (the OCD) way. Somewhere along parenting and hormonal imbalance I seemed to have lost the need to preface a criticism with a compliment—I just say "cover the casserole dish before heating it in the microwave." Yes, very down to the basics-type communication. I am not saying that the romance has fizzled out, but it's just that we have found more practical ways to look at it.
If you are in an imperfect marriage that requires work, then you are in the right place.
Love comes in so many hues.
For example, many couples replace the mushy love that once made them go weak in the knees with the sentimental kind that one feels while watching one's spouse waltz a sleepless colicky baby to sleep.
We develop love based on connection that helps us decode our partner's gaze across a roomful of people without him/her having to use words.
Then there is the accepting love that stops us from judging one another based on the deepest and darkest secrets and stops us from trying to settle scores.
There's companionship love that lets us laugh at each other's gaffs while agreeing to disagree over more serious matters.
And then there is the smart love that makes you overcome the urge to kill one another over each other's annoying habits. Because as it happens, the only way to negate your partner's irritating habit is to know that you might have an even more annoying one! Irritating habits cancel each other out.
I am told that there is no perfect love, folks, just like there are no perfect relationships. So that means if you are in an imperfect marriage that requires work, then you are in the right place.
Happy Valentine's Day to imperfect love.