Based on an article by Rabbi David Clyman from Aish
It’s is a myth that single life is hard, and married life is easy, the reality is that to get married and to stay happily married, entails hard work. Ultimately in every marriage there will be painful issues to work out and disagreements are inevitable.
Most people seek a pleasurable life. But often real pleasures have a price to pay. When you invest more of yourself, your sense of satisfaction increases proportionately.
Ask a parent, “What’s your greatest pleasure in life?” Chances are they’ll say, “My children.” Ask them, “And what’s your greatest pain in life?” Ten out of ten will say, “My children!” Are these two statements mutually exclusive? No. Because my children are my biggest pain and they are also my biggest pleasure! On the flip-side, if the price I pay is insignificant, the permanence of my accomplishment is short-lived. As the cliche attests: “easy come, easy go.”
Ask a friend, “What’s the opposite of pain?” Most people will say, “Pleasure.” Pleasure is the wrong answer. The opposite of pain is the absence of pain, i.e., comfort. When I don’t have a toothache I’m not full of pleasure — but I’m not in pain either. I’m just comfortable.
To get pleasure you have to actively do something.
The famous physical fitness instructor, Jack Lalane, taught the world “no pain, no gain.” His success principle is not only true for staying in shape, it applies to all of life -– especially to marriage. The pain for gain in married life can be disbursed in a variety of ways -– having to agree on how to reallocate household monies, working on character flaws, deepening emotional commitments or developing a shared life mission with your spouse. Some of these actions are hard choices that require “biting-the-bullet,” but they ultimately lead to a strong relationship that lasts throughout life.
A bumpy ride in marriage can be an opportunity for growth
So when you start having a “bumpy ride” in your relationship, don’t be surprised. Expect it. Relationships are never easy -– even in the best marriages. There will always be things to work out, sacrifices to be made, and changes that we each must undertake to accommodate our spouse.
It’s like my teacher told me: “Being married is like having a second job.” Don’t think that coming home to your spouse means you can lay back, kick off your shoes and vegetate in your comfort zone. Remind yourself, right before you open the front door of your home, “my second job is about to begin.” If you’re ready and willing to “roll up your sleeves” and work on your relationship, you’ve got a good chance to successfully live out many of your married-life dreams.