As a mother of two toddlers, I can definitely agree that parenting is hard! The temper tantrums, the power struggles, the messes to clean up…you know where I’m coming from. You know something else I could have just described? Marriage. And it is my belief that marriage is even harder than parenting. Who’s with me?
There is a reason for it, I believe, and it’s really quite simple: as a parent, at the end of the day, I’m in charge no matter how much my toddler thinks she is. I call the shots, and if my orders aren’t followed, well…there is some sort of consequence that follows. Who would like to hear his or her spouse say that about their relationship?!
None of us would, of course, and that is one reason of many that marriage is more complex. My husband is not the boss of me, nor am I of him. I can’t tell him what to do—well, scratch that. I can try but there is nothing I can do if he refuses, except maybe give him the silent treatment. Which in his mind is probably not a punishment!
For all the jokes about women being “secretly” in charge or the comic strips when a man “puts his foot down” marriages are often chock full of power struggles. We consider ourselves equals now, and usually each couple chooses what roles go to which spouse. If that works for you, great. If in your relationship the man or woman is in charge, great. Whatever works for your relationship is what you should do, without guilt or shame at what society would think.
Marriage is hard work, and the truth of the matter is that less than half of them last. Maybe you have even been divorced yourself. There is no shame in that, but if we want to keep our marriages together we need to become expert problem solvers, and sometimes that means trying something we wouldn’t normally consider. We have to work together, with our spouse, to make these relationships work! If you’re anything like me, you’ve thrown a tantrum or two within your marriage, but at the end of it all we are sane adults who can put our heads together to figure out how to work best together so that we can achieve our own version of happily ever after.