18 words that accurately describe what married life is like for most couples

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This is a #inbrief article, which means it is super short, easy to take in, and quicker to read.

1. Work: very few marriages are what you’d call easy. Most take a lot of work to keep them healthy and as happy as possible for the two people involved. You have to make time, you have to put in the effort, you have to pull your weight.

2. Togetherness: it sounds obvious, but when two people commit to spending their lives as a married couple, it implies that you will be together not just physically but in terms of unity and working as a team for your mutual success and well-being.

3. Acceptance: no marriage gets very far without both partners being able to accept each other for who they are, flaws and all. You have to accept differences, you have to validate feelings, you have to show some understanding of why your spouse might be acting the way they are.

4. Comforting: a healthy marriage should feel like a safe space where you can be yourself and express vulnerability. There is a level of comfort there that allows you to feel grounded and reassured.

5. Commitment: when you marry someone, you are expressing a desire to spend the rest of your lives together. That is a major commitment, and you must keep demonstrating that commitment over time. True devotion is not a one-off thing.

6. Adventure: life is one big adventure, and marriage can be a major part of that. It is a journey full of twists and turns, plans and spontaneity, ups and downs. It will certainly keep you on your toes.

7. Imperfect: no marriage is a perfect utopia where both spouses exist in a state of marital bliss. Every marriage is flawed because every person is flawed, and the reality is those flaws will reveal themselves again and again.

8. Evolution: a marriage of 10 years will look quite different to one of 3 months. Likewise, a marriage of 50 years will not entirely resemble a marriage of 10 years. Both partners will grow, sometimes together, sometimes in and of themselves. Circumstances change too, and they can shape the state of the marriage for better or worse.

9. Tension: when two people come together in a serious long-term relationship, tension is inevitable. Boundaries will be tested, personal space invaded, differences exposed. The limits of patience will sometimes be reached.

10. Investment: marriage is an investment into each other and into the vessel that is married life itself. You hope for good returns on that investment, and quite often you get more out if you’re willing to put more in.

11. Space: the lifelong commitment of marriage provides a shared space in which to love and be loved, support and be supported, see and be seen. It also creates a space in which you will both hopefully feel you belong.

12. Consistency: life tends to involve a great deal of routine, and marriage is no different. Only, the routines involve two people weaving their needs and responsibilities together. Consistency can represent security in an otherwise insecure world.

13. Monotony: while consistency can feel secure, it can also feel boring at times. Life can sometimes overwhelm a marriage and make it feel more like a contract than a commitment. Which is why you must keep investing in it and making the effort.

14. Compromise: there’s no way two people can live happily together without a bit of give and take. You can’t always get your own way in a marriage, but neither should you always have to yield to your spouse’s wishes.

15. Patience: a marriage won’t get very far if you expect your spouse to get things right first time or behave in the way you want all the time. Sometimes they might take a little time to adopt a new habit, and sometimes they won’t be able to change in the ways you’d like them to (refer back to #3, #9, and #14).

16. Challenging: marriage is not without its struggles. You will face obstacles to your love and friendship at times. And external stressors need to be factored in too. All in all, don’t expect an easy ride. Sometimes it will be easy, other times it’ll be hard.

17. Perseverance: marriage is something you just have to keep going with, keep working on, keep trying to smooth out the rough edges where possible. You can’t give up at the first sign of trouble, nor even the 10th sign of trouble.

18. Partnership: healthy marriages, like all healthy relationships, involve two people becoming equal partners in YOU+ME PLC. They have to work together to keep the business of married life profitable for all those involved so that they can reap the dividends that come from forging the ultimate commitment together.

About The Author

Steve Phillips-Waller is the founder and editor of A Conscious Rethink. He has written extensively on the topics of life, relationships, and mental health for more than 8 years.