Let’s face it: relationships can be hard.
Some start off hard, others will likely hit some bumps along the road.
The longer you’re with someone, the greater the chances that you’ll hit some rough spots. It happens in every relationship. Even if the troubles aren’t directly related to the two of you, there will be some mud in the waters at some point.
Some relationships, too, are harder than others. Some couples spend most of their time sailing smooth seas and others always seem to be in a typhoon.
If all relationships are hard, how hard is too hard? Or is there even such a thing as too hard?
I don’t know if there’s such a thing as too hard. At least, not a hard and fast rule for it, anyway.
Let’s look at a scenario, involving a couple, Janice and Elaine (names have not been changed because I made these people up). Anyhoo….
Janice and Elaine’s relationship started out on the rocks.
Janice had never really had a positive romantic relationship. Her relationships had always involved cheating or general lack of trust. There was always arguing no matter who she was with. Janice also came from a family that lived on the rocks too.
Elaine’s situation wasn’t much different. Her parents didn’t have healthy communication patterns, nor did they typically do the stuff that healthy couples are sure to do, like spend time together.
Instead of Janice and Elaine’s situation, it could be just one person in the relationship with a crapload of “issues.”
So, of course, these relationships are just disasters waiting to happen, right?
Maybe. Maybe not.
What if both of the parties are well aware of their issues and are willing to work through them? Or possibly the less flawed partner has endless patience and is willing to hang with her partner through the constant ups and downs.
Look, let’s be real: that won’t work for everybody.
It wouldn’t work for me. Just the thought of constantly having to fight hard battles – even in a healthy way – makes me very, very tired.
I’m a firm believer in the fact that, yes, relationships are work, but they shouldn’t be HARD work, and certainly not all the time.
But some people are down for the fight. The odds are against them – they aren’t the most well matched pair – but they’re willing to fight for it. Often.
I’m not, but it’s ok if you are.
Here’s the thing though: you have to be down for the fight. REALLY down for the fight.
You have to be ready to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work. All. The. Time.
This might mean regular couple’s therapy, because you’re in constant need of a “tune-up.”
This might mean that even the small stuff – like, who does what house work – can turn into something major. And since life is full of small stuff… You see where I’m going.
Here’s what it comes down to:
How willing are you to put in the work, even if it’s a lot of work?
How long can you sustain putting in that work?
I’m never going to be one to tell people that their relationship is too hard or difficult. That’s not for me to judge.
Instead, I would urge you to think about these:
Are you still happy and satisfied?
Does resolving the problems energize or deteriorate your relationship?
In short, ALL things considered,
Is it all worth it in the end?
That’s the magic measurement.