Are relationships really hard work?
I’ve read an article from Thought Catalog that reacts to Ben Afflect’s thank you speech to wifey, Jennifer Gardner, citing that marriage has been hard work and yet how glorious is it to work hard beside your wife. His words were:
His words were:
“I want to thank my wife … for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good … it IS work, but it’s the best kind of work … and there’s no one I’d rather work with.”
People reacted negatively to it.
“Whaaat?!” they exclaimed. “Marriage is hard work? To Jen, one of the sweetest celebrities around?! You must be kidding”
I have to commend Ben for being so honest despite the minor backlash. It’s not easy to have the courage to say truth as it is, and expect popularity. Sometimes, you have to give these brave souls some credit — they have the guts to actually call a spade, a spade. Even though it doesn’t make them Mr. or Mrs. Popular.
It makes me reflect on my own relationships. On whether they were truly hard work or not.
My last relationship for example should’ve been smooth as a baby’s bottom. My last ex-boyfriend was Mr. Nice to Everyone, and was in many ways a Good Boy.
And yet, it wasn’t that smooth.
I remembered pondering at the start of our relationship why the hell we kept on arguing about little things (e.g., saying goodbye on long distance Skype calls) when his personality didn’t really deserve it. He was not argumentative and basically did many of the things I’ve requested.
Regardless of such scenario, I found myself being more irritated at him, at him being himself.
And I felt bad, because I couldn’t understand why.
I would pout and sulk, and act immature when I didn’t get my way. In fact, I am not that proud to be a girlfriend at that time. I was often times a child, and I couldn’t understand how strong and independent I can be with others, while with him, I was like a child, often insisting on getting my own way.
Given his personality, it could’ve been a smooth relationship.
But it wasn’t.
In fact, we argued a lot. Even if it was a long distance relationship and we often saw each other once a month, we would often fight the day before he flew to Hong Kong, and the day after he arrived back in Singapore. I scratched my head as to why.
Of course, it also didn’t help that I was somewhat bored in the relationship, and tried to instigate him just to get a reaction. Even though I was a child, he would not berate me. He would not tell me off. So in a way, I was spoiled and I got worse.
Anyway, it was a relationship that was supposed to be smooth, but wasn’t.
It also didn’t help that his parents hated me and didn’t want me as his girlfriend. And my dad didn’t like him either. They thought he was hiding something (which later proved to be true).
Fast forward to now, I am dating a guy who people would almost always have a reaction to.
He was like a talking time bomb.
Often times, he would cite certain truths out loud, which would invite negative reactions from more sensitive and insecure souls. Whereas Ex Boyfriend was Mr. Nice, boyfriend is Mr. Direct and Super Straight Forward.
He is a happy person, and oftentimes acted and looked younger than his actual age. My mom would often tell him to wear pants instead of shorts because it was more formal and becoming. I personally do not mind his attire, but I would admit he looks extra handsome in a button down shirt and jeans held together with a belt. 🙂
Anyway, a lot of people admit that they could not take him. He is a walking big personality, and many times, misunderstood. Or at least, I think so.
But regardless of the many criticisms I’ve heard from concerned brothers and sisters, it befundles me on why the heck am I not bothered? Instead of reacting and thinking negatively about it, why do I accept his faults as virtues?
Of course, part of it is because I strong believe that innately he is a great preson and does not do anyone any harm. What’s more is that my past experiences lead me to actually view straightforwardness as a virtue, especially since in my last relationship, my Ex was never really that honest.
I wonder today whether I am just in love, and blind. And whether all the naysayers are saying are true.
Then again, I shake my head.
Que sera sera.
C’est La Vie.
Let’s leaves fall as they may.
I think that in a relationship, once you overthink and overanalyze it, it already loses its zest. If you worry too much about the dooms of tomorrow, you can never truly enjoy it.
And of course, I refuse to fall into that trap.
All I know is that, 1) It is smooth sailing for us despite several challenges that has been thrown our way, 2) We can talk and I enjoy his company, and 3) He makes me happy.
I think the happiness part cannot really be discounted. And fortunately, at this moment, he feels the same way.
In the end, I think there will always be people who talk. The most important thing is whether or not you think you are happy with whom you are with.
And if you are happy, well, work becomes a pleasure.
So Affleck was indeed right.
How about you? Do you think your relationship is work that is a burden or a pleasure? 🙂