“Try”….It’s Not a Dirty Word

Marriages are crumbling all over the place, and man,  it’s sad.

It seems like when you are in your 20’s, everyone you know is getting married.

Then you enter your 30’s, and people start getting divorced.

It’s like “the marriage era”, quickly followed by the “divorce era”.

Affairs happen.  Addiction happens.  Abuse happens.

You know what I think happens more often, though? Way more often?

I think suddenly, spouses find themselves in a position where they are having to TRY. Yes, try.

They may say, “But…I married this person because loving them came easy.  They were my best friend.  We had fun together.  Conversation flowed. Sex was good.  We wanted the same things. It was all EASY.”

Yes, I’m sure it was.

But then kids came, careers took off (or tanked),  tragedy punched you square in the face, and money woes happened. Budgets and schedules became stressful.  Time became a commodity.  You grew older, and everything changed.  The way you look, the things you want, your perspective on life.

And suddenly…..in order for your marriage to remain healthy….in order to remain best friends…in order for the conversation and the sex to remain good…in order to be partners and on the same page…you are now having to TRY. Not always.  Not in every season.  In some seasons, it’s still practically effortless.  In other seasons though, that’s all you are doing, is working at it.  And TRYING.

And here is where the huge disconnect begins. The huge deception.  The huge VALIDATION people use for giving up.

Because you see,  most people think that trying is a BAD thing.  Having to “try” means there must be a problem.  Having to “try” means something isn’t right here.  Having to “try” means we are working too hard at this.  Love is meant to be easy, so if I am having to “try” with this person, it must be that I am with the wrong person.

Wrong, wrong and wrong-er!

False, false, and false-er!

You honestly thought spending 50+ years with the same person, day in and day out, sharing all of life with them, the good, the bad and the ugly, merging two people into one,  was going to be EASY?  Every moment?  That’s what you thought?  You honestly think that if you enter into this same unimaginably crazy (if you really think about it) union with someone else, it’s going to be easy? That you aren’t going to have to, at some point, TRY with them, too?  I’m afraid you are in for a rude awakening.

Man up, here (if you’re a woman, woman up). Put in the work.  “Trying” ISN’T a bad thing. It ISN’T a problem.  It DOESN’T mean something is wrong with your marriage.  It means that you are involved in something beautiful and meaningful and rewarding…..something designed by God himself….and as with anything else beautiful, meaningful, and rewarding (um..kids? A successful career? Running a marathon?)….it’s HARD.  You have to TRY.

I’m very sorry for you if you are involved in a marriage where infidelity, addiction or, God-forbid, abuse has left you with no other option than to leave. I understand that.

But if you are involved in a marriage where you, or your spouse, has simply stopped TRYING…or have begun to view “trying” as a negative thing…stop.  And then start.  STOP viewing it as a negative thing, and START trying again.  And keep on.   I promise you, it’s SUPPOSED to be this way, and it IS worth it.




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  1. I completely agree with a whole lot of this! We hit a pretty bad rough patch and it took a lot of trying on both of our parts to get back on the right track. Some people give up without trying, and some throw in the towel after trying just isn’t enough. I don’t know their story, I just know my own 🙂

  2. What a beautiful post! As much as there are days when effortlessness between partners would be nice – it is SO SO much rewarding when you work at something… You don’t appreciate things as much when they come too easy, and I think marriage can be very similar in that aspect! Thank you for sharing!

  3. I LOVE this perspective. One of my favorite quotes about marriage says something along the lines of “No one stands back from a neglected tree and says, ‘Well, guess that tree wasn’t supposed to live.’ But people do it all the time with their loves.” The fact that we have to put in effort doesn’t mean the love isn’t real, it just means that we understand that the relationship is WORTH investing in. Way to go!

  4. There is so much truth here. Like anything in life, marriage is a choice we make. Love is a choice. Sometimes, it’s an easy choice, but sometimes it’s a hard choice to make. But the rewards of digging your heels in and continuing to make the choice to love, to stay, is so worth it. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I’m so glad you live in a world and a marriage where this line of thinking makes sense. I wouldn’t wish the other side of this – the side where people who have “just tried” for many years have to navigate a life without a partner, a life they never wanted or dreamed they would have – on anyone. I truly am thankful this is your life.

    But when you meet someone who is divorced, I would suggest not asking them if they tried to work things out before leaving. Trust me. They did.

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