Is Marriage Hard?

I am asked all the time by the press why marriage is so difficult. To back up their question, interviewers cite the high divorce rate, increasing reports of distressed marriages, and the persistence of emotional abuse and domestic violence.

I usually reply to the inevitable “marriage is hard” question with another question: “For whom is marriage hard?”  

Marriage is only hard for those who:

  • Try to make their partners into someone they are not
  • Believe they have superior rights, tastes, preferences, beliefs, or morality
  • Are unwilling to use binocular vision to see their partner’s perspectives alongside their own
  • Believe their partners are selfish, mentally ill, or defective
  • Are unable or unwilling to admire their partners’ strengths and meet their vulnerabilities with compassion and support.


If you are one of those people, marriage will seem impossible. If you’re not, it’s just about negotiation.