>Telling the truth about marriage…

oscarsWhen I heard Ben Affleck’s Oscar speech, all I could think was, “OMG, he’s telling the TRUTH!” Then I thought, ‘ohhh, he’s going to get slayed for it.’

Because no one tells the truth about marriage; ‘It takes work’ has become a cliché, to be thrown around randomly; just try saying it at your next dinner party, if you want to observe an awkward silence. It’s definitely not something that people actually talk about, certainly not on live TV! Even for Ben, it seems like the truth accidentally slips out – you see the split second at which he realizes what he just said – that Jennifer works on their marriage. Then, he bravely decides to let it all out – acknowledging how freaking hard the whole thing is, and how rewarding it can be. It’s the best kind of work,” he says, and we remember that the most rewarding experiences of our lives are the ones which carry challenges.

To stay connected with your partner, you need to give them your time and energy consistently, whatever that means for you; even when all you want to to is flop on the couch to watch The Biggest Loser with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Probably especially then, actually.

…and there’s no one I’d rather work with.” he says, reminding us that it’s much better to have a partner by your side. Because when life throw’s crap at you, they help you manage and eventually clean up the crap. And they tell you if you still have crap on your face, which is immensely helpful. Maybe later you’ll even laugh about the crap, because only they really know what it means to you, because you got through it together.

So the next time someone throws around that cliché about ‘marriage is work’, maybe you ask them what they do to work at it, maybe you share with them what it is you do to work on your relationship. Maybe we start a more truthful dialogue about how relationships actually work; at the very least you might get some good ideas to try on yours.

If you find yourselves uneqipped for such a conversation (i.e., with nothing to share about what you do to work at your relationship,) perhaps you should go find your partner and talk about what you intend to do better – to work at it.

The speech heard ’round the world…

 


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