the best kind of work

posted on: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

i watched the Oscars on Sunday night with the rest of America.
i had mad respect for Seth McFarlane (words i never thought i'd say) for hosting it so flawlessly
i fell in love with Jennifer Lawrence as she fell down the stairs
i, too, wished Daniel Day-Lewis had delivered the Gettysburg Address in character in lieu of an acceptance speech.

but Ben Affleck got me.
the beard was everything
i thought he addressed his being snubbed for Best Director with incredible grace in his Best Picture acceptance speech
and above all, i loved what he said to his wife about their marriage.

it's so refreshing to see a Hollywood couple stay married for longer than 45 minutes
and to publicly acknowledge the work that goes into making a marriage successful.
because it's true.
it's work. hard work.
but it IS the best kind of work.

i love this Huffington Post article written about Ben's speech.
the author is absolutely right.
anyone who thinks that the work is over they day they say "i do"
is kidding themselves. or, they just don't get marriage.
she talks about how it's a trade-off. a choice.
you choose to exchange
"the toil and risk of dating for the toil and risk of marriage"
because you believe it will be worth the risk.

i agree with her 100%.

walking home from the gym the other day,
Nick asked me what it is in life that i've pushed myself the hardest for
i hesitated, thinking, and he answered for me, "is it me? our marriage?"
and we both cracked up.
but it's kind of true.
through medical school, and joining the Air Force, and being the oldest of five kids
the thing i've worked the hardest for, is us.

there are days when the work is easy.
thank God for those days, amiright?
but they lull you into a false sense of security, such that when they are inevitably followed by those days when the work is hard---really really really hard---it surprises you.
knocks you on your ass.
you think to yourself, surely something is wrong. surely it can't be meant to be this hard.
and as someone who grew up in the Disney princess generation,
i can't help but wonder if Hollywood had something to do with perpetuating that fallacy in all of us.
so it's refreshing when someone in Hollywood shakes things up and stays married
and is honest about the work that goes into it
and how truly good it is.

photo: by Jessica Lorren, taken on our wedding day


  1. I've bristled quite a bit over the speculation that because he called their marriage "work" then obviously Ben and Jennifer are splitting up. (She and I have been on a first name basis since Alias... but that's a different story.) Marriage IS work- and if you don't think it is, good luck having one that lasts.
    As for your last paragraph, it's exactly why I say I don't believe in "love" (with the quotation marks). I believe in common goals, shared passions, a good dose of lust, and A LOT of determination and work. But "love" as presented by pop culture? And I mean pop culture from Shakespeare and Jane Austen on through chick flicks and (gag me) Nicholas Sparks? Nope. I do think that sets us up with unrealistic expectations and the idea that we can just sit back and have a perfect, dreamy life with another person, everything going our way... oh wait. If both of you feel that way- there's the work!

    But once again, YES. I love that you're so open about truths.

  2. HOT DAMN, do i agree with everything you have said here- he seriously moved me so much with his honesty. and i love when i hear other people talk about the work they put into their relationships- because it makes me feel... more secure? comforted? in my own level of work put into this marriage... i once read a quote that said, "marriage is easy if you work hard at it, it's hard if you work easy at it."

    also, i thought seth was hILARIOUS and his jokes funny, if a little inappropriate. and JLaw? i'm forever a fan of hers after her trip AND the oscar pressroom AND her reaction to jack nicholson... TOO FUNNY!

  3. Gosh, so perfectly put it gave me chills, Em. Thanks for sharing that article, too. I have been so incredibly grateful for my marriage lately, and even for the fact that it has been so, so hard for us at times. I feel like our roots are growing so strong and deep because of it. Loved hearing your thoughts on this!

  4. What a great post. I think about this often as well. I've always had dreams of what marriage should look like and a lot of that had to do with my parents. They have an amazing marriage, but I know now that they had to work for it. My husband and I had a hard first couple of years, but have really settled in and figured out what we both need out of the relationship. Marriage is hard! But boy am I glad I don't have to date anymore!

  5. So true. It does take work. And it takes NOT GIVING UP EASILY! I know I've quoted (paraphrased) her in comments before, but in the HBO documentary on George Harrison his wife was asked what kept them married for so long and she said "Not getting divorced". Duh, right? But for us, after almost 19 years (?!?!?) it's worked. We've never done the "break up - get back together" thing. Sticking it out through the tough times has always led us to the good times. Even after all this time, we still have bad days, but we don't want to give up now! :P

  6. This post. It made me tear up.


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