Critique of the Saying, “Marriage is Hard. Divorce is Hard. Choose Your Hard”


There’s a meme going around the internet and it starts with the line “Marriage is Hard. Divorce is Hard. Choose Your Hard.”


This maxim annoys me. It was written by some smug person who doesn’t get it.


They suggest a bad marriage is easy to fix. All you need to do is invest the same amount of time and money into your relationship that they do, and PRESTO! Your marriage will be great.


Or alternatively, if you just invested the same time and money in the marriage as you would to get a divorce ...  BINGO! Easy to fix!


That’s naive and Pollyanna-ish.


This adage misses the truth: We’ve already invested time and money and emotion and it didn’t make the marriage safe, respectful, and loving.


We’ve already invested years of effort, worry, and concern trying to fix this marriage. And it didn’t move the needle.


We’ve already given it our all. We’ve sacrificed our health and well-being. We’ve become a shadow of our former selves. We’ve bought a million marriage books. We’ve attended the marriage retreats. We’ve prayed and fasted. We’ve tried to set up therapy appointments that our spouse will attend. We’ve turned ourselves inside out to be more agreeable, sexually enthusiastic, and positive.


We’re done pursuing that option.


Marriages, where there's malice, indifference, abuse, cheating, or addictions, are impossible to fix single-handedly. It's the abuser, cheater, egotist, or addict who needs to change. The invested spouse has already given enough. Don't ask them to give more.


This isn’t “Choose your hard.” It is more like “Choose your impossible.”


My reply to others who say this? "Hey, honey, why don't you marry my ex and see how it goes?!"

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