One of my least favorite moments in life happens over and over again because I’m married.
I’m talking about that moment in a fight when it dawns on me that I am completely and utterly wrong. A light bulb goes off somewhere in my head, and I realize that the words coming out of my mouth no longer make any sense. It’s a terrible moment, really, because I know what’s next: I have to admit that I’m wrong, apologize, and stomach the fact that I hurt the person I love.
This is only one example of many different types of difficult moments married people face. But you know what? Marriage is absolutely worth having to fight through all of these issues.
(Before getting into the reasons why marriage is worth the hard work, I want to acknowledge those cases where it truly is best for married couples to separate. Life doesn’t always go as we plan, and that’s just life.)
If you want a reason to celebrate your marriage, or if you’re struggling in your relationship right now, here are 12 reminders of what makes marriage pretty awesome (and worth the hard work):
1 | Your spouse sees you at your worst…and they still love you.
I once considered trying my hand at stand-up comedy. The problem is that I’m not funny (seriously). Even during these questionable moments in my life, my wife still loved and supported me. More importantly, though, she sees me when I’m depressed, sad, ugly, and annoying and she still loves me. There isn’t much out there more powerful than that.
2 | You get the sex without all the baggage.
No STDs and no one-night stands. You don’t have to guard your emotions for fear your partner might leave, and there’s much less explaining if you unintentionally get pregnant. Married sex is the way to go.
3 | You always have someone to experience things with.
When I went to Hawaii and looked at the breathtaking Hanalei Mountains, I reached over and grabbed my wife’s hand. Experiencing those kinds of once-in-a-lifetime things with my wife is incredibly meaningful. When something awesome or awful happens, you always have someone by your side to rejoice or empathize with you.
4 | You enjoy the beauty and insanity of your kids together.
When your child says something cute or funny, you have someone to turn to and laugh with. When your child screams unrelentingly or acts annoying for hours on end, you can help each other return to sanity.
5 | You can gossip with each other (and it’s okay).
When you gossip with your friends, it usually ends up backfiring – your friends trust you less or think you’re trite. But with your spouse, you can gossip together and it’s actually okay.
6 | You can dream together.
I have dreams of traveling to Europe and Africa one day. When I tell my coworkers about these dreams, they nod and look at me with a sideways glance. When I tell my wife these things, she jumps on board wholeheartedly and dreams with me.
7 | You can build a legacy together.
One day, your children will accomplish wonderful things, and they will start having their own children, and all of this will have come from your marriage.
8 | Your spouse calls you out on things (in a good way).
When you have something in your teeth or when you’re about to voice your opinion on the election at your family gathering, your spouse is there to compliment the food and elbow you before you say something you’ll regret.
9 | Your spouse reminds you of your best attributes.
My wife has made a habit of telling me about the things I do well. With the beatings-down that we’ve all taken (particularly this year), having a cheerleader by your side is a Godsend.
10 | You always have someone to talk to.
The other day, I received some bad news at work, but being able to talk to my wife about it felt like lifting a ton of bricks off of my shoulders. It’s wonderful to have someone who will both laugh about mundane day-to-day things and also ponder deep life questions with you.
11 | Marriage encourages two-parent households.
Research suggests that two-parent households can be beneficial to children, in part because “the same skills that make marriages work (like commitment and patience) also come handy for good parenting.”
12 | Tax benefits (hooray!).
Okay, I’m only putting this one in here because my day job has to do with taxes. Basically, you pay less taxes as a married person than you do as a single person.