Battling It Out Through Marriage…


I do not normally watch daytime TV but having a couple of days off after Christmas, I found myself watching the Queen Latifah’s talk show one day.  On this particular show, her guest was the actor Will Smith and the topic of his marriage came up.  Will was talking about the rumor that circulated about him about a year ago saying his wife Jada had filed for a divorce.  One thing he said in this conversation has stuck with me for a few days – he said that “marriage is a constant battle”… at the time I thought “why would he use  the word battle to describe a marriage…?”

I started to think about how my husband and I have had some challenging battles to fight during the years of our marriage.  We  have had to deal with serious illnesses, family issues, employment (or unemployment) concerns and financial challenges at one time or another over the course of our twenty-year marriage.  As I  have been thinking about Will Smith’s comment,  I have to say that I agree… whether we want to admit it or not,  marriage is a battle… it takes the willingness to battle it out and fight to the very end in order to have a successful marriage:

  1. When we first decide to get married,  it is like signing up to enlist in the armed forces.  We are excited… it feels like a new adventure and most of us think it will be a piece of cake… really… what can be so hard about it?  We believe in ourselves and our abilities.  I doubt we think that things are going to change too much.
  2. Early marriage is a training ground.  We learn what is expected of us and our partners learn what we expect of them.  We learn who is the drill sergeant in our home (and at what times he/she is going to show up).  We learn that it sometimes may be better to keep quiet and just follow along versus starting a civil war over something that could later be seen as inconsequential in the whole scheme of things.
  3. Sometime in marriage, the stress of the battle can bring out internal conflict.  I am of the belief that if someone says they have never fought or gotten angry with their spouse, they are either lying or simply don’t have the energy/passion to disagree or get mad (neither of which sounds like a powerful framework for marriage).  A winning marriage is learning how to resolve internal conflict through negotiation and not leaving each other with severe battle wounds.
  4. Sometimes a partner in the marriage goes AWOL (divorce or death), making us feel like we are left to fight the battle on our own.  Fortunately, most of us have an army of people who are ready, willing and able to step in and help us move through the darkness and return to a fulfilling life without permanent injury.
  5. In marriage, we battle it out side by side against a multitude of enemy(s):  illness (mental or physical), financial issues, addictions, aging and/or death.  We are partners who slay the dragon(s) together… doubling our individual strengths versus trying to fight the enemy alone.

Yes,  sometimes we need to battle it out through our marriage(s)… we battle together to keep it healthy… we battle together to keep it strong

What are your thoughts on the use of the term “marriage is a battle..”?  Do you agree or disagree?  Why or why not?

6 thoughts on “Battling It Out Through Marriage…

  1. I agree that marriage is a battle but not necessarily because we are battling our spouse but instead are battling the enemy. Marriage is supposed to create unity and where two people come together to become one even stronger force. The enemy is anything that threatens division in that unity; especially in today’s climate and culture where everything is “disposable”. It could be drugs, alcohol, finances, illness, pornography or self centered thinking.

    1. Thanks for the reply Shawn. I agree with you about your comment on the “disposable” climate and culture that we see ourselves in at time. We see famous people in the entertainment industry marry, divorce, marry and divorce at what seems like a drop of the hat. Yes, marriage is about creating unity and it feels so much better to have a partner to help us battle the demons that sometimes plague our world.

  2. I agree with Shawn’s comment. Although in my marriage, we have somewhat of a blended family, and our disagreements (battles) typically surrounded parenting. Our kids are now grown, we made it! It still pops up now and then if one of the kids gets in a tight spot, but Mom (me) pretty much wins. A child’s a child for all their life.

  3. Lori, thanks for the comments. I think for most blended families, the issues that show up usually surround our parenting beliefs and expectations and I personally know the battles that arise from a marriage that blends two families together. I feel blessed that our kids too have grown up and we have very strong bonds as a family… blending our family when the kids were so young has truly erased the word “step” from the equation!

  4. #4 is true to my life. AWOL spouse due to death. However, not everyone is your army. Because not everyone knows how to deal or fully mourned themselves. It’s been 5 years since my husbands passing and my life has taken a 180. I can’t get my family to see it as ” gods plan for him” and they think I should not move on. I don’t want to forget about my late husband. I just want to find happiness, joy and fulfillment in my life again. I was 36 when he left us, due to cancer. My life has been at a standstill and even went backwards since hid death.

    1. Patty, I am so sorry to hear about your husband’s passing. 36 is awfully young to have to experience such a life changing and devastating event. However, I can hear through your words that you are ready to move forward and create a new life that is your dream of a truly fulfilling life. As a coach, I believe that healthy humans have the resources and creativity within us to create the life and fulfill the vision we have for ourselves. Sometimes creating the plan for our future requires us to figure out how to handle others who we may feel are “stopping” us. IF you check out my website’s page about grief coaching, I think you will see that you do not need to be alone in your journey and I would be very happy to set aside some time to talk to you by phone to talk about what your vision looks like and how you could move forward in action versus staying at a standstill or feeling like you are sliding backwards. You can reach me several ways: through my website contact page at:, via email at:, by phone at: 952-210-3767. Peace flowing out to you! Pat

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