I really struggled with this, remain displeased, but of course am posting it anyhow…
I passed through my childhood and teens in what I now recognize as a clinically depressive fog, so I remember only three sentences I heard in “Marriage and Family” class. But they were enough, and then some:
Love is not a feeling. Your wedding is just one day. Marriage is work.
That love is an act of the will is a very Catholic notion. If we only practice charity—that is, love—when we “feel like it,” little of it would get done. The bit about “weddings” irritated all the “ginas” in my class, who’d been planning their big days since they’d been old enough to grow mustaches, and had every detail except (maybe) the groom—from bridesmaids’ dresses to bomboniere—lined up already. And hearing that marriage was work made it more, rather than less, appealing to me, if only a little.
Absorbing this information felt so very satisfyingly grown-up, like acquiring a taste for olives, or being able to refer to “my accountant.”
Now, over 25 years later, I’m forced to admit that the marriage I never thought I’d have is more successful when I treat it like a job.