Ben Affleck Was Right: Marriage IS Work

Love & Sex 9

Yes, Marriage is Work. Thank you, Ben Affleck.Ever since the Oscars ran a few weeks ago, I've heard nothing but criticism for Ben Affleck's now infamous comment about his marriage during his speech. 

"It's good. It is work, but it's the best kind of work. And there's no one I'd rather work with."

Seriously? We're getting upset with that? And we wonder why there are so many marital problems in this country.

I've been quite open and honest about the hard work happening in my own marriage every week in my "Staying Married With Kids" column and have gotten my fair share of criticism. And I'll be honest: I don't really get it.

We grow up with this "happily ever after" nonsense drilled into our heads thanks to fairy tales and societal norms that tell us that we must grow up, and get a job, and get married. And if we don't, we're a failure.

So many of us do that. We do exactly what we're supposed to do. But no one prepares us for how hard marriage can be. And how extra hard marriage with kids can be.

If you're sitting here reading this thinking, "I have no clue what she's talking about," then consider yourself lucky. Or completely ignorant.

Because I think most people, or at least most married people with kids, would say exactly what Ben Affleck said to Jennifer Garner.

And quite frankly, I wish more people WOULD HAVE said that, and would say that now. For some reason, we feel obligated to make it seem like everything is okay from the outside. That it's all cupcakes and roses, which, hey, if it is, more power to you, but if it's not, 'fess up. Be honest. For yourself and for your kids.

I believe wholeheartedly that we need to be honest with our children when it comes to relationships, so that when they grow up and get married and have a hard time (like most of us), they understand that it's normal. And they are not failures if they need counseling or it doesn't work out.

And, better, that they know what to look for in a mate and they understand what they're getting into when they do find someone.

So, Ben Affleck, don't listen to all the haters, the people who would have you think that your speech was somehow inappropriate.

There are many of us who appreciate your candor and your honesty. And agree with you 110 percent.

Do you think marriage is hard work?

 

Image via Getty Images/Kevin Winter

marriage, celeb couples, celeb moms, celeb dads, oscars

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nonmember avatar Alice

What no one is remembering is that Ben won virtually every Award out there this year and at every Award show, Film Festival and Guild Award function he spoke of his love, adoration and said more than once that Jennifer is his everything. Now we come to the Oscars, full circle for Ben and back where he first experienced success! A place he and Jennifer have worked so hard for the entirety of their marriage to get him back to and he does the most beautiful thing, he thanks her for all the effort she has put into the life they have built together and says he wouldn't want to it with anyone else! Marriage is work if you want it to be REAL, loving, and successful. There will be difficulties and times of struggle but if you know that you are prepared to work on it and they evidently do, you will be rewarded in wonderful ways. Good for them and Ben's Thank You was perfect!

nonmember avatar Alice

What no one is remembering is that Ben won virtually every Award out there this year and at every Award show, Film Festival and Guild Award function he spoke of his love, adoration and said more than once that Jennifer is his everything. Now we come to the Oscars, full circle for Ben and back where he first experienced success! A place he and Jennifer have worked so hard for the entirety of their marriage to get him back to and he does the most beautiful thing, he thanks her for all the effort she has put into the life they have built together and says he wouldn't want to it with anyone else! Marriage is work if you want it to be REAL, loving, and successful. There will be difficulties and times of struggle but if you know that you are prepared to work on it and they evidently do, you will be rewarded in wonderful ways. Good for them and Ben's Thank You was perfect!

nonmember avatar kaerae

I don't think you get it. Most people aren't criticizing you for working on your marriage, they're criticizing you for publicly airing your husband's and your private business for money.

Kate McKinney

I remember thinking "What a beautiful speech." It touched me.

Leandra Madden Nessel

I agree, marriage IS work. Something that I think about a lot is the fact that when I moved to college and planned to live with my best friend everyone told me "Don't live with your best friend! It'll ruin your friendship!" And yet, everyone tells you that you're supposed to marry your best friend. And live with that person. And possibly have kids. How is that supposed to work exactly? Hell yes, it's hard. Living with anyone else, male or female, is hard.

Amanda Magee

It really can be hard, harder still when we are mocked when we say it's good and called quitters when we say it's hard.

Vicky Mason

I totally agree that marriage can be hard.  It's a job sometimes that you have to work at, a skill to perfect that will has ebbs and flows.  Just like the vows say- through good times and bad.  I think those of us who talk about how hard it is aren't quitters and those mocking the people who are happy are just a sad lot.


And as for the whole thing about doing this for money- what have women's magazines been doing for the last 50 or so years?  Exactly- using personal experiences from their writers and people interviewed for articles in those magazines to talk about private experiences like marriage.  Ugh.  We write about these matters to relate, help others and find mutual ground.  Writing is a job no matter what the subject.  Are marriage counselors exploiting those who go to them because they receive payment for the counseling sessions?!   

nonmember avatar Karen

Those of you criticizing her for writing about her marital struggles publicly - think...the likelihood that she discussed this with her husband before putting it out there is high. I doubt seriously she would discuss her marital situation out loud if her husband was unaware of it or protested. Give her a little credit.

nonmember avatar Nicole Belz

I think the issue is that while many times times Kristen does talk openly about her struggles and the work being out it. However many of her posts come off belittling her husband and portray him is such a condesending way that as readers it is hard for readers to look at her writing as being anything more than place to complain about her husband.

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