I’m one of those who wouldn’t call my own marriage hard work, because I married someone with whom I just seem to fit perfectly (the ancient concept of split-aparts), but I would say it still requires constant awareness of my wife’s moods and needs - particularly in moments and times of increased stress, distraction and/or fatigue. It means I have to think about her (both qualitatively and quantitatively) more than anyone else - including myself. For many people, it really does feel like hard work, and if my own “awareness” needs to be translated as “hard work” to resonate and motivate someone else, I am perfectly fine with that wording.
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