Welcome to JU!
I agree and disagree.
I've only been married 21 years, but some of those years were VERY HARD work. Each marriage has its own challenges because every marriage has two unique individuals.
No one broad sweeping definition is gonna be right.
I guess the thing in your article which sticks out most to me is
We were in love and although we had a lot to learn in terms of sharing a life, we just put our marriage first and forged ahead, leaning on each other when life got heavy and expecting to be defended and protected whenever problems intruded.
I agree with this for the most part.
It's not always possible to be defended and protected by another though is it? In our marriage when real work comes into play tends to be when hubby is gone for long periods of time.
I am sure you are familiar with "nothing goes wrong till hes gone." A lot of military wives whose husbands are gone for 6 months, a year, a year and a half, have to defend and protect themselves and their children. There's is no immediate "team" and no one physically to have your back.
It is a very difficult transition to go from that to a team mentality again, knowing that in a few months, maybe a year, you will need to do it all over again.
It is also a lot of work to stay connected on an intimate level with someone who is across the world experiencing a whole diff life style, a whole diff life. The kind you can't "share."
People grow and change while apart, and when re-united it is hard work to get to know the changes, adapt to them, accept them, and move on with life...until the next time.
What I'm saying is, your marriage may not be work...but that doesn't mean someone who struggles and fights and yes, WORKS, to stay connected to their spouse, to keep the kids connected, has anything less, or is working a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Marriage ebbs and flows imo. Sometimes its dam hard and requires a lot of work on the actual marriage, tweeks if you will as each individual has personal growth, the marriage has to expand/absorb those changes. Some changes aren't conducive to a team and have to be discarded all together or modified. Habits that must be eradicated, which is very hard work.
One size does def does not fit all when it comes to marriage.