I can hardly believe that I am writing this post. I am not particularly a Ben Affleck fan. I like him well enough, and I do like quite a few of his movies. For example, Chasing Amy, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Goodwill Hunting, Daredevil, Paycheck, and The Sum of All Fears, but I haven’t been chomping at the bit to write about him.
Now let me preface this by saying that I didn’t watch the Oscars, cause I don’t particularly care who wins at awards shows etc… The past couple of days however, I have kept seeing posts about Ben Affleck’s weird acceptance speech, and the possibility that he and Jennifer Garner may be having marital problems etc… So finally the curiosity got the best of me and I watched the speech:
All I got from it was a very honest and heartfelt expression from a husband to a wife. I guess people were surprised that it wasn’t some cliche thanking the love of his life who helped make it all possible… blah blah blah. Instead he said thanked her for working on their marriage for “10 Christmases”. He said “It is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.”
As a veteran of almost 13 years of marriage I can tell you that what he said was right on, and without knowing anything about their marital status if anything I would say that is a sign that they have a good marriage, because, newsflash… marriage IS hard. It takes work and partnership and you work at it everyday. Sometimes it is easy… Sometimes you need serious help and maintenance to keep it moving. I have never made a movie, let alone a movie worthy of an Oscar, but I can only imagine the stress involved and the time it takes to do something like that. Add to that responsibilities for a relationship with a spouse, and relationships with children, and you have a complicated situation to navigate.
I have a fairly regular job, the time I commit to it is consistent and I generally have my evenings and weekends free to focus on my family. Even in that scenario my marriage, to a woman who I absolutely love and can’t imagine being without, has been hard, sometimes very hard. We have had to work hard, sacrifice, get outside help, etc… When my work/life balance has gotten out of balance my wife has picked up the slack and I in turn have tried to shoulder an extra load when her balance has shifted. Now everyone, whether you are a “Hollywood A-list” couple like Ben and Jen or “Joe Average” like My wife and me, makes choices about career and family that you ultimately are responsible for. The success you experience in those areas of your life is dependent on the amount of work that you put into it. If you want both to be successful it will take more work.
As much as I can’t believe I am saying it I think Ben Affleck nailed the formula for success, if we all want to have successful marriages we will need to be able to say to our spouses:
“Thank you for working on our marriage… It is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.”