Remembering Marriage is a Choice

“I always try to remember it was our choice. We chose this life.”

This is what one woman said in a recent conversation I had with a couple of other women that really got me thinking. We were discussing the ups and downs of marriage, especially when one partner is stressed. We shared that our spouses were the ones who received the brunt of our frustrations. We were all thankful to have supportive partners, but each admitted how hard marriage can be when there are outside stressors.

We joked that we were the hardest on our spouses because there is no one else we trusted to see that part of our emotions. We agreed that we yell and fight because of our love and trust in them. The conversation ended in laughter, but I walked away wondering why it has to be this way. Is this really the way all marriages are? Is this the rarely talked about truth of marriage? Can you have a healthy lasting marriage if you are continually “taking out” your frustrations on your partner rather than with your partner?

I am guilty of this as much as anyone. I work very hard and sometimes when I get to a breaking point I am testy with my husband. I get frustrated and take it out on him, but then I feel bad because truly we have a great marriage. We do love and support each other. We do root for each other to succeed. We are very much in love and are as happy (if not happier) than any other couple I know. Yet, we can be rude and short-tempered with each other. And we are not this way with anyone else.

I am not an expert in marriage (obviously since this is my second one), but I do know that almost every woman I have spoken to who has been married more than five years, especially with children,  admits to the same thing.

We have all heard that marriage is hard. We have all heard the jokes. It is not news to anyone that couples argue or struggle from time-to-time. There are many transitions in relationships and they become heightened when parents of young children feel overwhelmed, or couples are having financial difficulties, or there is extra pressure at work.

I don’t have the solutions, but I do know that remembering your marriage is more than a commitment, but a choice does help. You choose your partner. You are traveling this road of life together and you have to remember that your partner is not the enemy. He or she is supposed to be YOUR person. You should feel comfortable enough to express your emotions, but this does not mean you have to express them AT your partner.

This is something I am working on. Okay, this is something I want to work on. My marriage deserves more and so does yours.

Are you guilty of taking out your frustration on your partner? Please leave a comment or join the discussion on the Tiny Steps Mommy Facebook Page.


For 8 years and three months (not that I’m counting) I have been happy with my choice.



Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and business owner who lives in the suburbs outside Washington, DC with her husband and four children. She started her career as a journalist and copy editor. She also managed public relations and corporate communications for a national franchise company, but in 2006 started a child care business. In 2012, she launched Tiny Steps Mommy, a lifestyle and parenting blog that quickly gained a following and connected her to an expansive group of women-owned businesses. In 2013, she started a digital marketing consulting business that focused on growing community in an authentic way. Through those connections she was inspired to open Play, Work or Dash, a coworking space that also offers onsite childcare up to three hours per day. It is where like-minded professionals pursue their business goals with the extra level of support parents desire; a place where you "bring your kids to work." She is an active member of the Washington, DC blogger community. She has been published on The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and Pop Sugar.




  1. Great topic…and important points to remember! I think you shared some very ‘real’ experiences that many of us go through. Thanks for the reflections and inspiring us to think more about this! 🙂

  2. Great topic…and important points to remember! I think you shared some very ‘real’ experiences that many of us go through. Thanks for the reflections and inspiring us to think more about this! 🙂

  3. Another great article. I think learning how to express frustration without taking it out has been key for me. I have started saying “I’m not angry at you, I’m just frustrated and have to talk about it with you….” Sometimes this is enough of an outlet. But, you’re right, there are dozens of conscious choices to make every day to make a marriage last.