As many of you are no doubt aware, Ben Affleck got a lot of flack after his infamous 2013 Oscar acceptance speech, in which he thanked his (then) wife Jennifer Garner for the “work” that they put into their relationship. This comment prompted an intense backlash, which has been revisited in light of Ben and Jennifer’s divorce earlier this year. Many thought the writing was on the wall, and some questioned the very idea that marriage and work are synonymous, including this pointed article specifically questioning experts’ wisdom that successful relationships do in fact require work. Here’s a key quote from this opinion piece:
…maybe if marriage seems like really hard work, there is something that needs a little fixing…. is our marriage work? It can't be. Because I never feel like I need a vacation.”
Well, perhaps it’s time for the Science of Relationships experts to weigh in. I’ll cut right to the chase: Ben was right. Relationships are hard work. And that’s OK.