“I Just Can’t be Cheerful in the Morning.” ~ Alice von Hildebrand


From By Love Refined, Alice Von Hildebrand

“I just can’t be cheerful in the morning.”

Dear Julie,

The French author Balzac writes, “It’s easier to be a lover than a husband, because it’s easier to say witty things occasionally than to be witty every day.”

Balzac is highlighting the fact that an illicit relationship is limited to a short time, when you put on your most attractive face. But marriage is marriage, early in the morning and late at night.

This is one of the difficulties all spouses encounter in marriage: they’re together when they’re not at their best.

As you’ve discovered, sleeping together is a great and beautiful intimacy; but it also means you wake up together, which for most of us isn’t the best moment of the day.

We’re disheveled, groggy with sleep, not interested in talking, and usually rushing around to get ready for the day’s work.

Unless this potentially disillusioning aspect of the intimacy of marriage is counter-balanced by a deepening of your love and spiritual life – and a great measure of patience – it’s bound to cause difficulties that don’t crop up in a casual relationship.

There are ways to deal with these problems. If you’re not cheery in the morning, then talk with Michael about it – but do it later, when you’re brighter and more clearheaded.

Let him know you’re sorry and are trying to change, but aren’t having much success. Assure him that in the early morning he just isn’t encountering your true self and ask him to avoid discussions at these times, because they’re bound to end badly. (Hasn’t Michael asked you to do the same for him when he comes home from work tired and grumpy?)

Yes, Balzac is right: it is easier to be a lover than a spouse, because it’s easier to be at your best occasionally than to be at your best all the time.

But our concern isn’t with what is easier; our concern is with what is more beautiful: a relationship based on the feelings of the moment or a deep enduring love, sealed by marriage, in which the spouses love each other in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, until they’re parted by death.

Marriage is the beautiful mystery of faithful love – a theme so profound and so fascinating that it unleashes in me a torrent of thoughts which I long to share with you.

Your marriage will be blessed because you and Michael see many of the dangers and you’re working to avoid them with your love.

Please give my fondest greetings to Michael,


We are called to be great Apostles of Love in our ordinary, daily life. We are Christ’s Hands and Feet as we wipe noses, feed hungry little ones and change diapers with an attitude of service and love. When we are cheerful to those we rub shoulders with each day, when we kindly open our door to those who enter into our home, we are taking part in Christ’s Apostolic Work. “Jesus was an Apostle in the stable of Bethlehem, in the shop of St. Joseph, in His anguish in Gethsemane and on Calvary no less than when He was going through Palestine, teaching the multitudes or disputing with the doctors of the law.” – Divine Intimacy, Painting by Morgan Weistling http://amzn.to/2p0dxg8 (afflink)

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Book suggestions…

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