To be successful in a relationship requires hard work.
This is something often said as advice or is an observation of what it takes to achieve a level of greatness in a relationship. It's true, but "hard work" as a description sounds exhausting, negative, and possibly frustrating; it doesn't sound fun.
Does this mean one should not work at our relationships?
No, of course not.
But instead of reading the statement as an act of drudgery, it should be seen as what it truly is: an opportunity to put forth an effort into something that is worth the work involved. It is best to turn around the perception of the work as something happily accomplished.
As for the work required in a loving relationship, it's easy most of the time. Work means remembering to say "I love you," being kind and considering, and expressing love in more ways than words. These few examples of "tasks" keep relationships successful, but also feel good for both people involved.
Sometimes the work is a bit more difficult. It might mean saying "I am sorry," forgiving a partner, or choosing compromise over a win in an argument. Like the easier work, these too lead to relationship success.
Similar to the work required in relationships, it's also hard work training for a marathon, learning to speak a foreign language, giving birth, completing a higher education degree, and raising kids. Ask anyone who has accomplished one of these rewarding endeavors if it was hard work, but also rewarding. As the cliché goes, it was most likely a labor of love for those who have achieved one or many of these undertakings.
Do the work-regardless of the level of difficulty–and enjoy the positive results.
It will be worth it.