When we get married, most of us believe deep down that while lots of marriages are really hard, our marriage will be different. We all start out so eager to encourage, support, and please each other. We are marrying a wonderful person whom we love to the moon and back, and chose to marry. We won't be alone anymore. We will have great sex as often as we please. Singleness was hard; by comparison, marriage should be easy. Sure there may be hard things here and there, but when we lock arms with our soul mate, the mountains will melt under our feet. Adam seemed to feel this way. When Adam first saw the woman God had created to be his companion, he could not contain his joy: "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" (Genesis 2:23). Somewhere deep inside, Adam appreciated that the woman, being formed by God from Adam's own flesh to be his helper, would meet needs of companionship, support, and pleasure like nothing else God had created. And she would, for God saw that it was "not good that the man should be alone" (Genesis 2:18), and in his compassion, God created the perfect mate for Adam.
Adam's expectations were as high as they could be on that first day. Unlike those of us that followed, Adam had not yet been corrupted by sin and seen its consequences when he first saw Eve. But his understandable, even righteous, naiveté did not keep him from the harsh realities to come. The pretty picture of friendship and intimacy tragically and violently falls apart in Genesis 3.
Did God somehow make a mistake? Did he not see that the weakness in judgment of this woman would lead them both — and all of mankind that followed — into destruction? Did he not see that the marriage between Adam and Eve would be harder than they could have ever imagined? They literally gave up paradise to struggle for every mouthful of food. No marriage has ever been easy.
The amazing thing is that we always seem to expect it will be for us.