talking about the marriage thing

I got rid of some cheesy-marriage-self-help books recently. We are moving and I never had any intention of opening them, so they had to be donated to the used book store down the street. Now someone else can attempt to want to read them. Sadly, I don’t think cheesy “how-to” marital books all that helpful. The thing that has been exponentially more helpful in my growth through the marriage jungle? honest, messy, free-flowing conversations with other women in my life.

I want to be more consistent and transparent on this space about the things that make up my life. I even changed the blog up a bit to allow for that. If you click the marriage category on the right, you won’t find a single post from me, just one outdated post from my dear husband. I’m trying to stick my thumb down on what that’s about. I have always felt free to write about grief, loss, fear, kids, vacations, and baking… so why not marriage? It’s equally messy and equally redemptive. It’s core to who I am and I would not be the same if it were gone. So why no talkie?

Before I left social media a year ago, I didn’t see others sharing much about their marriages, either. There was the occasional date-night selfie, but mostly people were posting about themselves, their kids, their stuff, house, style, legs, or travels. I swear I saw more photos of pets or living rooms than husbands and I never understood why.

A couple summers ago I met a woman in person whom I had followed on Instagram. We got to talking about the parts of her life she chose to share and why / why not. Her children were the focal point of her feed and upon meeting her husband I was almost surprised that he existed, and that they had a healthy marriage. When I expressed this to her, she said something like, “Yeah…I don’t really share photos of him. I have a lot of women followers and I feel like I would just make them jealous if I start to talk about my marriage. Like, some of them are not in good marriages, or some of them aren’t married at all. So I just don’t want them to feel sad or bad about their lives.”

Here’s where, even today, I can’t work out the logic.

We all are living different lives, different stories. That dear woman, as earnest and thoughtful as she was hoping to be, was contradicting herself. There are a lot of women who aren’t able to have kids. There are a lot of women who can’t live in a geographically beautiful place. There are a lot of women who can’t afford an upper-middle class existence. But that didn’t stop her from filling her feed with lovely photographs of her children in beautiful places or in their beautiful home. I care for this woman and respect her dearly, so please don’t hear me trying to push her down at all. I love that she shared about the kid thing. And the beauty thing. And the house thing. I am just trying to figure out:

why don’t we feel like we can share as openly about the marriage thing?

The marriage thing is big, both for us who are married and those who aren’t. If you are married, you might benefit from hearing that there are many dear someones in the fist fight right alongside of you, wrestling with the same stuff you are. Nothing helps us persevere like a good old “you are not alone!” If you aren’t married or you’re divorced, you may benefit from hearing the truth about someone else’s perspective, so you don’t fall into a trap of idolizing the concept, loathing it, or thinking it will be just like your parents marriage if or when it happens to you.

With that in mind, I am going to try to talk about the marriage thing more. 

I’m doing it because I’m practicing honesty, I think it’s a valuable part of my life to process out loud, and I want to share about it in a place where I am held accountable for my words.

But I’m also doing it because I think we make each other more human when we talk about the things we shy away from, and we talk about them in a more honest way than a used book store, marriage – self – help book.

and if you are up for it,
what are your thoughts? why don’t people share about this? I don’t think the personal argument is relevant when so many share about death, depression, sickness, spiritual practices, etc.

really! write me! I want to hear from you on this one.

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Monica Calderin I say go for it! I think one reason why women may hold back from sharing on social media about their marriages is because they may feel like sharing one sided stories is not fair? Like they might be invading their husband’s privacy? I’m just throwing thoughts out there. I know in my case, my husband is not big on sharing on social media. He is a very private person. He doesn’t mind the occasional picture of himself, but he doesn’t like his personal life and thoughts out there. I on the other hand am an open book. Finding balance in that is hard, so I respect his viewpoint and well, like you mentioned about your friend, rarely share my husband. lol

Something to chew on…March 31, 2016 – 9:37 am

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