Early morning hiking/running/walking promotes honesty and this morning my friend was feeling particularly blunt, “Did you see Sue’s Instagram last night?” she asked, “The one where she talks about how her husband planned every detail of their family vacation down to train tickets, car rentals and rain ponchos? Ugh, all I asked of my husband this summer was to plan one vacation for our family and he never did.”
I had to laugh just a little, because Sue happens to be another one of my hiking/running/walking friends and I happen to know her marriage contains it’s own conflicts and stresses.
Don’t misunderstand me, we don’t spend our mornings husband-bashing, in fact we pointedly avoid the practice, but these are two of my closest friends and I know their joys and sorrows.
But these two friends don’t know each other– not beyond Instagram and Facebook and occasional gatherings. Of course we’re all responsible for our own reactions, but you’ll have to forgive my friend who works long hours and could use a vacation. And really how can any of us measure up to the marriages of Instagram?
Much has been made about the modern phenomenon of young people throwing away good relationships because books, movies, music, promote, “soulmates” “never had a disagreement” “finding your other half.” (I especially like this BYU Education Week talk).
I do believe there are some marriages where everything rolls along smoothly– I’ve met people who swear they’ve never had a moment of conflict– but for most of us, marriage requires compromise, sacrifice, forgiveness and effort.
For twenty-five years I’ve been married to a gorgeous man, the father of our six children and I’d say we have an extraordinarily happy life together. But it’s been work. He’s not very patient, I’m bad with money; he’s certainly never planned a trip, but he’s also annoyed that I won’t leave the kids and go on vacation with him. Our house is filled with people and chaos and laughter and and sometimes going to bed mad, but it’s always worth getting up the next morning and creating the life we want together.
I’m not suggesting we air our dirty laundry on social media, but a bit of honesty can be refreshing and offer hope to everyone. My favorite Instagram anniversary post came from a friend saying:
“19 years with this guy! 10- wedded bliss; 8- so/so; 1- what the *#%”! did we just get ourselves into??! Thanks for the excellent adventure babe.”
Finally, let me share the words accompanying the lovely photo at the top of this piece. My young friend Meisha graciously gave me permission to share her 1st anniversary post which is, in my opinion, just the right mix of sweet and genuine.
“In the past twelve months I’ve learned we regularly drink an entire gallon of chocolate milk in two days, that we will never agree on the AC temperature– you want it cooler, I’m already freezing, and how much I love praying in our mission languages at night. I’ve learned that I love you more with time, as we build a life. And that you don’t have to be perfect to have a love story.You just have to love each other. And always work to become better for each other and with each other. XO”
Do you think social media creates an unrealistic view of marriage?
How much is too much? Too little?