Thursday, May 8, 2014

Facebook and marriages

  It's Friday night and your are doing your usual super exciting routine of browsing Facebook. You mindlessly scroll through reading about everyone's day ( the good, the bad, and the boring). " Oh look" you think to yourself  "Jim and Barb are celebrating  15 years today and she loves him more today than the day they got married. Really?? Is that even possible?? Michelle and Jason remind everyone they are going out on their weekly date complete with a ooey, gooey, snuggly picture of the two of them. Caption saying how essential it is to have one on one time if you want  a happy marriage. You continue to scroll and continue to read all the while you don't realize you are setting yourself up for failure. It may not happen the first time, but slowly and surely you start to compare yourself/your marriage to these fairy tale marriages that only exists on Facebook.

     Sure parts of it are true, but so much is left out.  Jim and Barb are in fact celebrating 15 years today and yes Barb is hopelessly in love with Jim, but what she didn't post is last year she and Jim felt they had no other option and were headed for divorce. And yes Michelle and Jason make it a priority to go out each week because they both came from divorced families and they know the devastation it can cause to a child. Social media is awesome and I for one love it and no I do not think you should share every fight you and your spouse have. But I think we as a society need to be mindful of what we post and more importantly what we read.

    Over the years I have personally talked to two women who called to vent ( venting is good for the soul). Both felt their marriages were doomed and headed for divorce. Less than 24 hours after speaking on the phone with these ladies they posted a status saying how in love they were with their husbands and how awesome their spouses were. Instead of happiness I felt sadness because I knew that some other wife was struggling right now in her marriage and she needed someone she could talk to who could support her, pray with her, listen to her, sympathize and understand her. What she found on Facebook was another woman who has the best husband and is so very much in love. I imagine her walking away from her computer feeling lonely, hopeless, sad, and defeated. All of her friends have these "perfect" husbands, and "perfect" marriages, and they are "perfectly" in love. They could never understand what it feels like to be married to  a stranger. To go to bed each night with your spouse with in arms reach, but feeling absolutely alone. They have no idea what you are going through. Social media is a flip book of our lives and we are the author and publishers and  usually only allow the good to be published.

      For me personally  I have been married almost 17 years and we have had our ups and downs. I have wanted a divorce more than that I care to admit, I have loved him more than the day we got married over and over again. We have fought and yelled and kissed and made up. We have gone to bed angry and  we have held grudges for more than a day. We have forgiven and moved on and grown up together. We will do all these over again in the next 17 years and if I am being honest probably in the next 6 months.
We can not compare ourselves to  Jim and Barb or Michelle and Jason ( fake people by the way) for the simple reason we are not them. Imagine going to  the library and all the books had a different family on the cover, but the stories inside were the same. We would never go to the library! God created us all as individuals and our marriages should be our own unique love stories. When you read someone's status update keep in mind that is one sentence in the book of their lives.

Melinda Nicodemus

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