Unhappily Married Women Claiming Happy Couples are “Fake” on Social Media

Around our last anniversary in August, I saw a viral blog post going around that blatantly told happy married couples (those on facebook) that their happy photos and positive notes they post to each other makes certain married couples feel bad about their own marriages.  Here is the specific post, “I Cannot, In Good Conscience, Participate in the Love Your Spouse Challenge,” where one woman took the self-righteous approach of declaring that the challenge participants were so fake, that she just couldn’t participate by honoring her husband for 7 days posting positive things about him and their marriage because it wouldn’t be “real” enough.

There are enough articles and comments out there that explain the same general feelings of married women on FB:

“You happily married couples can’t really be that happy (we realistic ones know you’re lying to us), plus you make me feel bad because my marriage isn’t like that. You’re faking it in your photos and not being “real,” let me show you what IS real by posting negative shit about my husband and I publicly.”

And boy these women really meant it!  The blog post that went viral has actual photos of the writer and her husband angry at each other, fighting and arguing in the kitchen, her denying him sex because she was “too tired,” and on and on.  Obviously they were all staged (nevermind the irony of having to fake “realistic” negative pictures at the same time you’re criticizing posed wedding photos!!), but the message was clear: REAL COUPLES POST NEGATIVE THINGS ABOUT THEIR MARRIAGE ON FACEBOOK.  Fake couples only post the positive things and therefore aren’t “real” enough for these hypercritical women.

Just imagine if it were turned around on the wives!  What if husbands suddenly thought it was great to start complaining on facebook about how their wife doesn’t look the same anymore or turn them on as much as she did 10 years ago?  What he posted about how annoying she’s been to live with or how she doesn’t always do certain chores in a timely manner and this drives him crazy?  These are all things women complain fairly open about in one way or another, and it’s accepted easily in our society.  But wow!  Imagine if a husband decided to write an article posting the worst parts of their marriage (in pictures!!) so that other men could commiserate with him?  It just wouldn’t happen, and if it did, it would be shamed by men and women alike.  It’s not acceptable for a married man to complain publicly about how annoying his wife is, or share pictures of her without makeup on his FB to be “real.”

Sharing your grievances about your spouse publicly in any venue, should never be considered appropriate.

It’s disrespectful and a violation of his trust and privacy.

Our spouses know our most intimate flaws and failings.  In a good, healthy marriage, there’s usually a boundary there that the spouses protect each other from – it used to be called “not airing your dirty laundry.”

And then we get to the chosen method for this sharing of “real life.”  These women choose facebook (or blogs) to “vent” about how difficult their marriage has been.  Their husband is more than likely “tagged” into the post, meaning ALL – and I mean ALL of his friends – past and present, coworkers, boss or Supervisors, even acquaintances or possibly worse, people who don’t like him or are competing with him in the workplace, will be exposed to his wife humiliating him and divulging the private (negative) aspects of their marriage and for what?

To be more “real” with her facebook friends.  It looks more like betrayal to me when I see women engaging in this kind of public behavior.

His honor, respect and privacy must be sacrificed so she can compete with the other women by being “more real,” than the ones who post only happy and positive things about their spouses.

It kind of boggled my mind for awhile, wondering why other married couples would be that angry at seeing happy ones?  Why would they care?  Why would posting about fighting, or how they’re usually too tired to have sex with their husbands make them somehow more “real?”

Anyone reading this probably already understood this was what was really going on, but apparently I’m not that smart.  I thought these couples really did believe that the happy ones were lying.  They may actually believe that, but there’s something else there that I finally caught on to:

They really ARE that unhappy seeing the happy couples, because their marriage IS less fulfilling, less passionate, and less enjoyable.  😦

This is probably obvious to everyone else (especially the red pill readers who come here), but somehow it took me months to figure out (lol sad).  I had completely forgotten about this viral post, and only recently caught on to what was really happening after seeing a few more couples we knew divorce in that time, and reading what the wives said afterward.  Their marriages really WERE miserable, and mostly due to miscommunication and lack of meeting needs for the spouses that spiraled into ugly fights and damage beyond repair to their relationship.  Of course when you’re fighting bitterly with your spouses day in and day out, it’s hard to be happy for the happy, successful couples.  I think they truly believe the happy couples live that way as well, and are “hiding” their misery behind a charade of happiness.

It also became obvious when reading these new-trending posts on a couples’ anniversary where the wife feels like it’s necessary to quantify her happiness by explaining that they’ve also had a miserable marriage as well (or have almost divorced), that this is the “new norm.”  Being positive and genuinely happy isn’t looked at as “real” anymore… in fact, it’s looked down upon.  Happy couples are not “real,” unless they were genuinely miserable in their marriage at some point, too.

One woman told me “Well, you want to be relate-able.”

I just don’t know about that.  Relate-able sounds like “average.”  Relate-able falls in line with the status quo, and with so many married couples getting divorced, I really don’t want to be relate-able in that way.  I don’t want to have to complain about my marriage to somehow be “relate-able” with other women.  If our happiness makes others think we’re fake or makes them feel bad about their own marriage, we don’t have control over that.  So it’s not our concern 🙂  Plus, they are only harming themselves mentally when they dwell on how fake the happy marriages are – what does it do to us? We’ll just continue being happy, while the miserable couples will continue dwelling on their misery.

It’s a little hard to want to be relate-able in our present day culture to be honest.

Relate-able means being overweight since so many women now are overweight, and it’s rare to see a fit mom that’s had multiple children.  Relate-able means complaining constantly about housework, or taking for granted the gift of being a mom – things that science has proven actually make us LESS happy when we vent our frustrations.  Relate-able means valuing the secular things of this world more than the spiritual maturity that comes from a steady walk with God.  Relate-able is having had sex before marriage – so you’re not relate-able if you married as a virgin and saved that gift for your husband.  Relate-able is having had an abortion or a devastating past full of bad decisions and multiple sexual partners.  I’ve never really been that “relate-able” in these ways, and you know?  I don’t want to be.

Relate-able seems to be a lot of **negative.**

Even just being Christians, I believe we’re called to acknowledge we’re all sinners, none of us are perfect, however we called to a higher standard than just trying to come across as “relate-able.”

Maybe we’re supposed to be different for a purpose.  Maybe complaining about our marriage or sharing how miserable it’s been on FB isn’t what Christian women are supposed to do.

 

“For it is GOD who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for His good purpose.  Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.  Hold firmly to the message of life.  Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run in vain or labor for nothing.”

Philippians 2:13-16

 

 

This is one of my most favorite verses in the Bible… Philippians itself is probably my favorite book because it explains so much about gratitude and joy in life.  But if you’re a married woman reading this, re-read this verse and really allow it to sink in.  Apply it to your marriage.  To your children.  To your housework or anything that tends to annoy you daily.

You’re not called to be relate-able ❤ .  Your purpose is higher than that.

Jesus was so unrelate-able the Pharisees killed Him!  He’s the perfect example of someone pure and faultless getting falsely accused and hated because of His purity and Truthfulness that shamed those who weren’t like Him.  You don’t have to fit in by doing what the masses are doing – whether that’s having sex before marriage, or complaining online about your husband or sharing how miserable your marriage has been so others can relate to you.

You’re called to shine like the stars with your purity as children of God.  It feels wrong to type that phrase because it is so not politically correct and many Christians even take it the wrong way, accusing women who aim for this as being prideful and arrogant.  Even from a Christian woman I’ve gotten the message, “There’s nothing special about you!  How dare you think you could ‘shine like a star’ with being pure and following God!  How dare you have something to say or correct someone like me who knows so much more than you! You’re just full of pride and don’t know anything or have the experience yet.

We have a much stronger testimony when we aren’t striving to fit in with the status quo, when we’re living out our faith and convictions day by day.  Our testimonies actually mean something when we’ve walked that road of doing the exceptional for Christ, and have experienced the trials of living “unrelate-able” when it’s going directly against the grain of our culture.  Anyone who’s lived by their convictions knows this truth that it’s often isolating, painful, and full of self-sacrifice.

Instead of merely aiming for average, we can choose to be inspiring and encouraging, focusing on what Philippians 4:8 tells us to:

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.

Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

 

Go out and shine like stars in purity as children of God,

Stephanie

 

Related Reading:

I Cannot in Good Conscience Participate in the Love Your Spouse Challenge

Dear Happy Couples: I Hate You

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15 thoughts on “Unhappily Married Women Claiming Happy Couples are “Fake” on Social Media

  1. Most people have Facebook friend networks that include casual acquaintances as well as various relatives, work colleagues, and close friends. So it’s not surprising that people tend not to post about their marital problems, their behavior problems with children, etc….Doing so would be like talking about these things at a social event that included a wide spectrum of people. Not unique to social media, in other words. I suspect that those who feel threatened by FB postings about great husbands, perfect children, etc, would (and do) also feel threatened by the real-life versions of the same things.

  2. It may well be that they are trying to bring all women down to their level. Misery loves company. But there is one thing that men get tired of. If we see a group of women, we don’t have to ask what they are talking about. for the women that are curious, men don’t do this. We tend to talk about things we can make positive changes in, or things we can’t affect at all that have no direct bearing in our lives, like baseball.

  3. “Anyone reading this probably already understood this was what was really going on, but apparently I’m not that smart. ”

    LOL stick to whelping youngins and let your old man do the thinking for both of y’a 😉

  4. They do! That’s why I thought it seemed like a form of betrayal – a violation of trust and privacy within a marriage. I like how you compare it to talking about such things at a social event.

    And yea, I think they do feel threatened in real life. :/

  5. It may be that men commit and, in doing so, there is little point in complaining. What men are seeing is that they constantly have to requalify to their wives. Eventually, they will fail. These women on facebook are looking for permission from their peers to nuke the relationship.

  6. Men complain about marriage, too, actually. If they didn’t, why do we have the phrase “ball and chain” referring to one’s wife? I’ve actually taken to lightheartedly pointing out that my wife has got me my truck, my guns, my power tools, my kids…..I’d complain about exactly what, now?

    In my view, people rightly joke about those whose lives are “too perfect”, as we all are sinners and hence that’s ludicrous. On the flip side, there are those who have a needlessly dark view of the institution, probably a lot because they’ve been burned. I’d guess as well that the realities (ugly ones) of cohabitation darken the mood as well–not everybody differentiates, to put it mildly.

  7. Yea, if you read the comments around or the posts linked, these women seem to really believe that the couples don’t have problems (or that they are “hiding” their problems and imagining those problems are REALLY really bad).

    It’s so weird to me that adults would actually believe that anyone’s marriage is “perfect,” or that their kids, or even their LIFE is perfect!? That’s insane.

    Plus when you read the main post linked at the beginning of my article, you’ll see that this woman is first COMPARING her marriage to others and coming up short. And then realizing she’s only seeing what they want her to see (obviously the positive things because it was a Love Your Spouse Challenge where you were ***SUPPOSED*** to post the positive things, and she goes and self-rigteously claims she’s above that and will show only the negative, kind of horrible things that happen in every marriage. And she’s feels better than others because she’s being more “real” by focusing on the negative aspects of life together.

    And yea, on cohabitation, we’ve known quite a few Christian couples who did it even though it was against their conscience and morality (honestly, their parents didn’t want them to get married too young and flat out told them they wouldn’t support a marriage at that time). I got kicked out for being engaged so young… and my parents were amazing growing up. My husband’s family wanted us to just live together, but that went against our consciences. But the couples we saw that gave in to their parents not approving and wanting them to wait for YEARS, once they married they had horrible problems and would complain bitterly about each other. You’d think living together would somehow help, but it seemed to have the exact opposite effect.

  8. BikeBubba “Men complain about marriage, too, actually”

    It’s not the same though. Y’all do it mostly anonymously and quietly and a lot of times suffer in silence. Not that some women don’t do that as well… but I’ve NEVER heard or seen of a man who was NOT anonymous complain about his wife on his facebook so publicly, or complain about her not doing things right, or do some insane thing like post 7 negative pictures of their worst moments together. That’s what I meant.

  9. Stephanie, let’s just say you’re genetically unqualified to hear some of the things I’ve heard, for which your dear husband should be super grateful for a lot of reasons. :^)

    (you may be right that it’s qualitatively different, as of course I’m genetically underqualified to get your perspective)

    Parallel to this line, if y’all would pray for a couple in my church, Lawrence & Samantha (“Sammy”), that would be great. Dunno what the exact issue is, but they’re having a rough patch that the husband admits a role in causing.

    Hope the baby is coming along great, BTW, and congratulations on that score.

  10. Sorry your comment stayed in limbo so long, we’re switching internet providers and we won’t have it till Sunday. typing from phone is foreign to me… so won’t be checking till then 🙂
    I believe you that you’ve seen men complain about their wives/marriage. And
    yes I’ll pray for that couple. Praying is better than criticizing, it’s actually doing something!

  11. This was an interesting read.
    I have caught myself looking at some of my friend’s posts on Facebook and just wondering how true all of that was.
    But this is the problem with social media. People only post what they want you to believe. No one has ever posted a picture of their clogged toilet and how messy their house is. It is always the glamours things about life. After realizing what that was doing to me (I kept comparing my marriage to others and question our lives to people’s facebook posts) I decided to say a prayer to not judge others and asked God for forgiveness because I was feeling jealous of their perfect (staged) relationship, and for questioning my relationship that has ups and downs like all others out there.
    I believe we should praise our spouses for accomplishments that they conquer and be positive and happy for people’s accomplishments. Nowadays, that will more likely take place online since our lives revolve around technology. But I have a hard time with couples always posting how perfect and how awesome their lives are on social media. The older I get, the more I want to keep my relationship and those private things to myself. I want to cherish with the people who helped me get it, not everyone on social media really cares for your victories.

  12. I understand… I really do think that most of the ones who “seem” like they’re happy probably are. But all marriages have trials or struggles they go through – that’s definitely true. I recently wrote an updated version of social media and envy problems where I tried to explain how it’s a little more complicated than judging them all as being “staged.” A lot of people are frank and candid on social media, and yet their relationships still reveal no signs of major fights and ugliness in their marriage because they really don’t have much of that anymore. I use an example of two couples we know who are a bit older (in 50’s) that we know for certain don’t have huge fights or ugliness in their marriage hardly at all at, and probably didn’t have as much as you’d imagine when they were younger either. So I try to point out that when we do see a “staged” photo of them being happy, we’re actually seeing a peek into their reality.

    It’s a different perspective that goes from judging others as being staged or fake, to just accepting what you see and trying not to make so much (negative or positive maybe) out of it to where it affects you mentally.

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