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.”
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,
I Cannot in Good Conscience Participate in the Love Your Spouse Challenge
Dear Happy Couples: I Hate You