Occasionally I’ll pop onto Facebook and see my friends post things about how their spouse cleaned their whole house or cooked dinner or watched their kids all week or bought them a pony and I think, “Hm, that’d be nice.” And it’s easy to get just a teensy dose of spouse envy particularly if I’m in a pouty bout already.
I worry that this blog does that for people.
I worry that people who are having marital problems will read it and think that Rich and I and all these guest posters are shoving our “happy” marriages in their faces. Which, is like the least helpful thing when you’re having marital problems. Particularly when they list out reasons of how and why you are not happy.
So, just wanted to clarify- I am not a better wife than you.
I get frustrated, impatient and pouty. All the time. I lose hope and feel tired and want to be alone. Our marriage has plenty of peaks and troughs just like any marriage. Let’s not compare peaks to troughs.
Probably when we started this marriage blog our friends thought, “Really?? Them?” We’re often that awkward couple at parties who find it necessary to publicly argue about where we should keep our keys or which vacuum we should buy or what we did on our second date. It’s uncomfortable.
Marriage is hard.
I very much believe this idea from Glennon (again with the Momastery-quoting! I know. Just save yourself some time and follow her blog instead of mine):
If you’ve “fallen out of love” and so you are disillusioned about marriage- join the club. All the married people in the whole world are in the club. Being disillusioned is good. It means you’ve stopped believing a lie. The lie is that marriage is like it is in the movies and that everyone else is having hot love affairs while you are cleaning up smelly socks and trying to get someone to actually listen to you instead of pretending to listen to you. The truth is that cleaning up socks and trying to get someone to really listen to you IS marriage.
Since starting this blog, I’ve sort of let myself into some of my friends’ marriages. Mostly by asking my friends/acquaintances/people I don’t know to guest post on my blog. I’ve been shocked at how many people respond to these requests by saying “I can’t write anything about strengthening marriage. My marriage is not strong.” Or even, “My marriage is dead.” People who have very happy-seeming marriages to the outside eye.
These are the people I really want most to guest post actually because I think it can be encouraging to hear that these happy-seeming marriages can actually be really, really hard and not so happy all the time. I think just feeling not alone in your challenges is every bit as helpful, if not more helpful than receiving advice. Particularly when you’re in the troughiest of troughs. I’d love to have more guest posts say, “We’re having a hard time. We’re not giving up, but it’s hard. I have no advice to offer, just comradery.” (And if you’re one of the people who has turned me down for a guest post- don’t feel bad! It happens all the time ;) )
So, if you are feeling alone in your unhappy marriage, don’t. There are millions of people out there in the same boat, and probably more people in your own pool of friends than you think (also go read that Momastery article I just quoted from- it’s a great one for this topic, also this one).
And speaking of unhappy marriages, onto my next disclaimer: I do not think that people should always plow through and make it work no matter what. I have no experience with abuse, adultery or addiction in a marriage. Sometimes, divorce is for the best. Sometimes the advice on the blog probably makes it sound like you should fight for your marriage no matter what the circumstance. Just know that I am NOT here to council on when or why divorce or separation is or is not appropriate for ANYONE.
Go if you need to go. Stay if you need to stay.
And if you’ve made the decision to stay, then hopefully we’ll be here to offer a little advice and a lot of comradery in working toward your happy(ish) marriage.