The Illusion Of A Perfect Marriage
The other day I was talking to a soon-to-be bride and she was asking about marital advice. I immediately told her, “Always remember: no marriage, or any relationship, for that matter is perfect.” I felt that tidbit of information was just as equally, if not the best, and realest advice I could’ve given her. Too much too soon? Not really and you’ll see why as you keep reading.
Some would assume that in order to have a happy marriage that means your marriage must be perfect. Wrong and it’s not even possible. That’s like saying, In order to have a happy life you have to be perfect” and that’s just not possible. So, if none of us are perfect as individuals, why then would we expect any relationship to be perfect? It is, however, 100% possible to be happy and still have an imperfect marriage.
Perception Isn’t Always Reality
Although perceptions can sometimes hold true, there’s a difference between perception and reality. Nowadays, people perceive a relationship as perfect based on what they see or hear whether through social media or even in person.
Ever feel like you can tell when a particular couple is having problems by the tone of their tweets or status updates? I don’t know about you but sometimes that makes me uncomfortable. We have to use discernment when it comes to sharing certain things online. Even though I choose to post mainly positive things about my husband, that doesn’t mean we’re not open to sharing our real stories and experiences with others when it’s appropriate – during times when we may need advice or if we’re trying to help someone else going through a similar situation. Anyone who truly knows us knows that we never have, nor will we ever, proclaim to have a perfect marriage, but that doesn’t mean I have to blast our issues on social media.
Besides, there’s enough negativity out there when it comes to love and relationships. So, for me, I’d rather highlight the good things about my man instead of painting a negative picture of him for the world to see. Not only does this provide a positive example of love for others to see, but hopefully it can inspire other men, and women, to step up and do the same for someone else. It’s similar to when you share things about your man to your girlfriends. If you only tell them about the the bad stuff, then that’s all they’ll know and their perception of him won’t be the best, let alone fair.
Plus, I believe the moment you comment or post something negative or damaging about your relationship, especially if it’s in retaliation, you run the risk of causing more issues and decreasing the trust in the relationship. Not to mention, it can open the door to someone who’s watching from the outside who’s trying to sneak their way in and cause havoc.
One thing’s for sure, no matter what I post, the happiness portrayed through my posts, online or even in person is a true reflection of our relationship – a happy, imperfect marriage.
Everyone goes through something…
Every couple, whether dating, engaged or married experiences different seasons, goes through ups and downs and everything in between. Don’t believe the hype when you hear someone say they have a perfect relationship. There are couples who actually walk around claiming to have a perfect relationship (no arguments, no disagreements, no frustrations, no issues), and they will have you believing the same.
What’s so ineffective about this is the fact that they miss the opportunity to be real with newly engaged or soon-to-be married couples who spend too much time planning for the big day instead of preparing and planning for the rest of their lives. Hence, couples end up feeling discouraged or confused when they finally have their first real argument or realize that marriage is truly hard work; which of course is true for anything in life worth having.
That’s why I always appreciate the more “seasoned” couples who have been married for at least 10, 20, or 30 plus years; including our own parents who constantly feed into us and are willing to share how they went from point A to point B. I also appreciate our fellow married friends who, like us, haven’t been married as long but are just as real about marriage as we are. A lot of times we find ourselves laughing at each other when we consider some of the smaller things we tend to disagree about. It’s like having a support system that you can trust.
Oftentimes we go through things as couples and think “we must be the only ones going through this,” only to find out later that it’s more common than you think. So, when I hear stories of how others made it through an ordeal, a tough season or hard times but still managed to make it through, I can’t help but to feel encouraged.
Despite how much we love each other and how happy we are, I’d be lying to you if I told you that every day feels like the honeymoon. My husband and I get on each other’s last nerves and we have our disagreements. Beyond that, we’ve experienced layoffs, transitions, death and grief, financial hardships, rough times, and at times I’ve even struggled with anxiety and depression due to other situations…
At the end of the day, no matter what we may go through, the good outweighs the bad and we love harder than we fight. Everything has made us stronger. Moreover, when we look back and see how far we’ve come from our first year of marriage up until now, that’s proof to us that we’ve grown and will continue to grow. Furthermore, we’re not afraid to ask for help or seek counsel – whether proactive or reactive – through prayer, reading the Word, talking with others or even through counseling.
Just like the verse says in Mark 10:9, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” We’re in this for the long haul. We haven’t been together for 8 years (6 married) because we’ve been so perfect or because our marriage is so perfect; rather it’s because of God and our willingness to submit to His will and to each other. God gets all the glory! Just like the popular quote says, “Marriage isn’t perfect; rather it is two people who refuse to give up.”
It is our prayer that our love and our marriage, as well as the love, relationships and marriages of others, will continue for 1,000 more years to come…ok, I may have exaggerated some but you get the point. May we all be encouraged to be real and strive to please God so we can be the best husband or wife we can be.
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