Every girl needs her girls in the same way that every wife needs her people to confide in about marriage and her husband. Conflict, tension, and issues inevitably arise in relationships, and you’re going to need a team. But how do you pick who is on that team? How do you decide in whom you will confide?
Let me say, I love Instagram. It's a guilty pleasure. I love the captivating images whether professional or shot with iPhones. I love portraits of husbands and wives immersed in conversation over beautifully styled tables, images of couples walking blissfully hand in hand, and pictures of adventurous moments of couples scaling mountains together. Pictures capture the colors, textures, and scenes of marriage in beautiful ways that words can’t accurately depict.
But just as much as I love all the images of couples on Instagram, I hate them because they’re totally not real life.
Seriously, who and their spouse actually look fabulous every waking moment of the day?
And who actually washes their hair and puts makeup on every day? Not this girl.
Does anyone else in the world have to do boring things like laundry, paying bills and yard work? Or is it just me and my unglamorous life and marriage?
Social media has changed our world as we know it. It gives us the ability to connect with people all over the world and provides a community in the nontraditional sense. What I love the most about community is being around people who understand. It’s the people, your people, who get the reality of marriage.
They are the people who know the best times that words can’t explain and the hard moments that we shy away from voicing.
They're the people who know and see the deep investment and beautiful commitment of your marriage and they're also the people who know the weak spots in your relationship.
They’re the people who remind you in a thousand ways that marriage is totally worth it and they’re the ones who remind you that marriage is way better than any Instagram account portrays.
They’re the ones who remind you that Instagram marriages are not real, but yours is, which is why it’s hard some days.
So here’s to Instagram marriages because the love, depth, and connection portrayed through stunning images depict the parts of marriage that we could never accurately portray with words. And here’s to real life marriages within real communities, because that’s where the nitty gritty stuff happens. That’s where foundations are laid and grace is born. Real life marriages are where we are known, seen, and loved with a love like we’ve never known before.
The it crept upon us, slowly and without warning. As the newly wedded bliss faded, we began to impose our expectations on each other, not all at once but subtly, over time. We harbored resentment when needs went unmet and began imposing shaming tactics. We’d guilt trip each other into complying with our own selfish motives.
Our first year was sweet and so special in a thousand ways. The unspoken and often unknown expectations that we each carry into marriage were absent our first year, I think most of the expectations I did feel were self imposed. What I imposed on myself wasn’t anything horribly damaging or detrimental but if I could go back and tell myself as a new wife a few things, this is what I would tell myself.
Looking back on this past year of our marriage, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t go back and do it again but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. We grew apart in a thousand ways. We were broken, shattered in ways that made me wonder if there was ever hope of being mended. Some days the vows we spoke to one another on that wintry afternoon seemed to mock us as we failed one another and hurt one another deeply again and again.