I love Facebook. Guilty. I'm not very good at staying in touch with people and Facebook has allowed me to stay "connected" to people I love but would have easily lost touch with over the years. I completely understand how it can be impersonal or obnoxious but I have been able to kindle real-life (not cyber) friendships with people I hardly knew in high school and stay in touch with old friends that are in a completely different place than I am in life. Ashamed and embarrassed or not, I like Facebook. [sigh]
I've had a Facebook since I went away to college. You know, when it was first invented and you had to have a college email address to join? Very exclusive. I've been able to witness the growth of friends, family and myself through social media. Weird, huh? From partying too hard at frats, falling in love and getting married, and having kids, Facebook has been the cyber platform for everyone I know to "shout it from the roof tops!" It's exciting. I love seeing people succeed and love life. On the other hand I've been noticing a sad trend as well. Divorce.
Divorce is hard enough as it is. It doesn't just affect two people, it affects two families, two sets of friends, and especially any children (or grandchildren) involved. It's the ugly elephant that stinks and sits in the room and won't leave. On Facebook, I've noticed several people slowly stop mentioning their spouse, take down their married "status," eventually change it to "single," and randomly post cryptic, emotional, I-will-get-through-this status updates and it crushes me. Then comes the name change. Sad. Sometimes these are couples that have been married for a very long time and opened a Facebook because their adult children asked them to and other times (probably more often) these are NEWLY married couples that decided after only a few years to give up.
My mom told me and my husband before we got married to STICK IT OUT! (Yes, all capitals and an exclamation point. It was a letter. We still write those sometimes.) Because marriage is hard, challenging, exhausting, and compromising but so is LIFE. And who wants to face the world alone? I am extremely lucky to have met the man, husband, friend, father, and partner I have. He is more than I deserve. But I'll admit there are times I want to ring his neck. Other times (most of the time) I want to tackle him with love as soon as he walks through the door just because I am so happy he came home to me, to his children, to us, to the home we are creating together. That alone makes me happy enough every day to promise him that I will stick it out, I will fight for us.
I'm not naïve in saying we're facing or have faced the hardest times in our life already. No, we've only been married four and a half years. I know life is going to get harder. And we may or may not be ready to face some of the struggles that lie ahead, but we are going to put work in our marriage and trust in God and come out on the other end alive. We are going to stay married.
We were at a wedding a few nights ago and were able to participate in the married people dance. Having been married less than five years we were off the dance floor by the first chorus but there were three couples remaining at the end that have been married 39 years. I turned to my husband and whispered, "I can't wait to be them." The wisdom we will have about being married after staying married for that long blows my mind.
I've been recently been following the blog "#Stay Married" and I have laughed, cried, and even cringed (it's called me out a few times) while reading it. It's a blog about not just staying married, but staying hopeful, being honest about marriage, and reminding us to always, always, always have God present in the marriage. It is funny and witty and sweet and intelligent. I'm thankful I found it. I didn't think we (as a happily married couple) were in need of it but I've already implemented several things I've learned while reading. I hope you all enjoy it and can find it useful too. And may I just encourage you all to stay married!
And by the way, I found the blog through Facebook. :)