Marriage Articles & a Severe Case of the Whatever’s

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(S and I on our wedding day)

It seems that there has been a rash of articles on marriage popping up on my Facebook newsfeed. ‘5 Rules of a Happy Marriage’, ’10 Things All Married Couples Should Do’, ‘7 Secrets to Making Your Marriage Last’. You know the type.

Well, I don’t read them anymore.

It’s true that some of them make some good points, or have some helpful ideas. However, for the most part, it seems that the articles invite an internal grading system. I read them and assess ‘how we’re doing as a couple’, whatever that even means. I read the first one and feel accomplished. Yes! We always do that. Number 3, on the other hand, makes me feel bad. They say something is important that I’ve never made a priority.
Maybe we aren’t as happy as I thought we were.
Maybe we’re missing a major component in a successful marriage.
Maybe this will come back to haunt me later because I really have no idea how to be a perfect anything, much less a perfect wife.

So then I worry, and have to sit down with S to discuss the mechanics of our marriage – based on some article written by some blogger than I don’t even know.
(Luckily he has been very patient with my imaginary crises.)

I have not been married very long. I am not a self-proclaimed expert on, well, anything. I have not spent years studying marriages or relationships, or counseling individuals or couples.
But I have learned one thing:

Every marriage is different, and it’s different all of the time.

My marriage is not the same today as it was a couple of weeks ago. It’s not the same as it was the first month we were married.
That’s because I’m not the same person, and neither is my husband. We are humans, ever-changing, always growing and experiencing new things.

So I say to you, ’10 Steps to Marital Bliss’, that you don’t even know me. To the ‘5 Things Every Couple Should Be Doing’, I roll my eyes.
Whatever.
Their marriage is not my marriage.
I am very glad to hear that they found something that worked for them. I am even more glad to hear that they have a desire to pass on their knowledge and experiences to others. It is a noble cause, and I understand their wish to help other couples.
However, blogging is not a counseling session. The advice is general, not to be taken so seriously. And I very much doubt that their marriage is in a constant state of bliss and that they never deviate from their 10 steps.

No more grading myself on an imaginary scale someone else invented.
There is no perfect combination for marriage, or for being the most perfect wife.

Let’s give ourselves a break.

 

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