In this social media world we live in I have a philosophy about marriage.
Many people want a wedding, not a marriage.
They want picture-perfect moments that will begin with an amazing proposal, followed by breathtaking wedding photos and ends with a maternity shoot that you can post on Instagram. Those pictures that people can like and comment on and tell you that you are #relationshipgoals. In my circle, we have honest no holds barred conversations about marriage and I will tell you, that this is a job and marriage is hard work.
In the past few weeks, I’ve watched multiple “celebrity marriages” publicly play out their hard times. Whether it was a story of an entanglement turned into memes for black twitter or the demise of a husband’s mental health while the world asked “Where is his wife?” Normally, none of this would have got a rise or a second thought out of me. Married people go through SHIT! It was people’s response to these interesting situations that gave me a pause. The statements of “I don’t want that type of marriage.”
No one goes into marriage LOOKING to get separated, cheated on, disrespected, or hurt. No one wants to see their spouse go through physical or mental illness. Yet in the same sentence, we say in our vows “for better or worse”. We say those words or some version of them when we stand before God, family, and friends and we vow to be with this person for the rest of our life. When you get married you won’t know where life will take you or your marriage. So to say you don’t want “that type of marriage” is a naive statement to say. Yes, you can do things to make sure those things don’t happen in your marriage. Therapy, date nights, and open communications are all things that you can do to keep your marriage healthy. But it requires work on both partners’ side. You will grow and so will your partner. The person who proposed isn’t the same person you married and isn’t the same person you are waking up to today. Why? Growth and Change. So you have to go back to the “red table” to work through those changes. You can’t wait until there are issues in your marriage to work on your marriage. The reality is you can’t have a red carpet marriage without coming to the red table a few times to work on your marriage. The question is are you willing to do that to make sure you stay married?
As a married couple what #redtable work do you do to keep your marriage healthy? What advice would you give younger couples to keep them out of the pitfalls that you have seen or you have fallen into and worked through yourself? If your comfortable to share I would love to hear your thoughts.