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We’re Not Perfect and That’s Normal

You’re scrolling through a social media feed and you see happy selfies, beautiful date nights, a tantalizing plate of chocolate covered strawberries with a caption that says, “My hubby is the best!” You pause and think to yourself, ‘how do they do it?’ Our relationship doesn’t look like that.

Jen: Guess what? Those relationships don’t look like that all the time either. Would they post the picture of an argument in progress? The pile of dirty laundry on the floor and the aggravated spouse staring down at it in exasperation? Most of us paint a pretty picture of ourselves to the world, but no couple relationship is free from arguments, misunderstandings, or disconnects. Marriage isn’t like that.

Nick: Trying to act like everything is ok all the time doesn’t help our relationship.  It puts us in a little silo and closes the door to our connecting with others around us.  We unwittingly fall into a trap only sharing the good things.  We all know people will come out in droves to support friends once a couple has decided to separate, yet we don’t think to check on and encourage each other before the troubles get unmanageable.  Wouldn’t it be better if we were trying to help each other before then?

Jen: Are we also willing to reach out to others when we are struggling? For me, it’s a humbling thought, but the easiest way to tell that struggles are normal is to connect with other couples and talk about what’s going on. This is especially true now. Tensions are high for everyone. We might have kids at home doing distance learning, or one or both of us is not working because of layoffs or furloughs, or we’re just tired of being quarantined. It’s easier for me to be more patient with Nick when we have spent time on a virtual date night with another couple, sharing our struggles.

Nick:  When we’re struggling, it’s good to have friends to connect with, just so we know we’re not crazy.  The other evening, we were chatting with another couple over Zoom.  While we all started off by insisting “we’re ok,” eventually we all opened up about how it’s not so easy to be together in tight quarters all the time.  We love our spouses.  We even like each other most of the time, but every now and then it’s like we hit a maximum dosage of time close together and we need a little breathing room.  Without chatting with our friends and seeing they have also had those moments, it would be easy to believe we’re the only ones who do.

Friendships like these take time to build, but they are well worth it.  We encourage you to reach out to other couples and build the kind of connections that will help you get away from all the too-perfect pictures on social media.

Photo by Andrea Piacquatdio from Pexels


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