Life is always different on paper

And on the computer. And from what people tell you.

I read people's blogs and their Facebook pages. I talk to people about their lives. But then something happens, and I think that either I did not really know these people or they are living two different lives, the one everyone sees and the life they actually live.

More often than not, this phenomenon I am speaking of is related to marriage. A friend will talk about how happy she is, how great her husband is, etc. Then, bam! The marriage ends. Sometimes it is not that dramatic. It may be that I have never heard a friend complain about her spouse. Everything seems fine for them while I am feeling kind of bad because I am venting about something my husband did. Then some time goes by and this friend tells me she and her husband are getting a divorce.

And for some reason I feel as if I am in this dissolving marriage. That I am the one who has been hurt. And I don't know why. Other than I guess I just feel kind of blindsided.

Recently, I stopped by a blog I read on occasion. This person, who is quite sarcastic and witty, has talked about how she and her husband drive each other crazy, but they will never get a divorce. They celebrated an anniversary recently. She has declared her love for him (when not joking about doing him bodily harm). Well, you can probably guess where I am going with this; they, in fact, are ending their marriage. I don't know this woman from Adam, I am sure I will never meet her, and I have no idea what happened. But yet, once again, I (very selfishly) feel wronged in some way. I want to implore her to go back and read some of her posts. I want to tell her that she cannot do this to me and the kids!

If you stop and think about it, you probably know a handful of people who should not have gotten married. In most cases, not surprisingly, those marriages end at some point. I can think of at least a half dozen friends or coworkers who I could never figure out why or how they got married to begin with. In every case but one, those couples are no longer coupled.

But even some of those are difficult for me. Mostly because even though I did not think they were right for each other, I did not hear them complain about their relationship or they seemed as if they were getting along. So I figured I must have misjudged them.

I wish I could figure out what my point is with this latest rambling. I guess part of it is that I am suggesting people just be honest from the get-go and not pretend that they are in a happy-go-lucky marriage if they are not. Perhaps another part is that I wish people would not give up so easily, particularly when kids are involved. Of course, since I am not in these marriages, I have no idea how hard they really fought.

But one thing I do know for sure: you will never hear me say how wonderfully great my marriage is. Most of the time it is good or at least good enough. Sometimes it is a struggle. And there are days (at least hours, anyway) when we just don't like each other. I am quite certain some of our friends are surprised we are still together. Mostly because I am so open and honest and I have never pretended to be someone I wasn't or to have something I didn't. But know that we really, truly intend to go the distance because we love each other, and we love our daughter. We don't really want to be without each other (at least not all the time). And we just don't think marriage is something you should take lightly.

So if you are reading this and your marriage is in trouble, if we are friends, please think of how you can start to break this to me. Remember, there are three of us in your relationship, and this third person is going to take it hard. :-)


Anonymous said…
You are too funny (that IS what you were going for right?!!).

Decorum dictates that we be prim and proper and show no weakness or admit that things are anything less than perfect. I think that is the short answer as to why people pretend things are great. People may also be trying to work through things and don't want to let others know about it.
Sherri said…
Hmmm... as you know, I am an honest blogger - no butterflies and rainbows on my parenting page, but... I rarely comment on marriage. I think I do so in passing - I diss my hubby now and then when he deserves it (and he does) - I even feel guilty when I've said something that people feel they need to comment on or offer support for (like - yikes - was it that bad?) - but... I also give some props when appropriate - try to allude to this was a bad week - felt like we did not connect - but did get to hang together and have a glass of wine or whatever.... Marriage with kids and job worries and .... blah blah blah is TOUGH. Relationships are hard anyway, and... I think that it would be refreshing to see some honest sharing in a blog or woman to woman forum. My hubby has seen some of my complaints in writing and his reaction varies - might mention it if it bothers him (sometimes a good thing, right?) - but might not if it doesn't bother him / he finds it true or funny or whatever.... OK - what is it about discussing marriage that makes us ramble? Signing off. Good post - quite like the rambling :-).
Facie said…
Considering two people emailed me about this post, I think it should be clear to me that discussing the really personal aspects of marriage is not the norm.

I can accept that as I would never air every issue I have, but I would at least prefer that people say nothing and not pretend things are good as I see all too often.

And to anon (and one of the people who emailed me), I was kind of going for funny; it helps to take some of that self-centered/selfishness from me.

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