Marital & Relationship advice: Are we too reliant on social/other media?

I’ll never forget reading “He’s just not that into you” during my first year of marriage and boy did my mind wander off to an obscure place. The more I read the more I thought to myself, “Self, why did you not read this a year ago?” I was convinced that my husband wasn’t that into me anymore and we probably would not have married if I’d read this sooner. By that time, my husband had already fallen into the ‘married’ trap and the guy I’d dated was long gone. We were adjusting to being a unity and our thoughts of what marriage should be like differed on a few levels.

My idea of the married trap is simply this:
A lot men, regardless of their age, somehow expects their wives to cater to their every whim and be at their beck and call. It may be illustrated in different ways but it comes down to the same thing. They somehow think that romance is not needed anymore and wives become ‘just the woman he married’ instead of the girl he fell inlove with.

The faults I found in our seedling marriage were escalated because of my hyper sensitivity to any and every move the hubster made or not. Saying that I was paranoid is a tad far fetched so I’ll settle for me in pms mode. Mind you I have yet to feel what the honeymoon phase everyone experience during their first year of marriage feels like.

For me it was getting to know the real guy that triggered alerts. The guy left his coffee mug wherever he last used it, thought that he could come and go as he pleased, tested my limits and half expected me to pick up after him. In all fairness he didn’t expect me to cook because I couldn’t at that time. We lost most of our dishes and cutlery during that year because I took a stand the best way I knew how and tossed the dirty ones (piled up) a few times. Was very effective I must say. *grinning at that memory* His wallet didn’t agree though but I didn’t care then and the me today still doesn’t. By now I’m guessing you can tell why I wanted to opt out during that first year.

Lately I’ve been seeing plenty of marriage posts on social media and realize that marriage and the care thereof has become all the rage. I’ve read some of those posts (well maybe all I came across) and sometimes I think it’s all just fluff. Don’t get me wrong though. It’s nice words and makes a whole lot of sense, even to me. What I don’t get is why the writers don’t back it up with some personal experience. I mean really now, a few nice words here, a few tips and advice there does not make for a better marriage. Can we identify with a specific problem and find our solutions in those words? Do we action any of that advice? Do you even know the writers history or why they chose to write that specific piece?

Let me explain the last question with a few follow up questions. Does the writer have a successful marriage? How did they overcome a specific battle/obstacle? Is their situation exactly the same as the one you’re currently faced with? Is your spouse exactly like the writer’s spouse? What happened to everyone being unique?

There’s nothing like a self help book or inspirational blog to give you a new zest for life. It inspires us yet we are disillusioned to thinking that if we follow a few steps and guidelines everything will fall into place. You can challenge me about this afterwards but what I’ve learnt over the years is that we should not settle for advice from just anyone.
We are too quick to fall for beautiful words that makes us feel good. I’m guilty of it too at times.

My take is that a married couple should essentially grab advice from another married couple. Singles from other singles. Divorcees from other divorcees. Now, you may argue this point but before you do, think about it. If you’re married and going through a bad patch are you going to accept advice from a single person who’s never been married at all? What about if you’re divorced are you going to accept advice from your happily married friend? Point is that it takes someone who can truly identify with your situation to be able to help you. The advice may not be great and you do have a choice on whether to follow it or not but having an ally is the best medicine to whatever problem you may face.

I’m not saying that we should wear our hearts on our sleeves and tell everyone we come across about our problems. I’m also not saying that you can’t confide in a close friend or relative who does not happen to be in the same boat as ours.What I am saying is that before you go out and seek advice or accept someone else’s words just because they have laced it with beautiful catch phrases. Read. Pause. Think. And consider if those words are actually for you. The quote: “I’m responsible for what I say and you’re responsible for the way you interpret it.” comes to mind. How often do we get lost in translation? It is a fact that every person who reads a specific article will have different interpretations of it. But what does the writer actually want you to know? You might find that the person you should be talking to is your spouse. Clear communication on all levels is mostly the component most relationship lacks.

Admittedly it took the hubster and I years before we discovered this. Majority of our problems we face today can usually be solved by earplugs for him and duct tape for my mouth. I blame my raging tongue on my love for pasta that has (over the years) given me some Italian lineage (or so I’d like to think). The lack of communication no longer is a threat to our marriage but because men have selective hearing the hubster is never off the hook. We are a work in progress.

I never got to finish that book in 2006/2007. The hubster made sure of it. A while back I did however and I commend the authors on a well written book even though it’s not applicable to me. Yep it took me a while to get this. A good thing I didn’t finish it back then. We often lie to ourselves and our friends without even realizing it. I firmly believe in those exceptions and rules. If a guy said he’d call and he doesn’t then he’s really not that into you. Don’t try to overthink or analyze it. In relationships there should be no If’s , But’s or Maybe’s. It’s yay or nay. As simple as that. I quite like the movie too and will watch it over and over but I’d suggest you read the book when you have time.

All that said, my marriage is a good one. I wouldn’t trade that first year, nor any other year, for anything else. It’s made for some interesting stories to tell our grandkids one day. Sure there are times I consider implementing the “Till death” part myself but I don’t think I’m cut out for prison just yet. Besides, I pride myself on making educated decisions and right now I’m not quite educated about the colour scheme of prison wear so it’s a no-no from a fashion perspective. Irking him seems like a better plan for revenge.

As always, all thoughts and comments are welcome. I’d like to know what influences other marriages out there and what impact do those marriage posts have on your own marriage. Of course I’d like some input from everyone married or not. Especially about the half truths we tell our friends to make them feel better when we really do know better.

PS: My idea of the married trap is not based on events of how the hubster treats or treated me but it’s the general complaint I’ve gotten from married women.

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