Yesterday, a friend posted this article: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a31587/social-media-happy-relationships-are-insecure/
And I have to say that the more times I re-read it, the more I'm convinced that the person who wrote this article quite possibly has never shared the kind of love and happiness that they want to 'brag' about.
Last year I had a good friend send me this message: I love how much what you have is like what we have. It makes me feel a sense of reality and community. For a long time I had a lot of people almost making me ashamed of our happiness....but seeing someone else who so openly rejoices in the blessings GOD has bestowed....Well, you and me are friends in a way so few are. I can't wait to keep reading the rest of your story and I love that I know for a fact you are reading mine!
Let me tell you, the friend who wrote this...she REJOICES in the love she has been blessed with because she knows what it's like to be in a toxic, unhealthy relationship and now having a partner who accepts and loves her unconditionally is one of the most treasured gifts in her life. Truthfully, she could post 50 times a day about her love for her husband and it would bring a smile to my face to read each one because I know them, and I know they are, in fact, that happy and in love with each other.
Now, that's not to say that I haven't seen the flip side of this...the couple who talks about how in love they are, have friends who are envious but behind closed doors their relationship is anything but happiness.
I know plenty of couples in middle. Ones that occasionally post about their significant other (a significant song, happening or poem) and I think that those people are really feeling that way at that particular time.
And I know PLENTY of people that don't hold anything back when it comes to bashing someone else or bitching about everything that's wrong in their life...and I don't for one second believe that their lives or the people that are in them are usually THAT bad. Speaking from experience, when you live with someone who isn't kind to you, you DON'T talk about it because 1. you are embarrassed and/or 2. you refuse to paint yourself as a victim.
Regardless of circumstance, we live in a technology focused world and parts of our lives are always going to be 'out there' and people are always going to scrutinize and make assumptions and judgments, and most of them will actually have nothing to do with the person they are judging. More often than not, they are judging a reflection of an aspect of themselves that they aren't proud of or something that they are envious of.
If I've learned anything about relationships...
if Bill and I have both learned anything....
it's that love is an intentional act.
And depending on your partners love language, some of that intent may be affirmation.
Does that mean that the words a person says aren't always 'real life' or they are being boastful? Absolutely NOT.
Let's face it.... marriage/long term relationships, on some level, are hard. You are with this person that you are going to have differences with and you can choose to confront them together with grace or you can let them turn you bitter and destroy what you have.
I wrote a few days ago about how Bill and I had only spent about a total of 30 days together, in person, before we got married, and we didn't live together beforehand.
After each of us having two failed, long-term relationships (his far surpassed mine because by time his divorce finalized in July 2011, he had been married for nearly 15 years. I was only married a mere 4 and a half years by the time mine finalized in early 2013.) we both knew what we were looking for in a life partner. We knew compatibility and happiness far outweighed most anything else. I knew I needed to be in a relationship where security meant there was no judgment except to help each other be the best versions of ourselves that we can be. It's important to be able to trust that your spouse isn't going to hold your shortcomings against you. It's important to have someone who is not only not going to tear you down but builds you up. You can't live with constant negativity and continue to stay happy. It was important to both of us to find a partner that felt the same. And it was very important to both of us that we could one day say to the girls, 'The best part of the beginning of marriage is the excitement and newness of finally living together. It's worth the wait. Even if that means you have a VERY short dating period."
Our marriage is our top priority and it continues to thrive because we are both intentional in our actions and words to each other. We know what makes the other one feel loved and what doesn't and sometimes we 'intentionally' go against our own personal feelings that day to make sure the other one is reminded of their importance.
I am so incredibly thankful for that for that gift.
I am so incredibly thankful for him.
For the man he is today.
For the blessing of our marriage.
And for our life together.
Because it's made me a better person.
And when I write about it on any form of social media, it really isn't for anyone else but him.
I want him to always know that I don't take this blessing - our life and love for each other - for granted. And if words of affirmation make his heart filled with even more love then I'm for dang sure going to say them to him.
Because when love becomes intentional it's real and it will continue to grow.
And I truly, truly believe that that could ultimately be the 'real' why behind why other's share their happiness sometimes.