My husband and I recently came back from a vacation, just the two of us. I sat at the airport scrolling through the photos of the week, trying to pick my favorites to post to social media. I looked at the countless photos of us relaxing by the pool, us smiling at the camera, fancy dinners, and shopping trips. I started to realize that there were some photos missing. These photos did not tell the whole story from the trip.
The photos were of things we wanted to remember. The things that we wanted the world to see, not all of it. Where was the ugly side? Where were the photos of the eye rolls as one of us was taking too long to get dressed for dinner, or the spat over if the hubs had to wear his tie to dinner.
That is what marriage is, for real. It’s not always smiles and googly eyes at each other, sunshine or unicorn kisses. It’s WORK! So much work. A marriage is a living thing and it takes two people to work hard on it.
I feel that in the world of social media these days, we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. We see those photos of smiling couples, the flowers that are delivered out the blue, the kissy lips. We think, gosh why is my marriage not like that? Why is ours so much work? We want those picture-perfect moments too.
The fact is… you only see the good things. No one posts the photos of the fights, the frustrations, or the anger. You don’t see the work, the hard work it takes to have two people on the same page.
I looked at the photos taken by the pool, the fancy plated fruit… what you don’t see is that we had stayed up until 3am the night before. Having a really deep discussion on parenting. We talked about all those things we could not say in front of our kids, or when we were too tired at night after bath time. We got to talk about how we were going to handle these next stages of parenting so we can be on the same page. How to get the toddler out of our bed and why it was important to my husband, the next steps to potty train our son, the frustrations on the amount of money we were spending on dance school, and overall way we both parent. We stayed up late, really late, discussing how we can become a team. How we can be on the same page, and compromise so we were a united front.
There we sat, in Vegas, talking into the wee hours of morning in our hotel room. Feeling frustrated, working on our marriage.
You don’t see that in our photos. We look so happy and united. (which we are at times). However, there are moments of work that took place on this trip.
You can’t compare your marriage to those on the internet, you’re not seeing the whole picture. Everyone has struggles, you’re not alone, you’re just not seeing it.
Looking back, I wish I would have taken those photos, the good and of the bad. So, I could remember how hard we worked and how much fun we had.
As we board the plane, I walked holding my husbands hand. We were now a united front. We had worked hard. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” they say… not for us. We were taking what we had learned home with us, and we were leaving with a better understanding of what marriage was.