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I’ve been married for a lot of years. So many years that I admit that I frequently forget exactly how many. I often have to look at the embroidered wall sign my sister made for us to remember the exact date we tied the knot. We’ve been married long enough that taking out the trash is a romantic gesture and I am perfectly happy to get appliances for Christmas. Nothing says true love like a toaster oven, right?
I have learned, over the years, that marriage is a shit ton of work. If you think marriage is hearts and flowers and batting your eyelashes at each other and waking up to phenomenal morning sex you are either delusional or still on your honeymoon. A successful marriage requires you to work your ass off on so many levels it is like an Olympic sport. So, when I see things in the news like “xwz is ruining my marriage” or “this thing here destroyed my relationship with my husband” I get a little annoyed. You want to place the blame of marriage failure on one thing? I call bullshit on that. We need to look at the big picture here…
1. Yoga pants are not destroying your marriage. One extremely conservative blogger stopped wearing yoga pants in public because she didn’t want to entice other men to think sexual thoughts about her. Apparently, this decision was made after her husband admitted that he had trouble not looking at women’s asses in yoga pants. Honestly, who the hell cares where he looks? You put a cute guy in a speedo in front of me, I can tell you right now I am going to look. Probably twice. I may make popcorn and sit down for a good long stare. Who the hell cares? You can browse the menu, you just can’t EAT…no matter how delicious the food looks! Looking at other people in a sexual manner does not destroy marriage. Having no self control and getting naked with the cutie in the speedo…now THAT ruins marriages. Don’t blame the sexy, form fitting clothes…blame your crappy decision making skills.
3. Facebook does not ruin marriages. Social media of any sort does not ruin marriages. If you are looking to social media for your interpersonal relationships then something is lacking in your real life ones. Don’t blame Facebook when you meet some guy that is your ‘perfect match’ even though he isn’t your spouse. If you turned off your computer and went and hung out with your ACTUAL spouse, you might find that you have things to talk about. Sure, that guy online loves to mountain bike and yours doesn’t but maybe YOUR spouse would love to sit in a little cafe with you and drink coffee for a couple hours and people watch. That mountain biking hottie online probably leaves dirty socks all over the floor and can’t string two intelligent sentences together. Stop blaming social media for ruining your marriage. Make your spouse a priority and Facebook holds no power over your relationship at all. The key to any successful marriage is making your spouse a priority.
4. Porn does not ruin marriages. I know this one may be a bit controversial but we are not going to talk about the ‘ethics’ of the porn industry. We are solely talking about whether or not porn is ruining your marriage. Any adult of average intelligence knows that porn is fake. They are actors being paid to play a part and the better they ‘act’ the better they get paid. So for that adult to then become unhappy in their own sex life because it doesn’t resemble porn is rather ridiculous. It’s like me getting mad that my life isn’t as awesome as …well, some Hollywood movie that I really could care less about. You get the picture. The problem isn’t the porn, it is unrealistic expectations of what you want your spouse to be. Maybe you want your husband to be a highly paid lawyer and he is actually a struggling artist. Or, you want your wife to be a porn star but she has a bad back and a limited imagination. Porn isn’t the issue. Unrealistic expectations of marriage pose a greater threat to your relationship than some badly choreographed sex scenes on the computer.
So, the takeaway from this little lesson?
Marriage is really hard work.
If you don’t work your ass off at it, you will probably end up divorced or unhappily married for a really long time.
Don’t blame one thing if your marriage doesn’t work. Look at the overall picture. Those ‘big picture’ concepts are what is going to save your marriage. Work at them. BEFORE the problems start.
You can’t have a good marriage if both people aren’t fully committed to making it work. It sucks if you happen to be the one willing to work at it and the other person isn’t but since marriage is a two way street you kindof need both people fully on board the project.
If your significant other isn’t on board? Find a new one. Or maybe just hang out on Facebook and rent Fifty Shades of Grey by yourself.
I wear many hats in this thing called life. I am a science geek, an introvert, a busy mother of teens and slightly neurotic about dirty dishes. I used to have a really important sounding job in cancer research when I decided to give it all up to be a stay at home mom. I played with Playdough, colored pictures of Barbies and freaked out when the baby ate dog food. Then the second kid came along and I started to think dog food might have nutritional value. What is Fractionated Living? It is me…divided by work, life, kids, marriage, and hobbies and trying to come up with the answer to life.