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Let’s Talk About How Marriage Really Sucks Sometimes

Mar 23, 2018

Any time I see a Facebook post by a friend who’s wishing their spouse a happy anniversary, I cringe.

Think about the last time you saw one of those posts. There’s always references to soul mates or best friends, and how glad that person is to be sharing this crazy journey called life with their spouse. I don’t question whether that part is true, but I don’t see anyone posting about how they faked being super tired so they could avoid having sex on their anniversary. But you know it’s happened to more than one person.

As a parent who spends a fair amount of time on both Facebook and Instagram, I have watched the social media landscape evolve a lot recently. For years I saw nothing but #blessed posts, where parents only showed off the pretty parts of having kids. Then, finally, the shiny veneer was ripped off. Mommy bloggers began to show the internet that life with kids was messy, parenthood was hard and that people were more interested in what was going on outside the frame of that gorgeous close-up of your child, than your actual child.


Relevant Reading: Why My Husband and I Believe in Fighting in Front of Our Kids


I’d like to propose we start doing the same thing with marriage, because it can be just as messy and challenging as having children, in its own way.

I’ve hit that stage of life when the couples I have known for years are beginning to disintegrate. I know the statistics as well as anyone, but it’s shocking to see marriages you thought were healthy from the outside turn out to be quite rotten, when exposed to the light.

My own marriage is not without its hiccups. I’m not sure why it’s so scary to say that publicly, but I think it needs to be said more often. I had no idea, when I got married, the types of challenges my husband and I would face, both separately and together.

People gloss over the hard stuff when they find out you’re getting married. Nobody wants to hear that there may be days when you can’t stand the sound of your partner chewing, or question your sanity because you don’t understand how one person could so regularly forget to put their socks in the laundry basket or take their damp towel off the bed and hang it up (by the way, these examples are more likely to be me in my marriage, rather than my husband).


Relevant Reading: We Are Never Getting Back Together


What will break a marriage?

Will it be the difference in parenting styles you didn’t realize were present before having kids? Or perhaps the different approaches to finance and debt? Or will it just be the million tiny pieces of life that the two of you are unwilling to come to a compromise on, that create the beginning of the end?

Until we shine a light on the reality of marriage — on the misunderstandings, fights, annoyances and how willing we are to stick it out — it’s all a big mystery. But it doesn’t have to be, if we start talking about it.

Article Author Glynis Ratcliffe
Glynis Ratcliffe

Glynis Ratcliffe used to be an opera singer, but after her daughter begged her to stop singing and be quiet for the millionth time, she decided to use her inside voice and write instead. Two years later, this mom of three writes regularly about parenting and mental health for online publications like Scary Mommy, BLUNTmoms, Romper, YMC and The Washington Post, as well copywriting, editing and ghostwriting for anchor clients in various industries. Find her on Facebook, Twitter as @operagirl and her blog, The Joy of Cooking (for Little Assholes).

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