Valentine’s Day has been getting a lot of blog interest this week, much of it sweet and sentimental, but not all of it is happy. Lot’s of V-Day haters out there, lots of disillusioned couples. V-Day can be stressful for many, it seems.
One of the blogs I follow is written by a young woman who re-posted some previous V-Day articles she’s written. The raw emotion of it lead me to read some of her previous posts and, to summarize, her husband had (in not-too-previous times) sent a love note of sorts to his ex-girlfriend through Facebook. Apparently, no other contact (meaning physical) has come of it and the ex-girlfriend has made it clear she’s no longer interested. But he got caught (the idiot), by forgetting to sign off his account before leaving his computer.
Well, the good news is, they’ve gotten through the worst of it. The bad news is, the pain he’s caused his wife is all online, for anyone to read. Anyone, meaning me, of course.
Reading the bleeding pain of this young woman, and probably being a bit sympathetic to the young man as well (his distressed emotions were also apparent), brought home to me the reality of what it’s like to be married in this day and age of love online.
Kids (please forgive me for sounding old here, by referring to anyone younger than 40 as “kids”), but kids today live in a world that my generation never had to. They live public. Their world is broadcast “live”.
Those black words printed on screen or comments on Facebook aren’t necessarily “real” to us oldsters, we don’t automatically think of them as real life. We know better. Or, at least, we think we do. But to the kids, that IS real life, and rightly so that they should feel that way. Just as we were raised to see things Pre-Facebook, they were raised with their lives public from the very beginning. Or at least, in this young woman’s case, early enough in their brief time here to have encrusted a solid weight of importance on their shoulders.
What a horrible burden to bear. For not only are romances begun online, but the whole of their relationship as well. How many couples meet online? How many videos are posted of extravagant, or funny weddings? Morning sickness is tweeted, and marital infidelity is shared among all the victims friends, relatives, and perfect strangers. Like me. I’m a perfect stranger. (Well, not so perfect).
The thing is, it’s not just marriage that is online in this crazed, electronic madness we call social media…. the whole messy divorce happens online as well.
As anyone who’s been married longer than 10 years can tell you, the reason very old, married couples frequently look like life-long soul mates, isn’t because they’ve had 60 years of wedded bliss. It’s because they’ve had 60 years! Those first years of marriage are a bitch for a lot of couples. The husband (or wife) still having issues with ex’s isn’t something new, and infidelity didn’t originate on Facebook. Hanky-panky has been around before God wiped out most of mankind with the great flood. Pretty much no-sooner than there were more than two people on this earth, someone’s eyes started to wander, and gossip became the mainstay of people’s entertainment from the moment it began. Albeit, the world was a smaller place then (John Henry messing around with the mayor’s daughter had a smaller audience), but the problems existed even then.
Choosing to live with one man/woman for the rest of your life is a hard thing to do! That’s why doing it (over and over for 60 years) is how you get better at it. You get to a point where you learn to adjust to each other, ride the bumps, and hold on for dear life through the darkness. Depend on each other. Developing trust.
Practice really does help.
Some people call this “settling”. They are wrong. There is no deeper love than the one that develops though tolerance, and need, and forgiveness. Through life.
In the case of my young couple, as I write this, the wife has developed some health issues (also online) which seems to have drawn her and her husband closer. They have been married for only a few years. They have many, many hills and valley’s ahead of them, but I have hope. From what I’ve read so far, they’re committed to making it work. They’ve put their commitment to each other ahead of their wounds, wondering if the band aid of dedication will be able to heal their pierced bond.
I think they can do it. Certainly it seems that I’ll be able to find out, simply by signing in to my computer. I thank God that my marriage began in a smaller world.
To this couple I say: Hang in there. Keep fighting for love. And when those dark, scary nights envelop you, and the fear of not making it looms in your mind, remember that old cliché about how it’s always darkest before the dawn? That’s not just a cliché. That’s a promise from God.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. (Psalm 5:3)