Another big-ticket author/speaker/social media influencer with a picture-perfect marriage recently announced her divorce. She is asking for privacy. Her followers are stunned.
Cue the collective gasps from the people who bought the books, the tickets, and the t-shirts. Cue the followers’ feelings of being duped. Cue the tut-tut’ers who claim the couple didn’t love Jesus enough. Cue the brokenhearted fans who feel crushed by a stranger’s crumbling marriage.
Why are we shocked and saddened when an influencer’s marriage breaks apart? Is it because we wonder if there can be any hope for our own marriages or long term happiness when the beautiful people with money, fame, book deals, sell-out crowds, vacations, a cleaning lady, great schools, and fabulous filters on their phones can’t keep up the dream?
When I read an influencer’s How-To’s Of A Happy Marriage, my eyes roll to the back of my head. The advice is seemingly the same: ‘Have sex! Pray together! Go on dates!’
If praying over tacos and a pitcher of margaritas, then going home to have sex was all it took to be happy, most of our marriages could thrive.
For every influencer who gushes about their marriage, for every influencer who posts endlessly happy photos, and for every influencer who cashes in claiming to have all the answers on marriage, there are thousands of followers left feeling blindsided and lied-to when the influencer’s divorce is announced.
The truth is: marriage is difficult.
Marriage is really difficult. It is one of the hardest things you can ever do. Having a happy marriage 100% of the time is impossible. It simply cannot happen. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. Don’t believe the curated photos on social media. Don’t believe all the stories of bedtime bliss and weekend magic.
Marriage can and will only ever be an imperfect, organic, ever-changing institution loaded with plot twists, triumphs, and tragedies. With two flawed humans at the helm, marriage is guaranteed to be messy.
So why are we always scanning social media, the news, or the neighborhood for marriages that look better (or worse) than ours? Why do we…