Aug 1 2016

I Cannot in Good Conscience Participate in the Love Your Spouse Challenge

My marriage is not as perfect as yours.

Seven years and two kids later, Facebook has absolutely convinced me of this. Written declarations of true love are forever cascading down my feed: You are my soul mate, baby boo-boo sugar lips. My one true love. I would never want to spend this life with anyone else by my side. Our marriage gets better and better and better AND BETTER every single day. Love you. Love you SO MUCH. You are THE BEST. Smooches.

Sometimes I wistfully “Like” these statuses. Sometimes I cock my head and think, “Hold up. Didn’t she just tell people she’s secretly researching divorce lawyers?” And sometimes I cringe a little to myself, because yikes, there are several days when I’m not sure I could shout such things from the rooftops…and many when my husband might not shout such things about me.

Is it just us? It CAN’T just be us, can it? We can’t be the only ones hitting all these rough patches, letting stressful situations get in the way of healthy conversation, sometimes going to bed angry even though The Marriage Rules say we shouldn’t. Maybe there are others like us, but Facebook says, “Nope. It’s definitely just you.”

The other day, a friend of mine summarized something she’d heard somewhere, and I love it. I LOVE IT SO HARD. “You know one hundred percent of your own life,” she said. “But on social media, you only share the best five percent of it: your baby’s first steps, your trip to the Bahamas, your graduation day. That’s all anyone else sees. It’s fascinating to keep up with those things, for sure. But it’s also why Facebook can be so discouraging: we compare one hundred percent of our own life to THE BEST five percent of everyone else’s.”

So when #LoveYourSpouse started trending, I watched curiously — and then awaited the inevitable nomination with a tiny undercurrent of dread. LOOK AT ALL THE SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE! LOOK AT ALL THE METICULOUSLY STAGED WEDDING PHOTOS! Everyone’s life was perfect. Everyone’s relationship was spotless. Everyone’s marriage consisted only of bliss and miracles and ecstasy and joyous, shimmering unicorn tears, and just that day I’d fought with my husband about something so ridiculous I couldn’t even remember how it started.

Let history show that I’m not completely opposed to chain mail-y things (though I admittedly feel pretty uncomfortable passing them on). I donated to the ALS Association during the ice bucket challenge. I accepted the “Motherhood Dare” on Mother’s Day and posted something that made me feel proud to be a mom. When my daughter got one of those “Sticker Club” letters in the mail, we shrugged and gave it a shot.

But you guys. Let’s keep it real for a minute. These chain letter “challenges” are spiraling out of control, and I don’t think I can partake in this one. Not the way I’m supposed to, at least. We have the airbrushed wedding pictures and the beaming, sparkly selfies — but I’d have to post something beyond our best five percent, because that’s not really how our union looks a lot of the time.

On Facebook, maybe, but not in real life.

If you want to see 7 days of posed photos that resemble the truth, they’re gonna look something like this:

love your spouse challenge couple fighting

DAY 1 of the Love Your Spouse Challenge: So…we fight about things sometimes. Maybe lots of times, depends on the day. This one might be about money, or disciplining the kids, or something I said twenty-seven years ago, or dirty socks. You never know, but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CAN WE PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT WHATEVER IT IS WE ARE TALKING ABOUT?! Today I nominate any couple who has disagreed with each other this month to participate in the Love Your Spouse Challenge.


Day 2 of the Love Your Spouse Challenge: "Scene From a Car." We are lost (again) and therefore late (again), which is obviously my fault as I have zero sense of direction even whilst using Google Maps. (Sorry, babe.) Also, the rule when driving is that one child must always be on the verge of sleep (pictured) and the other child must be screaming loudly enough to keep the other one awake (not pictured). Today I nominate any couple who takes a drive anyway because they just need to GET OUT OF THE DAMN HOUSE.

Day 2 of the Love Your Spouse Challenge: “Scene From a Car.” We are lost (again) and therefore late (again), which is absolutely my fault as I have zero sense of direction even whilst utilizing Google Maps. Also, the rule when driving is that one child must always be on the verge of sleep (pictured) and the other child must always be screaming loudly enough to keep the other one awake (not pictured). Today I nominate any couple who decides to take a drive anyway JUST SO THEY CAN GET OUT OF THE DAMN HOUSE.


Day 3 of the Love Your Spouse Challenge: Can a sister get a little space for some vino? Nah? WAIT. Maybe I can wedge something in the slot between those IPAs. Today I nominate anyone whose spouse throws the "thumbs-up" sign every time they take a selfie.

Day 3 of the Love Your Spouse Challenge: I mean, can a sister get a little space for some vino? Nah? WAIT. Maybe I can wedge something in the slot between those IPAs. Today I nominate anyone whose spouse throws the “thumbs-up” sign EVERY SINGLE TIME s/he takes a selfie.


love your spouse challenge couple in bed

Day 4 of the Love Your Spouse Challenge: 3 AM. Sounds of a hysterical baby screech through the monitor. You can only pretend to be asleep for so long…time to play “Whose-Turn-Is-It? Roulette.” No but really, WHOSE TURN IS IT? Today I nominate everyone who’s ever prayed their spouse would please sprout some milk ducts so someone else might be able to contribute to the nighttime feedings.


love your spouse challenge mom of two kids on the phone

Day 5 of the Love Your Spouse Challenge: Don’t worry — my husband IS in the picture. That’s him on the phone, just calling to let me know he’s stuck in the torment that is California traffic and that he will be home at never o’clock. Today I nominate everyone who feels just a tiny bit single sometimes.


love your spouse challenge man and woman blur as they run past each other

Day 6 of the Love Your Spouse Challenge: The baby is about to hurl himself down the stairs and one of us must stop him from dying. The pasta is boiling over and one of us must defend the family against second-degree burns. We are but ships that pass in the night. Today I nominate any couple who can attempt a high five as you blur past each other en route to your respective Superhero roles.


love your spouse challenge couple asleep on the couch date night

Day 7 of the Love Your Spouse Challenge: The kids are finally in bed, and now it is sexy time. Yep…you know what’s sexy? Rest. It is the seventh day. GET SOME REST. Today I nominate any couple who has ever taken “Netflix and Chill” literally.

The Love Your Spouse challenge asks participants to “celebrate love and promote marriage,” which is such a worthwhile message — any time anyone wants to champion love instead of hate, I’m on board. I’m SO with you. I post the shiny and the pretty, too. But this time, I wanted to try it with a dose of truth: Marriage is not just a glittery fairy tale. Marriage is hard. Marriage takes work. Marriage is a choice you make every day, not just one sun-soaked, euphoric wedding day, and it is a whole host of other clichés that are only overused because they are so, so accurate.

For us, anyway. Maybe it’s just us.

About Melissa

Melissa is a SAG-AFTRA actress and former high school teacher from Michigan who (reluctantly) moved across the country when she was six months pregnant. She is the winner of the SmokeLong Quarterly Grand Micro Contest and a past winner of the Breakwater Review Fiction Prize (selected by Susanna Kaysen, author of Girl, Interrupted), the F(r)iction flash fiction competition, and The Writer's inaugural personal essay contest, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Greensboro Review, New Ohio Review, HuffPost, Scary Mommy, and The Boston Globe Magazine, among others. She has been shortlisted for both the Bridport Prize and the Bath Flash Fiction Award and was recently selected for The Best Small Fictions and the Wigleaf Top 50. Melissa is represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

570 comments on “I Cannot in Good Conscience Participate in the Love Your Spouse Challenge

  1. Haha! This is fabulous! I think sometimes people try to hard to portray what they wish their life was like on Facebook, versus what it’s actually like (I know I’m guilty sometimes!) As someone engaged and nearing, gasp, married life, I’m trying to realize that when you’re married, it’s not suddenly flowers and sunshine and rainbows for life (although I’m sure it’ll still be pretty darn good with him!)

    Thanks for injecting some humor into nauseating Facebook chains! 🙂

      • Honesty is always better and I am happy to see how real you are being about the ups and downs of marriage , on that note it’s because you made it through those challenges that you can breathe and still get involved with live your spouse challenge because you are surviving it together so don’t feel excluded because you deserve a spot on love your spouse challenge . Both of you do . Be proud

      • I’m also a Michigander but moved to Connecticut in 2001 when my now ex-husband went to school here! I am like you–brutally honest. I think it’s part of our culture. And that’s why I sometimes hate Facebook! Being divorced makes me feel like a loser when I see all these “happy” couples’ pictures posted for SEVEN days in a row! It feels self-serving–like it’s validating to them. But the people are truly good and close friends, so I can’t be (but want to) be honest like you! I have a 9 year old with autism and felt like such a fake liar when I posted the Motherhood Challenge with pictures of a happy, cooperative child. Reality is that he hits me, swears, spits, and has massive meltdowns sometimes. You are right reality is not as pretty. It certainly never gets a “like” or even a “dislike” because reality is a bummer. No one wants reality from a single mom with special needs who now lives 800 miles from her family and has to face this life on their own. So, to keep my image, I guess I play the pretty picture game too and hope that one day my true feelings won’t come out! Thanks for being honest!

        • Jeanene, I’m in a similar situation as you, too. I’m a Marylander who moved to Connecticut in 2004 when my soon-to-be ex-husband got a job here. His family is here of course. We have 5 children, too. Life is busy to say the least. It’s hard to make that time for just us parents and pretty much impossible to maintain that “blissful” feeling we had when we were first married! The love (on my part) was always there but as you and every other mom out there who has young kids knows this life can make the art of marriage extremely challenging. As much as I posted happy moments captured with my family, there were also plenty of not so “happy-family” times. I felt like we were just like everybody else trying to do the best job we could and trying to keep a balance in our lives. It’s really hard! Not to mention living too far from immediate family and friends who want us to move back home!! It’s heart-wrenching.
          Hang in there…I guess what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. Well, that’s what I’ve been told a million times

    • This is what my challenge looked like – not even a mention of my spouse! ? Thanks for your honest and oh so true blog!!!! Loved reading it

      #Day1through7 Love your Spouse Challenge! I was challenged to post photos with my Spouse for 7 days and tag 1 or 2 of my peeps each day to keep the Celebration of Love and Marriage going strong. Let’s be real, I was tagged by several people weeks ago and I’m just now getting around to actually doing it. Oh, and I’m doing one big post because I can’t commit to 7 days of Facebook posts. One more thing, I only have collages in my pic collage app that hold up to 6 pictures, so there you go. I am now tagging what would after 7 days be 14 people, but let’s not get crazy here – I’ll tag 7 of you! ?. #justsayin’ #keepingitreal

      Ok, y’all are up next!!! ????

      • You just hit the nail on the head! I was so irratated seeing everyone’s posts about love your marriage. Most of the time I’m irrated at my husband. How about a hate your spouse challenge?

        • Maybe you need to take the challenge? (I never have as I don’t need to show case my marriage) but maybe some reflection on why you love your husband instead of festering on your irritation with him might help! I can only imagine how hurtful that would be if your husband read how irritated all the time you are with him!! Not to mention that’s the best reflection to others is your always irritated with him. Sure he would feel special.

          • No joke. I have never said anything bad about my husband. Together 12 years not a single fight. Why would you be with someone you can’t stand??? I just don’t get it

          • THANK YOU, JENN!

            I read this blog post on another friend’s page, was going to comment there, but instead opted to come here to voice my opinion. YOU nailed it, girl!

            If anyone is that unhappy with their spouse … just WHY are you still with them? We’re supposed to lift each other up, not tear each other down. No marriage is perfect, but in the end it’s how we lived, laughed, loved and yes, even sometimes yelled our way through the years that has kept us together. We celebrate friendships with photos, why NOT celebrate our partners in this thing called, “marriage”?

            We will celebrate 30 years of wedded bliss in September, and you can bet I’ll be celebrating my marriage on Facebook again WITH PHOTOS!

          • Exactly !! I think people are missing the point … Let’s appreciate the good times and the people around us cos the world is full of bad news , bad events , wars , rumors of wars , plagues, deaths , air crashes etc.. and if it is just one happy moment you have you have with your spouse thought out a 7day period then please appreciate it and share it cos the world could do with some good news

        • Showing the love and good times brings back fond memories and shows the less married that even during those times your busy stressed exhausted if you love each other there is hope that you can make it and no one said the pics you post had to be glamorous.

    • The most amazing thing I’ve read this week!!! So very true! Thank you for your voice of reality, really! After 20 years, my husband and I have been on and off of the verge of divorce more often than I like to admit, but, at the end of the day, we cannot wrap our heads or hearts around the idea of being without each other. A lot of the people we call friends don’t understand us, or how or why we are still together after some of our less shiny, broken moments. I say how can we not be? We have survived a lot and I am proud of the fact that we didn’t turn tail and run when things got uncomfortable or just plain hard.

      • My husband & I have been married for 25 years and like you divorce has come up more than not in conversations/quarrels. We have been through alot of unnecessary bs, but we’re still together…we cannot get on the “same page” because I’m constantly the one that’s told that I need to change. I get so frustrated that I just want to disappear and have for several hours a couple of times with no phone, children, nobody knowing where I was at and it was fantastic.

          • Yes, but the good should out weigh the bad if you’re really trying . Not finding a way out.
            I know! I was married for 20 yrs. sucker walked out on 5 kids. Left us homeless.
            Was it me? Could have been. But when I asked him in a court house what went wrong, he says “I just wasn’t happy”. Lol yea, I gave birth via 5 c-cections, 19-25 ya old. Allergic to every birth control known then. Moved 17 times, supported him through his job searches. Home made lunches, breakfast every morning, at 5 am, breast feeding, bottles, he changed 1- uno, one diaper !! Left me for some woman he studied with on the rr. While they both enjoyed my homemade dinners and lunches. He even adopted her basterd girl, while I gave birth to a much smarter and beautiful girl Ever! I endure the hurt in my young men’s eyes, and the little girl that should have been his princess everyday. I suppress my tears now, cause it’s been 15 yrs. but God it hurts like a death, my heart broke and stopped twice through it all- I’m still single, only because I know the signs. Ask, please don’t rush, listen with your gut, not your heart, it can be treacherous……..get in shape to be strong enough to walk away and not get caught up in the ” IDEA” of the gown, the ring…….it’s so much more, believe me, it’s been a lonely ride.
            BUT I STILL BELIEVE IN TRUE LOVE, Because I know what love is and to have lost…..
            “Still I rise “. So you youngins, don’t rush love, make sure it’s real Love.
            Ate food bought with food stamps I had to bend the truth for, but oh no, wouldn’t take me to a store to shop, never bought the kids clothes, hammy downs, Salvation Army .
            That guy, I spent my little money , when he made it on the Longlislannder rail road–55-100,000, yr now. To celebrate his new job on balloons and scotch and a rib eye dinner on!!!
            He was my king. But left anyway. Where am I? Still struggling.

          • I understand this. Yet, after all these yrs I feel left out and hurt that I cannot participate in this because he chose to abandon us; to raise her 2 children when he had his own two. His beautiful daughter and toddler son, they didn’t deserve this because I “wasn’t fun anymore”. Well, that’s what happens when you get married and during your fun times you both decide to have children, yet I’m the one who did everything. No wonder I wasn’t fun, I was exhausted! But I’ve been the one to see a lot of things he didn’t see, be a part of their lives he wasn’t a part of. Wouldn’t give it up for a million years or lots of fun. You lost out, buddy.

        • Hey Cindy, just out of curiosity I flipped it around, to see what would happen.

          Cindy’s husband: “My wife & I have been married for 25 years and like you divorce has come up more than not in conversations/quarrels. We have been through a lot of unnecessary bs, but we’re still together…we cannot get on the “same page”. I’ve also told her she needs to change. She says that she gets so frustrated that she says she wants to disappear and she has for several hours a couple times. She didn’t take her phone. She left the children and I and didn’t tell us where she was going. She also says it was fantastic.”


      • Wow…thought I was reading about my husband and myself.
        October we’ll be married 28 yrs…yesterday I was ready to choke him. Of course, I never would because I love him, but I really want and not so lol.
        I say we have survived a lot, including each other and our craziness! We’ve been through hell, but we are still standing! & he’s still here and so am I….so are y’all, you know?
        Have a great day!

      • I’m an underachiever. I committed to 3 days of pictures. After day 2, I’m stuck. Take a new picture or go to archives of 7 or 8 years ago. Took a picture yesterday for day 2. Did I really weigh that much and was my hair really that short. Anyway. Life is real. Times get tough. Celebrate the moments.

        • Thanks Angela; I was thinking along the same lines, about people wanting to show the love, happy, etc- seeing that it was/is a “love” your spouse challenge. It actually caused me to think more of the happy and happier times we’ve had and I enjoyed reading some of the creative comments spouses shared about their spouse. That challenge was one of the few I actually chose to participate in. Anywho!

          • While I can appreciate the reality and sarcasm in this article, I actually appreciate the #loveyourspousechallenge.
            Many of the nay-sayers of this challenge suggest that it is a false depiction of relationships and marriage and that those who participate are naive and wear rose-colored glasses. Trust that we are all human and when two people come together as a team, there are inevitably times of seriousness, challenge, annoyance, and disagreement, but there are also times of amusement, triumphs, gratification and harmony. That is life. It isn’t always going to be easy. Marriage takes love, friendship, teamwork, and perseverance. In a world where there can be so much divide, ugliness, and hate, I choose to see and share the love and positivity.

        • Amen Lynn. To me the idea of the challenge is beyond the negative stuff couples go through, there are good times. The challenge is to promote that! So many people just get divorced or stay married for comfort vs the real reason they chose to originally. So I agree with the challenge, and Lynn show pics from 7-8 yrs ago, some of my friends posted when they first got married 30 some odd years ago.

        • That’s just it! Celebrate the moments! When you’re stuck in a rut, frustrated or burned out in your marriage, activities like this help you remember WHY you said “I do”. It’s not meant to look fake or pretend that everything is perfect – it’s meant to show appreciation and honor the person who has stuck through the good times and bad with you. I’m not see why I keep reading these blogs that portray this as a bad thing. And it hurts my heart to read some of these comments… There is hope, people! Look for those things that made you fall in love with your spouse and celebrate them.

          • I agree with Hope. Life is hard, and everyone struggles to keep their marriages together from time to time. But after many years of the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly, my husband and I are both still in love.
            This year, on our 38th anniversary, we lost my son to cancer. We found out he was sick one day, and 9 days later, he died.
            Grief is something no one should have to suffer through alone. What would I have done, had I not had my husband, strong and patient, to be here for me on these hard days?
            I think that sometimes, especially when you are young and with children, it is so easy to let those little things get the best of you. Don’t let them.
            Instead, try to remember when you fell in love often. Enjoy your similarities, and accept the differences. Tell each other “I love you,” often. Talk things out; don’t blame; don’t accuse or call each other names. And if you feel like saying you are thinking about divorce, hold your tongue. Maybe it is time you give that marriage counselor a call, instead.
            It’s a lot easier to make an imperfect marriage work, than to put yourselves and your kids through a bitter divorce that could have been prevented.
            As for the marriage challenge, it is a good opportunity to remind yourself and your spouse why you are still together. You won’t be disingenuous. Facebook is not the place to air your dirty laundry, anyway.

          • I too agree with Hope! For me the whole idea of this was to remind me to look for the good instead of always finding the negative. After hitting rock bottom in our marriage a few years ago we decided to try a little counseling. What stuck with me the most was I was always looking at what was wrong and bad. Constantly waiting of the other shoe to drop and thinking the grass was greener somewhere else. And I discovered that thru my eyes life sicked and I was dragging everyone else around me down with me. So now I try everyday to find and see the good somewhere. Because no one is perfect and life is hard enough without any help from me.

          • I, too, agree with Hope. The love your spouse challenge wasn’t supposed to be a way to make people look fake. But there are certainly wonderful days in every marriage and it’s o.k. to share those. No, nobody is perfect, nor is any marriage perfect. If that’s what you’re thinking when you see these posts, I think you’re missing the point. Focus on the positive and look for the good. This was a way to share some fun things about your marriage, things that you cherish, memories that you hold dear. It wasn’t a way to make everyone think that you live a fairy tale life.

          • Hope, I agree with you! I will be married 24 years tomorrow. Have we had our ups and downs? Yes, but who hasn’t? Marriage is hard work, but the purpose of the challenge was to focus on the LOVE. I did the challenge all 7 days and not many of who I tagged did it. I understand the reasons of the author and what many are saying. But I believe, that if YOU believe in marraige, and what it stands for, then you would do the challenge in order to show that love. Whether it is 1 post with a few pics or 1 every day. The reason to do it is to promote love. There is too much hate and ugliness going on in the world already. This helps counteract some of that. Sure there are days when you have fights and disagree, but if you have stuck it out, mo matter how many years, THAT is an accomplishment, and worthy yo be celebrated.

      • Yay, y’all! We’ve had our far share of hard times, including developing a mental illness (mine), but I can’t imagine anyone else but him holding me up. He keeps telling me this is where God wants him to be and and wouldn’t want to be living life with anyone else. Is it any wonder I still love him so much after 25 years of knowing him and almost 23 years of marriage?

      • My husband and I have been married 41 years. We have had our hard times and our over the top times. No marriage is perfect. Love is an 100%/100% commit to each other and to God the Father. I was never promised a rose garden but my hubby treats me like a queen and he is my Prince Charming. I know I am blessed.

    • This, as you said about the love my spouse challenge, makes me cringe. Why? Because, why can’t people show happy? Love? Without being judged? Of course, marriage is a roller coaster. I’ve been married 27 years and rather you want to hear it or not, I do love my spouse more today than I did even on our wedding day! Not because we haven’t had our struggles or issues. The good Lord knows we sure have! . We’ve grown as individuals and a couple in those 27 years. We’ve both matured! We’ve grown to appreciate, we’ve learned that everything is not a battle nor a standoff of who’s right or wrong. We’ve been through a lot that has bonded us way beyond the wedding day. Marriage is a process and it should be celebrated! Not many today put in the effort to make it work.

      Now, for anyone to sit back and believe because someone post 7 days of posed, perfect pictures and write up gooey, love running over statuses, that the marriage is perfect that’s just naive. Maybe even a little bitterness. Common sense tells “us” married couples that no ones marriage is perfect or without struggle. Nothing is, right? This is real life after all. However, should anyone air out their personal issues on social media? To 500+ of our closest friends? I think maybe the question should be why do we want to see or hear that? To make us feel better? To gossip? To say, I knew they weren’t perfect? To pray for them and the Union of their marriage? What’s the motive of not being able to just look at the pictures, smile, be happy for them and wish them all well?

      If people go through life discouraged because they only see the good or what looks like perfect in people’s lives on social media and it makes them feel inadequate, then they to me already had other things going on before the marriage or any ther challenge came about. Why does it have to be a slight to anyone? Why can’t it just be you show what you like to everyone and others show what they like and we are realize reality lays somewhere I between.

      The answer to your question – no you’re not the only one that has a real marriage. One of disagreements, nights of going to sleep without speaking, struggles with finances, tired with young and older children. The list goes on. However, marriage is beautiful as well. It does have a lot of great times. You can still be excited to see your spouse walk in the door. You can say, I wouldn’t want to do life with anyone else by my side. If married to the right mate, it’s all goodtimes and badtimes—–worth it!

      • Some interesting points, Angela. Such a bummer that people are taking my post so personally, though! My husband and I had a blast taking these photos (psst…he was in on it 😉 ), and the actual point isn’t *really* about the challenge at all. That said, I do hope people can stay lighthearted, laugh a bit at (with?) our pics, and let them serve as a tiny reminder that even the “rough” times in a marriage are more than okay — they’re maybe a little bit beautiful.

        • There is absolutely beauty in the messy parts of marriage. It’s not a fairy tale. But it is worth it. Even when you’re running in opposite directions trying to keep the kids from killing themselves or each other. Even when you facepalm for the five billionth time because your spouse has left their towel in a wet heap on the bathroom floor. (Yeah, I’m guilty of that one).

          • I loved your post and appreciated all the others as well. I felt the negativity in some and what I say to them is GRACE. If these women found your post offensive then why comment. Be the graceful woman they believe they are at home and offer the same courtesy to you. We all have an opportunity to learn from one another and I think a lot of women deny this chance out of threat or fear and this type of open and LOVING communication can help us be better wives. Wives of GRACE.

        • I loved this! Cracked me up because I can totally relate! I got nominated and just didn’t feel like doing this or like I could. I don’t know why people are being so silly about it and finding the negative in your humor. I totally got it. They talk about you judging them and here they are judging you!

        • I get it. It’s all for your precious blog. All the shares you’re getting…Keep up the good work of adding to the negativity to social media. Do what you gotta do. Smdh.

        • As a leaver of 7 somewhat sappy-ish photos with my spouse, I enjoyed this fresh take. I see Angela’s point, and agree with it, but I also liked the sense of humor you displayed in your original post. The thing that cracked me up the most: you and your husband having a “fight”… in a spotless-no-dirty-dishes-perfectly-wiped-counter kitchen. That was just… lovely. 🙂 Here’s to working through our issues in spotless kitchens from here on out. 🙂

          • Yes!! I was totally distracted by the spotlessness of the house in every picture! Everyone has their own struggles- mine is less with marriage and more with housework, evidently! ?

        • Melissa – I read your article and can relate to many of the points. As a person with way more life experience (read I am old) and a 29 year marriage that has included 3 kids, one of which has serious lifelong medical issues, and a breast cancer diagnosis, I will tell you focus on the positive. I believe that this silly Facebook challenge has required people to look for the good in life. I am sappy, I have a wonderful not so perfect marriage that I am proud of. I wish I had more friends that shared the 5℅ of there life that is good. Our world is troubled and I enjoyed checking out vacation pictures and baby pictures. I hope you and your husband continue laugh together and enjoy each other in your unique way.

        • Thank you Melissa, I got it. Thank you for keeping it real. I appreciate your blog a lot as a single person who contemplates about marriage in the future. I hope everyone can equally share the good and bad in a marriage in a graceful way that will uplift others because as you have said “that even the ‘rough’ times in a marriage are more than okay- they’re maybe a little bit beautiful”. ??

        • honestly enjoyed the honesty in the post. Beyond that, I believe it really reflects the true love in your marriage! It’s easy to experience feelings of love in the midst of the relaxing fun times, but the true test of one’s love is choosing to love in the midst of difficulties while relating to another with imperfections. Keep up the good work!

      • Angela! I couldn’t have stated what you said any better! Your comment sums up my feelings about this article up perfectly! Thank you! Not to mention the irony of the staged “rough life” photos! Ugh!

      • This isn’t saying not to love or celebrate marriage. But why do you need to tell everyone how much you love your spouse and your marriage? You shouldn’t need to prove your love of your spouse to anyone other than him/her.

        “Not many today put in the effort to make it work.”

        Divorce rates have been going down for a while now, so I’m not sure why you believe that.

        • Molly, why shouldn’t others know that we love our spouses? What’s wrong with celebrating love “publically”? People whine about people posting their dirty laundry/family drama on Facebook and people whine when people post happy stuff on Facebook. I guess we’re just supposed to keep resharing the same old memes and the same old videos of stupid people doing stupid things, and cute puppy dogs and other animals doing cute things. Nobody is trying to prove anything to anybody by sharing staged or candid happy pictures of them and their spouses.
          Marriage is ridiculously hard and it should be celebrated despite the hard and challenging times that happen in all marriages.

          • I totally agree with you. Let those of us who are happy celebrate. How do you think people who can’t have babies feel about your motherhood challenge? Let people be happy where they can. And don’t hate on the ones who are happy.

          • well Shellie, I see you are a poster and a whiner! at least you back up what you write. So it should be OK for others to post and whine too. Live and let live, post and let whine. It’s social media not reality. and she never said other people shouldnt post that they love their spouse, not once did she say that. She didnt complain about people posting, she complained about how she was feeling incapable of participating. calm down and let people voice their opinions on their own blogs. You go back to your own page and grouse about people who feel below average voicing their opinions on their own page. After all, she didnt come to your page and tell you to quit posting your perfect moments stories. “Nobody is trying to prove…” now you dont know that, so dont correct her on something you cant honestly say is 100% correct. Remember she is NOT trying to say anything about YOU she is saying something about herself….on her own page. Breathe.

        • When did it become a bad thing to express your love for your spouse? Personally, I would much rather have my newsfeed inundated with my friends expressions of love than all of the “inspirational” quotes and whining. Any half way intelligent adult knows that no one has a blindingly happy marriage at all times. But given the choice of seeing photos of my friends looking happy and appreciating their spouses, or photos of their arguments, I would have to say I would rather see the former.

          • Exactly. Articles like this are rooted in so.much jealousy. If we’re posting about our love we aren’t saying there aren’t rough or bad times. It’s not the “show your reality” challenge. It’s the LOVE YOUR SPOUSE CHALLENGE. Miserable people always want to make it seem like NOBODY is actually happy.

        • I didn’t do this challenge to tell everyone that I love my husband or to prove to anyone that I love my husband. I did this challenge because it was fun. I did this challenge because it fun to look thru pictures that I haven’t seen in a while. Looking thru the pictures just reminded me why I love this man. The pictures reminded me of the love he has for others. I didn’t actually need a reminder, but it filled my heart with joy to see these little reminders.

          Every marriage has it’s ups and downs. Good times bad times.

          Way too many judgmental people in this world.

      • I feel the same way. I love my husband and yes we have discussions at times but that doesn’t make me stop loving him. He calls me every day at lunch and tells me he loves me. I also enjoy looking at my friends on Facebook photos. There is too much hate and sarcasm in the world today. To just be able to enjoy someone else’s happiness is good to me.

      • Thank you Angela, I so appreciate what you wrote and agree.
        Going on 21 yrs of marriage and I know the struggles of marriage especially with 5 children (one with special needs) and while yes we have had more than our share of trials, disagreements, and financial difficulties … I actually do love my husband more today then I did and yes, I do gush over him, he is my greatest encourager and supporter, and YES I can’t imagine my life without my him.
        Why not celebrate and post 7 little pictures, reflect on those beautiful memories. I thank God for preserving our marriage!
        As it has been mentioned, if anyone thinks that people have a perfect marriage/life because of 7 pictures that have been post … maybe it’s time to mature a little and not be so naive.

      • Perfectly said. I don’t have a perfect marriage by any means. But we work hard at making it good. To participate in this, which I said was not a challenge, is such a joy because I love showing old fun pictures of my spouse. I am proud to talk about my marriage because we make it work. And the older I get (married 30 years now) the better it gets. And in closing a number of people told me I shouldn’t marry my husband thank goodness I didn’t listen to them because God has blessed my marriage and he is so good to me.

      • *Sigh* Everything is “judging” anymore. Someone expresses their opinion, they’re “judging.” I think people have seriously lost the meaning of that word/concept. Just because someone thinks differently than you does NOT mean they are judging you; at least it does not mean that they are being overtly judgemental. They simply judge themselves to have a difference of opinion. No need to take it personally and no need to toss that word around.

      • YES! Thank YOU, Angela!!

        And in response to Molly, why do I need to justify what I post on social media? It’s literally 7 pictures over the span of 7 days saying that I love my husband. What would YOU like me to post about? All the crap going on in the world? The point of the spouse challenge was to overrun social media with love and happiness to get a break from this sad world. I’d rather see a million sappy posts that I know do not sum up a marriage than one negative post any day.

      • I don’t think she was saying that there aren’t good times. But you just said it yourself in your comment that you’ve had your struggles and ups and downs. That’s all she was saying also. If you get her sense of humor then you appreciate the diversity and truth in her words. Open your mind. Don’t see things so negatively. ❤

      • Very well said, Angela. Thank GOD we only see the good 5%, although if someone has a good marriage it’s a LOT more than 5% happy or they wouldn’t be still married. I, for one, would much rather see the good than the ugly. It makes me feel good to see someone else feeling good. There’s enough bad on fb as it is. I don’t WANT to see anyone’s dirty laundry. Everyone has bad times that should be kept PRIVATE not shared with the public. I feel sorry for your marriage if you can’t find 7 pictures of you and your husband being happy. If you’re only happy 5% of the time, that’s not a good marriage. You need to start looking for a good divorce lawyer. Some people do call their spouses pet names like honey, sweety.booboo and such. There’s nothing wrong with that.

        • Exactly!! While my marriage isn’t perfect we are definitely happy more than 5% of the time!! Shouldn’t we encourage happiness? If you don’t like what people post why even have Facebook? People always have to have something to complain about! We all k ow the real struggles of marriage and having a family but why dwell on those moments? You’ll never be happy if all you think about is the bad!

      • Thank you Angela! I completely agree! I participated in this challenge, well for 5 days anyway. But after surviving-yes SURVIVING 30 years of marriage with the same man, I felt like I had earned the right to celebrate it! Of course it’s been hard! And wonderful! And stressful! And a LOT of work! And I would not change it for anything in the world! And realistically, no one takes pics of couples when they are fighting! Lol

      • Prefect response. And for the record there are many married couples who do have excellent relationships. After a couple of failed relationships I was determined to find someone that I could live with without constant fighting, miscommunication, and frustration. I found that man and for the last 18 years we’ve had a peaceful relationship and we are the best of friends… it’s not just the picture I paint on Facebook. When we’ve been broke, when we have lost loved ones in death including our first grandson, when we have been jobless or starting new companies or dealing with health issues… through all the stress there was no name calling, fighting, anger towards each other. My kids can attest to that. And for the last 18 years I’ve been instilling in my children the belief that there is someone out there that is compatible with you who will be supportive and loving and that you will be able to go through good times and bad times without turning on one another. So it makes me really happy to see my grown daughters with children participating in the “Love your spouse” challenge. In my opinion, living with your significant other doesn’t have to be hard… it can be the most rewarding thing you do if you find the right person and you both do your part. Taking it one step further, it’s entirely possible for someone who has a not so great marriage to share the “good things” about their spouse on social media and it’s entirely possible that it could help them start focusing more on the good than the bad and have a positive impact on their relationship.

        • Wendy, I totally agree with you. I am a 59 year old woman who found the man who I was meant to be with 22 years ago. We’ve had our hard times in life and we’ve had some arguments. Truthfully, I can’t tell you what the last silly argument was about or how long ago it was. It was so inconsequential. We truly love and appreciate each other. That’s the key to a successful marriage. Be thoughtful with your words and what you say. We don’t feel the need to hurt each other because we are on the same team. My husband still calls me his bride even to others. I haven’t done the Marriage Challenge because I don’t feel the need to prove that I have an awesome marriage but I don’t begrudge anyone else doing it or not doing it. I just hope that couples learn that marriage doesn’t have to be so difficult if both remember they are a team and treat each other that way. I couldn’t imagine my life without my husband. If I am lucky, I’ll never have to find out.

      • Absolutely agree….Angela, been married 29 years. Love my husband with all my heart…if we can’t share 7 possitive GOD HELP US. And maybe FB is not a good place for her.
        Thanks for truly making it real Angela.

      • Absolutely!! Marriage isn’t for the faint of heart – but I think it’s great to show the happy parts! Lord knows there’s enough bad stuff out there!

      • Thank you!!!!! 7 day Challenge is exactly that….just a fraction of the complete whole union. If you’re cringing at someone’s love posts, then you’ve got your own bitterness to deal with.

      • Thank you Angela, I’ve been married 27 years as well and quite frankly your words are almost identical to what I was thinking. Thanks for saying them for me 😉

      • Well said Angela! I wish I could say I was married to the person I am now married to for 27 years. I applaud you and your spouse. You are absolutely correct, it is not all bliss, but when you are with the right person, it is all worth it. I’m proud of my husband, he is my best friend, and I know he would do anything for me as I would for him. No, he is not perfect neither am I or anyone else. I love him, as I told a friend who posted this, warts and all!

      • You said it perfectly Angela. What’s wrong with being positive? Looking at pictures of happy times to post on fb might actually lift your mood and help you love your spouse more that day!!

      • I agree with Angela. Facebook lately has been flooded with such negativity lately, why bash something that is meant to be positive??? I think anyone who is in any kind of relationship knows that it’s never perfect. The people who do think someone’s marriage is perfect just because of a few posts?? Well, that’s just naive. For those who stand back and accuse someone of “pretending” they have a perfect marriage just because they post happy memories with their spouse need to get a grip and stop being so judgy. What is wrong with lifting up your spouse? If anything I think it helps us to take pause and realize how lucky we are to have them, even in the chaotic moments when we want to bite each other’s heads off. Lol. Btw-I have not participated, but if asked i would be honored to take the opportunity to promote marriage in a positive light. if people don’t want to be bothered or annoyed by it, they can just keep scrolling…

      • Yes! Show the love! Nobody is perfect. We don’t celebrate people’s worst moments, we celebrate lovely moments. Everybody has stuff they don’t post…. that is called tact and respect.

      • Thank you Angela. That’s exactly what I was thinking. It’s not perfect. Everyone has struggles which I WHY I celebrate my marriage… because even though I can be a real b!&$^/, he loves me and we make it through. I think it’s important to focus on the positive, not the negative. It’s for better AND for worse… this morning, we argued… I slammed the door on my way out… but the beauty of our marriage is that I can come home and give him a big hug and know that it’s all good. That’s WHY I love him, why I am so glad he’s mine, why I can’t imagine spending every single day with anyone else. I did NOT do the Motherhood dare, or the ice bucket… but the spouse challenge… it’s the FIRST one I am doing! And I even said so in my day one post!

      • Angela, I wanted to respond to this naysayer blog, but you summarized it all better than I ever could have. Wish I could give you a hug. Thanks for a good response. Spot on.

      • I soooo agree with Angela! My husband and I have disagreed occasionally over the 46 years we have been married, but there is no one I would rather spend my time with, I adore him, and I feel equally adored! I know we are very lucky!!

        I have loved seeing other couples celebrating the joy of their marriages! Never occurred to me to feel anything but happy to have others share their joy!

      • Extremely well said Ashley. I’m coming up on 24 years of marriage. It has definitely not been easy and filled with lots of loss of loved ones, money and job challenges and fights that went on for days. But the one constant in this not so perfect life is my husband for which I couldn’t have gotten through all the bad parts. My husband and I are a happy couple because we don’t push things under the rug. We argue but it always comes back to our love for each other. I’d be stupid to focus (and glorify on Facebook) on the bad times. It’s a focus on the good times that get you through the bad times.

        So yes, I did participate in the Love Your Spouse Challlenge. Because I wanted all of my friends and family to know how much I love him and him being by my side during all of the not so perfect moments. And BTW, my pictures were not perfect or photoshopped. They showed a couple who truly loves one another.

      • Your response is perfect! I too wish to share the love of my life and we actually get along very well and the subject of divorce has never come up. No seriously, NEVER. We waited to marry until we were a little older and wiser and it has served us well. Well actually the good Lord up above put us together and we work together and respect each other and speak kindly and understand when the other is struggling and help pull them through. It is beautiful and I choose to focus on the good which is closer to 85% of the time, not 5%. Be happy and share what you want and feel happy about. Thank goodness we are not all the same.

      • So sorry you seem so miserable in your marriage. Look, we all argue, it happens. But the challenge was not about lies and false pretense. It was about couples to pull the good out of what they have. To express that love as a way to make it better. When you focus on the positive and the love, when you begins to try and make that the priority, it changes the harmony in your home, in your relationship. It was in fact, to focus on the positive. Hope yours gets better.

      • I agree with you. Nothing is perfect and my children know not every marriage is perfect. It’s as good as what you put into it. It DOES work– but doesn’t anything that’s worth having or fighting for? He is the one God picked for me …. He is the one I chose to spend my life with and have a family with. I NEED him. I’m not ashamed to share or say that.
        Maybe if you’re having a bad day, send your spouse a text and just say I love you. It’s a nice thing to do for him and for you.

      • I think you’re missing the point of Melissa’s post, but as with any social media, there are many different opinions about what someone wrote. I don’t think she intended to say that people shouldn’t participate in the love your spouse challenge. She was stating why SHE couldn’t do so, at least not in the same way others are participating. It’s true that, more often than not, facebook only shows the best 5% of people’s lives. Facebook is about capturing moments, so it’s easy to look at someone’s facebook page and think, “Wow. She’s got her stuff together. I’m such a mess.” On the Internet, we can portray ourselves however we want to. When I scroll through my facebook feed, it’s hard not to compare myself to other people. But, then I have to remind myself that their pictures and posts only capture such a small portion of their very messy human lives.

        There’s nothing wrong with posting happy or exciting things on facebook. It’s a way for us to celebrate the good together. But I think we also need to be more real with our family and friends about what life really looks like for us, to share in the good and the bad, not just the good.

        Thanks for your post, Melissa. I’m right there with ya. I love my husband so dearly, but we are not without our problems! It’s always nice to know we’re not alone.

      • Thank you. I’m not one to air my dirty laundry on FB or any other social media site. I participated in the love your spouse challenge….to show my appreciation for the life I share with him. Marriage is definitely not all glitter and romance. But I’m still very much in love with my husband. We fight, we have days that seem never ending. But 10 years together and we still have the warm and fuzzies for each other. I don’t look at anyone on FB and think their life is perfect. I wish them well and keep scrolling.
        Ps. I don’t agree with posting negative or dirty laundry about your marriage on social media. Poor taste.

      • Year 7 in a marriage SUCKS!! I can say that with 21 years under my belt. We were in the same place. Financial struggles, two small children, him drinking and doing his thing and me responsible for holding it all together. It got better and life got good about year 15. Then fell apart at year 21. I too see all the “mushy” stuff and wonder. I refrain from putting all the emotional decrees on FB and social media about how in love I am and my spouse is my everything. I know it can change in a heartbeat. Plus, it is no one else’s business. At longs as my spouse and I are on the same page, no one else matters except are now almost grown children. In January my husband asked for a separation and then divorce. Vakentines Day about killed me seeing all these posting of couples, families and love. I don’t post things like that even under normal conditions. I post a picture at Easter of the family and the kids events. We have been working on restoring our marriage. Believe me that restoring a marriage isn’t any easier than divorcing. It’s hurtful, painful with many hours of tears. We didn’t make everything public because again it wasn’t anyone’s business. Those that needed to know did. I was recently nominated for the challenge. I too cringed and was going to ignore it. I went to my husband and asked how he felt about it. He was actually excited and wanted me to post pictures for the 7 days. A lot of the pictures were older like when we got married or when the kids were really little. I made no undying declarations of love or about what a wonderful husband and father he is. He has his moments where he is amazing and they are becoming more and more frequent now. But I’m not going to misrepresent. Do I love my spouse? YES. Do I always like him.? Absolutely not!! Marriage goes through stages. The stage of parenthood before 18 is NOT easy. We didn’t mke time for us and lost the sec and more importantly the intimacy. That has all been restored and we are like when we were first married. If marriage is important to both of you, you will hold on a find your way through. I changed myself after he opened up and was honest. That led him to make changes. Best of luck to you be I hope you reach a point where you no longer have these feelings. However, know that you are not alone if they don’t go away. And good for you for being honest about your feelings.

      • AMEN!!!!!!!!! It’s to promote marriages. To try and write an article gripping about your own marriage… That’s a personal image. And this article shows her life as a negative, overwhelmed Disater story. All marriages aren’t built to self-distrust. In today’s society marriage is portrayed as a negative entity. The challenge challenges us married people to be just as excited about being married, as being excited about our child’s first t-ball game. I’d rather see 7 days of blissful marriage pictures, than 7 days of the mess you normally encounter on Facebook. Let’s promote what God creted man, and woman to do…. Get married, nothing is wrong with marriage.

      • I agree I love my husband throug everthing we have been through. We have been married 12 years together 14 and friends for 25. When we got married each of us had 2 children from different relationships. We were told by many people our marriage would not last one year. I will tell you now I understand everything you wrote, however I think the reason we make it through every fight we have is that we love each other more that we want to win a fight. I think showing you still love your spouse is a wonderful thing it makes you think about the good times or even what fight you may have just made it through. Anyone who thinks marriage is all roses and sunshine is just bull shitting themselves. I will post my challenge because I do love my spouse even on the days I want to kill him lucky for him love wins lol. Ps we had 2 more kids to add to the mix so it’s been a crazy ride.

      • Well said! I have been married 29 years and when I was in the phase of young children I might of felt like her. It is never easy but Divorce was never allowed to be a threat! We lived our imperfect lives with gratefulness and a little bit of crazy at times! It is not always greener on the other side. Truefuly everyone is perfectly imperfect.

      • So I should be getting ready for work when I read this, and I did participate in the love your spouse challenge.
        While I agree that most of what’s on Facebook is only the best 5% percent of peoples’ lives and we do compare it to 100% of our lives, I thought it was good for me to do this challenge because it made me think and find old pictures of happy times.
        I do feel my life is a bit uneventful and lately the only photos I post are my kid, almost 0 status updates, and mostly recipe reposts. It was nice for me to share about me and my spouse.

      • I appreciate the article and the fact that people do constantly compare their life to others on Facebook, but the challenge was not to see who has the best married life, it was an opportunity to share love and your marriage. A privilege that up until recently not everyone had. I know tons of couples who are going on 20+ years of being together but were unable to get married. I am still a newly wed, but my wife and I are not those people who post sappy things on FB about each other all the time. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel that way for one another. This challenge was fun and a way to get rid of all the other crap we are seeing. I don’t know about anyone else, but I had a blast looking through pictures and taking a stroll down memory lane. So I appreciate the spirit behind the article, I just feel you missed the point of challenge.

      • I feel exactly the same. It made me sad to read this post. I have been married for 21 years, and we have been through some horrible times, including losing a child, but I love my husband with all my heart and can honestly say that the good times way outweigh the bad. Who cares if we wanna celebrate those good times with a few cheesy posts! A long running marriage is rare these days, so I’m all for celebrating love, even if it is just a 7 day glimpse!

      • Loved your response Angela!! It’s about hunting the good stuff. We all know life isn’t a piece of cake and neither is marriage but if we can’t get all gooey happy and excited about the good, the positives and share the reasons why marriage is so great then what’s the point of being married? I for one rather see this than much of the other negative nonsense circulating the feeds

      • thanks, i think you have ccaptured the delicate balance of happy and discouraging times in all marriages. these blogs about”my life is more real because it’s alot of dirty diapers, frozen pizzas, can’t afford a vacation, crying arguments, whose turn to clean up the kitchen but look we’re slogging through it” are also becoming trite and pervasive. I would still rather look at a happy, shiny moment than a dirty house and a pile of bills. at least I can smiie for a minute and get out of bed before i look at my own dirty house and pile of bills.

      • Spot on Angela !! It’s like you were in my head. We see too much negativity about marriage on social media (at least I do). For me the challenge has been a breath of fresh air in that i am able to relate to the positive side of marriage. It has strengthened my resolve that marriage is indeed works. I mean come on, it’s only 7 pictures and 7 days of appreciating your love. If you cannot count 7 times you have been happy with your spouse but you can easily count 7 difficult days then makes me wonder.

      • You said it so well Angela…i did the 7 day challenge and it was fun.It made me think about our 25 years of marriage the good times and the bad.I love him so why not post some of the good times we shared. I also stated on my post that my marriage is not perfect but we put God first and he makes our marriage stronger each day!

      • Angela, thank you for expressing your thoughts so well regarding this article. While I respect everyone’s opinion, I don’t see anything amiss with celebrating marriage in a culture that denigrates and disparages it more and more as the years go by. When I first saw one of these marriage posts, I thought it was refreshing – especially with all of the negativity that is currently going on from both sides of the aisle in the world of politics. Yes marriage is difficult, but there is nothing wrong with people posting fun and beautiful pictures of themselves and their spouses during their happy or triumphant moments.

      • Well said, absolutely love this! I never took on this challenge to portray my marriage is perfect. By all means it is not. We go through tough times and struggles just as anyone else does. Together with God we get through those times. Although I’ve been through 1 divorce, I believe I have been given another chance. I cherish my marriage with all my heart and soul. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with reminding my husband or sharing with others why I made a promise before God to spend the rest of my life with my spouse. I consider myself very blessed and very proud to have the husband that I do. I’m sorry that I’m not posting pictures of all the bad times., but then why are those the moments I want to celebrate. Yes I do have a real life marriage with flaws but it is also filled with a lot of wonderful times and happiness. Which I believe we have more good times than bad. Maybe ones that are getting offended by others posts, really don’t want to be in their marriage. Our love had grown for each other so much and I am thankful for everything about my husband, even his flaws. Why his flaws? Simply because we all have them that is just life. If I couldn’t except his flaws then I shouldn’t have committed myself to him. So, I will continue my next 3 days letting all my fb friends know how much I love my husband and how proud I am to be his wife. Sometimes we have to remind each other of all our good qualities and not only the bad.

      • Yes!! Exactly!! Just because someone posts 7 happy pictures of their marriage for 7 days by participating in this challenge doesn’t mean the person is trying to make others believe their marriage is perfect. This challenge is a celebration of love and marriage, which anyone who’s been in a real, loving marriage knows comes with good days and bad days. So, for the sake of the challenge, why shouldn’t we share happy pictures? What’s so bad about that?

      • Aww! Thank you for you posting this comment! I was just thinking when I read this post how I’m participating in the challenge for my husband, for us …truly. (Though I also thoroughly enjoyed this hilarious take on the challenge!). I was thinking that all the positive I’m putting in it (even though I made note to some struggle in yesterday’s also) is for HIM to read that I’m seeing the good. The challenge is forcing me to stop each day & put a little attention on us, something I sadly (but realistically) don’t get to do, or don’t take the time to do (we seriously never stop; who does these days? ?). I loved seeing something else positive when I started seeing this challenge go around. I love looking at my family/friends in happy times, sharing beloved memories of them w/ their spouse. I have too many loved ones that had marriages that didn’t or couldn’t make it. So therefore, even w/ our own daily struggle in marriage because we do absolutely all have them, was THRILLED when my cousin/friend tagged me to participate in such a loving thing. It’s for us, my husband & I, that the benefit goes too. And maybe a few smiles to others or inspiration that they can keep theirs going too, & still focus on the positives (even if just a few) for 1 week in such a world of negative. So, thank you!

      • I think it great to see positive images of marriage. I am sad for anybody who only has 5% of happiness. If you can not participate with a good conscience, then troll along and let everybody have their week long of bragging that they married somebody they love and enjoy being with. All marriages are not as miserable as you portray. Some people are able to focus on the great parts rather than the negative. I have certainly had bad days, months, or even years but who wants to see Debbie downer post? Dear married people, Keep on posting your happy moments. They may brighten somebody’s day.

      • Angela, you have a lot of good points in your response! I think the article also makes an important point about how people use social media as their “Instant Family Photo Album”, their “Homeschooling Mommy Perfection” page, etc. – where nothing BUT flawless, nearly happy ever after things are posted publicly that others in their FB groups may not want to see 24/7. Spouse challenge aside, it’s a good wakeup call for all of us to remember to use discretion when posting pics or love notes. ?

      • I thought the blog was funny. I do have a good sense of humor, but I did cringe a little too. I’m with you on the “marriage isn’t roses and pixie dust” and I’m about to go on out 3rd year anniversary. We also don’t have any kids, so I know there are many challenges that await us. When I did the challenge, I did it to refocus my energy and thoughts. Instead of thinking of all the arguments over the dumb dishes that turn into a way too intense fight …. I put my efforts into remembering the good moments. Those 7 days I posted, we still fought, but the arguments were tamed on my part. Not because I didn’t want to rip his head off (LOL), because I tried to remember that happy moment from that pic I posted earlier in the day. I chose my husband over many other men & he chose me for a lifetime of ups and downs. The challenge is long gone but I decided I would quarterly grab my fav pics and place them in a folder on my phone to just look at and really remind myself that if I focus on the negative I feed that beast. It took that silly challenge to remind me, refocus my energy and keep trying to do my best in our marriage. I’m not going to succeed everyday, but the challenge helped. I did really think your post was funny, and do hope you understand also my side.

      • I get this is just a blog and everyone’s entitled to their own thoughts and feelings….but I have to say , Angela, Thank you for bringing this topic to light. Felt the same way reading it ?
        So to begin, I just have to say…Duh everyone….of course marriage is hard !! Now add kids, divorce, remarriage, and instantaneously blended family!!!! Can we just say disaster like um every other day. If anyone is really that naive to think that if someone chooses to only post positive uplifting things on their social media, doesn’t have problems themselves, maybe the issue is not the posts but the individual who is comparing themselves to others (which of course we can’t deny we’ve all done a time or two). So with all the pile of Shit we deal with day in and day out, why not ???

        I personally chose to search in older files and upload pictures of moments my spouse and I were being real, real the way we can be just the two of us. The moments we had of connection, fun, happy moments. I used it as one way to have a moment in time with my spouse to say, “I still cherish you and these moments with you”. Why is that ridiculous? I’m not dilusional about my everyday life, I’m not trying to portray to others “oh look at me, my life is so perfect” I’m just trying to say….I still love you honey and I cherish our brief moments of connection❣And secretly, hoping to get a date night out of it ? Lol.
        But I can appreciate the stage in life this young lady seems to be at, I’ve been there too ? when’s it going to end…lol ?

      • I couldn’t agree with you more Angela! By posting pictures you are not saying your life of perfect. There is so much negativity out there now why not take a step back and lean on your spouse, show them off, be proud of your life. Marriage is hard work and so is everything in life. Being able to lean on each other and be each others support through all your life moments good or bad is important.

      • Angela – this! Thank you! I knew I couldn’t be alone. As I was reading the article I began to feel bad about the fact that I do have an awesome marriage where we fall deeper in love with each passing year. Troubles? Sure, we have them, but by God’s grace we’ve come out stronger.

      • THANK YOU Angela! Exactly my response to this article. No marriage is perfect, I think everyone knows that. Nothing on social media is a reflection of real life. I’d rather see people celebrating their spouses when possible instead of tearing them down. Pictures of you and your spouse in no way reflect everyday life. Celebrate and build each up when you have a chance. Attitude is everything and is the key to survival.

      • Thanks Angela, I totally agree with you there. I don’t know, is it just me that feels the author is being cynical? I personally feel happy and uplifted when I see friends posts about their married life, and yes I do understand that no marriage is perfect especially at this time and age, but I would rather see and hear happy married life than see and hear about the bickering and disagreements. We already see a lot of that in the media! Let’s celebrate love and forgiveness (maybe “the friend that was secretly seeking divorce lawyers” had a change of heart and had seen and re-ignited the spark that was felt when they got married in the first place.
        And to the author….at he risk of being cynical myself…. Please tell me the pictures you posted along with your blurb were not “staged” or to borrow your words “airbrushed”?

      • Right on Angela.. Loved your comment. Ive been married to my guy for 16 years. Iam grateful and blessed to share this life with him. Is it perfect? No but we love each other enough to respect, trust, communicate and be sensitive to each other… Marriage is a process and it should be celebrated. Doing the challenge doesn’t mean everything is perfect… who wants perfect anyways ?

      • Thank you for being a voice for those of us who understand marriage and do want to celebrate the fact that we are still together after all the challenges; especially when the world says just divorce…it’s not worth it and convince people that are married that we shouldn’t celebrate any victories.

      • You sure are defensive about this post. I’ve been married 27 years too and the big D word does not come up and we do not fight all the time like some of the commenters are sharing. But I still thought this was freaking hilarious. Especially for the stage of life that the author is in. Remember the early days with no sleep and little ones underfoot? Let’s admit that things might have been a little more tense and emotional then. Frankly I also think the “Love Your Spouse” challenge is a bit sickening, but then I’m not a believer of posting smoochy pics of myself and my spouse or making declarations of love in public. That’s just me. I’m okay if YOU want to do it though and I’m not going to go on your wall and rant otherwise or try and shut down all the other people who are clearly enjoying posting the happy pictures. Because there is room in this world for more than one POV.

      • Well, I have to tell you, I have seen so many “perfect “couples posting references to their “loving” relationship and I know darn right well it isn’t like that for real because the people in question are people I know. It happens all the time. I believe what Melissa is saying, is that people should be honest about marriage as it encourages all of us who have trouble as well as couples who are contemplating marriage.

        In response to the comments about marriage counseling:
        that may work for some people but it does not work for everyone; so suggesting that a person should care about their marriage by getting help, is not always relevant to the situation. My husband and I have been married for 21 years. We separated a little over year ago. This was after FIVE, yes FIVE marriage counselors over many of those years As well as an additional two with family counselors. It doesn’t work unless the people work together and Melissa saying the truth about a lot of marriages that are out there, in trouble, can only help those who are going through, or who have gone through the same thing, know that they are not the only ones.

        Also, how can what she is saying not help many of the unmarried couples who go into marriage thinking that they will be different from everyone else? Like Melissa SAID, which a lot of you completely disregard it, is that marriage is hard work; for everyone.

        I put EVERYTHING into saving my marriage, for YEARS. Unfortunately, the “happy things” don’t happen for everyone

      • I Agree! Maybe this challenge should have been called; “Pause And Be Grateful For Your Spouse Challenge “. ???

      • Did none of y’all read the last paragraph of this blog post?? “The Love Your Spouse challenge asks participants to ‘ celebrate love and promote marriage,’ which is such a worthwhile message — any time anyone wants to champion love instead of hate, I’m on board. I’m SO with you. I post the shiny and the pretty, too. But this time, I wanted to try it with a dose of truth: Marriage is not just a glittery fairy tale.” She’s not saying there’s not wonderful happy times, she isn’t saying you can’t or shouldn’t post happy things, in fact she is encouraging you to! She is saying that posting a solely monochromatic view of marriage can give some people, including herself, including me, including tons of others, an unrealistic impression of marriage and make us feel like failures if we sometimes struggle or that we have no one who would understand. And we don’t all into this trap bevause, as some of you allege, we have “no common sense.” We fall into it because its hard not to, and a lot of women in their 20s and 30s DO feel pressure to onlt show the best 5℅ of our lives on social media and by extension, in our social lives with friends. The author wanted to show in her feed a balanced nuanced view of the reality of marriage: it is both beautiful and hard, a struggle and worth it. To validate those who may be struggling and feel they are alone. If those of you who have been married 20+ years would post and show those of us who are new to marriage that realistic nuance to help instill some palatable hope, without all this defensive vengeance in these comments, that might be helpful. To instead find this blog judgemental, I think, is really missing the point.

        • Anonymous, this is such a beautifully accurate summation of the true meaning of my post. Took a screenshot to remind myself that there are people who definitely get it!

      • Angela,
        This is the perfect respone to this article. There are weeks, days, and moments when my husband drives me bonkers…and I’m sure he could say the same. But when I was a single mother raising my then 5 year old daughter, he and his family welcomed us with opened arms, and in so many ways he saved me and made me realize that I can do anything I put my mind to. He is unbelievably supportive and inspiring. He is so selfless and inspires me to be a better person. My daughter, now almost 11, thinks the world of him and we are truly blessed. So I see tge #loveyourspouse challenge as a way to cherish the love, remember loving moments, remind you why you got married. I am no stranger to having young children, a full time career etc. To me, without love, the rest doesn’t matter as much!

      • Bravo! Amen!! That is exactly how I feel. I actually felt bad when my best friend posted this in response to me tagging her in the challenge. I felt like I had done something wrong because I posted two photos – neither of which was a glossy, airbrushed, perfecting staged wedding photo. We eloped and only have one photo. I can’t help it. I really do have a wonderful marriage. We have fought of course. We’ve been married 25 years and disagreements arise from time to time but I have felt the kind of anger and resentment that are reflected in this article. I don’t care if someone doesn’t participate but I don’t think it’s right to assume that those who do aren’t being honest about their marriage. Sometimes marriage really is wonderful. And you know what? That’s okay.

      • Right on Angela!! Nothing wrong with showing a little love. No matter how crazy your marriage might be, hopefully people are still in love with their spouse. I find it sad one can’t post pictures without someone saying oh how fake. And if you can’t do it, maybe it’s time you reevaluated your marriage. I find this blog post very bitter and I’m sorry your marriage isn’t good enough to share for 7 days. Ps- no one wants to hear. your marital dirty laundry on Facebook.

      • Angela, you spoke my words. My husband and I have been married for 27 years, too. Of course, not every day is sunshine and roses, but I can’t think of another person who could or would love me like he does. Nor can I think of anyone who I would or could love the way I love him. The point of all of this is to find the good, the joy, the silly, the beautiful and focus on those things instead of the negative, the hard, the sad, the crazy. We know all of those things exist in a marriage, too, but they can take over if we let them. My husband tells me all the time, that no matter how old I am or what I look like, or what challenges we are facing, I am still the girl he fell in love with. He sees me with eyes that look for love and beauty and so they find them. I wish you and your husband many more happy, challenging, wonderful years together.

        Melissa, I am glad that you could put a humorous spin on the challenge and share your version. A little less judgement and a little more love and support in this world would do wonders for all of us. Thanks for sharing your story and your viewpoint.

      • Thank you Angela!! I’m very happy in my relationship why should I worry that I’m “being annoying” when I celebrate it? It’s something to celebrate in this cynical and very messed up world! Plus why would I of anyone for that matter post the bad things on social media?? Why would anyone air their dirty laundry like that? “Oh here a picture of my husband sleeping on the sofa because we got in a fight about money because we’re broke till next pay check!” Who would post that and more importantly who wants to see it? I’d rather see people’s joy any day over their political posts or their gripes and negativity! There’s nothing wrong with that and yes Melissa, it’s personal, I deleted the person who shared this link on Facebook. What’s funny is that person is constantly posting pictures of her kids like many of us do. Are we posting dirty diapers? Temper tantrums? Videos of colic fits? Detentions? Our kid bullying another kid? NO! We post the happy things celebrating a milestone or a special occasion or event. Why can’t it be the same with our spouses? Not everyone who showcases their happiness is trying to make the world thing that they are perfect. That’s crazy to begin with, some of us genuinely like to share love and positivity and like to see more of that on their newsfeed! Thanks to everyone who did the challenge I enjoyed your photos very much!!

    • Hi, Michiganian here. I LOVE the blog name “Michifornia”. I also love the pictures in this post; they are hilarious. I just want to caution people not to assume that people are hiding the bad parts of their marriage and also don’t assume that everyone’s marriage is at the same point as yours. My husband and I have been in an upswing four years because we have two self-sufficient teenagers. It is a vastly different environment then the one shown in these pictures. Now of course there are issues are down times once in a while even if they are less. Although I share some of the frustrations of LIFE on social media, I would never share specifics about my marriage because it seems very disrespectful to my husband.
      Great post. Great discussion!

      • Great read… Funny and true. Each day of your 7 day challenge describes aspects of my life, but I still think that actively loving your spouse is so important! If it means you post the joyful love pics of you both together, do it! We try to actively show each other love at home and do not communicate the issues we have with each other on FB bc its our issues, not social medias, and we need to talk to each other, not you. Lol. Do not compare… Know that you are only viewing a fraction of the picture so that you are able to celebrate the love and joy of others even when you don’t have it yourself.

    • Think about how these FLOODING pictures marriages make a widow or widower feel! LONELY so I have chosen to skip by them quickly. And, no memories do not make it better. I had a fabulous marriage and I miss it, and more importantly him!!

      • Awe, I am so so sorry to hear that. I am sure it is painful to see posts about the challenge on your Facebook. However, you can take it as an opportunity to reflect on what wonderful memories you have and will have in your heart forever. To think about the joys and love you two share and you will always have. You will be together again one day!
        Again, I am so sorry I can not imagine the sadness and pain seeing those posts could bring to you.
        Keep your chin up and smile.
        Lots of love to you!

      • It’s also painful for a person who was completely blindsided by divorce. Just a short while ago, I would have gotten this challenge from friends. Now it’s just something else I am left out of because I’m not part of a couple. I truly am happy for my friends and their loving spouses – but it still like a knife to the heart. Childish? Probably. Truthful? Absolutley.
        But – just something else in life I must learn to deal with as I learn to embrace the life I have versus the one I planned on.
        I’ve noticed that among my friends – it’s only been women participating. Come on men – step up your game.
        Even though it’s not for everyone – it’s something non-political and POSITIVE on FB. Keep it up!

      • Yes. My husband died on our 28th anniversary, last Oct. I wish I could continue to do the Love you Spouse challenge. I’m sorry for your loss. ♡

    • Love your entries for the #loveyourspousechallenge
      I encourage you to check out my 7 days worth of entries.
      We’re a REAL couple too, with REAL life experiences and I tried to portray that in my challenge.
      Of course we all know not everything on FB is always the REAL thing, haha!
      Much success to you and your hubby!

    • I completely understand where you are coming from and agree. But as another viewpoint research shows that couples that speak positively online of each other tend to have higher relational satisfaction and the hypothesis is that they are focusing on the positive aspects of their partner. I think there is something to be said about the realism of marriage but also trying to focus on the best parts of your marriage and partner.

      • I second that Krystal! Focusing on the good doesn’t mean that there isn’t bad stuff, but why not focus on it anyway?

    • I am a 93year old great grandmother : 4 adult children, 9 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren , and I am a recent widow. After 72 years of marriage I still wish to hear his voice. To help me make small decisions together. Of course we had our “ups and downs” during those years. None of the young women responding to this challenge has lost their spouse. It is a permanent loss I wish for his return daily even knowing after nine months of loneliness that that is impossible. Grief is forever. Just do your very best to care for your family each day and handle the little stuff one day at a time. Life is so short.

      • Guess what. Some of us have endured all those things but stuck it out for better or worse and do still love our spouses. We’ll celebrate 47 years together in October and we’re still best of friends. So while you lament our phony happiness I sympathize with your sarcasm. Get over your petty little annoyances and celebrate the love and companionship you have. If you can’t I’m sorry for you but don’t rain on our parade. We’ve earned the right to celebrate!

        • YES! Amen to that! No one is claiming to have perfect marriages through this challenge. It’s about sharing your love and celebrating your spouse publicly. If she can’t bring herself to post something positive about her relationship at least 7 times then I feel sorry for her. Yeah the day to day may not be amazing, but there are amazing moments that can be celebrated. My husband and I aren’t perfect, but damn we work hard at our marriage and we have over come a lot. So if I want to participate in something positive that makes us both feel good, then I will regardless of who whines about it.

      • Hugs to you Fern. So sorry for your loss. Thank you for reminding us that life is all too fleeting, and nothing is more important than family. Love Over Everything.

    • Just because you have rough patches, doesn’t mean you don’t love your spouse. I think the whole idea behind this is to remind you of all the great that you have. And why you married in the first place. Why are people so quick to find the bad I everything instead of the good. I post the pics of a reminder what a great guy he is. And what great special times we have. Good grief.

      • I totally agree. Sure, we have all had those moments in our marriages where we don’t feel like it’s all cool breezes and sunsets. I for one, and my husband, still have a great time together so why the hell not celebrate it!? I think need to focus on the happiness you bring to each other. Looks like you’re doing just the opposite. Sorry, but my marriage is solid and GOOD and if I want to scream it from the rooftops, you are free to plug your ears.

    • So true! Loved this post!!! FB seems to become a place to compete with others. Not that I want to hear complaining but let’s keep it real. Thank you for this amazing article. Cracked me up. 🙂

    • its funny cause i never post anything about my husband or marriage on facebook…he is not on facebook anyway, its not his thing. But there can be stress and fights yes, but your marriage can still be refreshing, and comforting and beautiful. mine is….31 years and its been awesome even though there are times you have to fight for awesome. i don’t post alot of pics on fb anyway….i noticed some ppl praise their kids excessively on fb but in real life those relationships are strained and marked by verbal abuse or neglect….so you really can’t believe everything you see.

    • I get where this author is coming from but I think this is reading too much into things. We have so many bad things that go on in this world that I think the love the spouse challenge is meant to be light and fun! Not taken so seriously. Anyone whose married knows it’s not all a pocket full of sunshine but I love my husband beyond belief! I’m so proud we found each other and I’m proud to post some of our wonderful memories on Facebook because it reminds me of all the GOOD times! No need to dwell on the past or the arguments because those things don’t stick. We work threw them and grow from them and create more happy wonderful memories together. I don’t post things on fb because I’m thinking about what others are doing. I don’t know everyone’s life like that…I just wish them the best even if it’s only the 5% at least they have 5% some people are in a state of hell on a daily basis. Yea we argue, yea I can be moody and he can too but it’s the good stuff that counts! And I don’t like chain messages and am very selective about any that I go along with but I’m proud to showcase me and my husband and I rarely do these things. But you do you and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing cause you can only work on you and improve you! And if you can pray for others and wish them the best with whatever they got going on that’s good too.

    • I love this. I just said this to my husband about our children when we were on vacation. They were arguing and driving us crazy. I asked him where we went wrong because everyone is always happy on FB. They have wonderful vacations and I am ready to go back home and lock myself in the bathroom. His response was the same as yours…it is just a glimpse. …5 happy seconds. Thanks for sharing. I love the pictures.

    • I think you completely missed the spirit of the “challenge.” We all know marriage is hard and colorful and complicated. Do you think that I think because you posted a few glossy pics that your life is perfect? Give me a little credit. I think the point was to take a moment and reflect on your love story and what brought you together and on your happy moments. Not to brag. But for yourselves. Sorry that it’s so easy for you guys to turn straight to hating. Or at least disliking.

    • While you make a point I’d humbly submit…..

      It’s not the ‘life is perfect’ challenge

      It’s the ‘love your spouse’ challenge

      And that means good and bad , And since there’s plenty of bad out there, I say keep those good pictures coming,

      Anyone with s brain knows life and Facebook aren’t reality

      God forbid people try to share a smile or good positive thought

    • I can’t do the spouse challenge either. We are in counseling and it feels dishonest to make that things are all lovey dovey when we want to strangle each other most of the time!

    • It’s not just you. It’s everybody. But you know with so much negativity in life, and certain people always complaining about their spouse, I thought maybe, just maybe it could inspire somebody else to quit bad-nothing their spouse. Thanks for keeping it real tho! ?

    • What if FB writers are not trying to make others feel badly about lesser-than-lovely lives? Maybe they’re not trying to blow smoke to obscure your vision of their reality. Perhaps they are empowered by the time spent reflecting positively about their spouses, or kids, or trips, or friends or dogs, or… Just as sarcasm satisfies your intellect’s needs, professed positivity satisfies theirs.

    • A-effin-men! I was challenged but I just ignored it. I really didn’t care if they thought I was a heartless, ungrateful wife for not participating. I’m not about to post a bunch of gum drops and unicorn farts and pretend it’s a fairytale marriage. They’re opinion of me means nothing. I’d rather post daily pictures of cats or a tropical beach that I’ll never be able to visit or some sort of meme that has lots of curse words and offends people. Haha! ?

    • It’s not about painting a pretty or perfect picture but saying we are still together inspite of our ups & downs. Our trials didn’t break us apart but brought us closer together.

    • Hi. I enjoyed your post even but wanted to provide a different perspective. While I agree that FaceBook is a way of distorting the truth the Love Your Spouse Challenge may provide a different outcome than the one you speak about. Yes, marriage is hard and no one’s marriage is perfect. Yes, most of us tend to judge our own marriages by what we see around us and how we perceive others’ marriages. Sadly, the phrase “perception is reality” rings true all too often. As we watch others around us in their happy moments while we are in the midst of one of the difficult, challenging days within our own marriage we may incorrectly feel that our own relationship does not measure up to those around us. This challenge begs each of us to go back and find those moments that demonstrate, even though many days (sometime it feels like more often than not) are challenging and frustrating, there are moments of pure joy and happiness as well. There are days we are reminded of exactly why we married our spouse. The challenge reminds each of us to not simply focus on the hardship but to remember and cherish the happiness. It’s okay to admit that 95% is difficult as long as we also basque in the 5% that gets us through and keeps us together rather than allow us to give up.

      Just a thought.

    • Melissa,
      This is so refreshing! You have really captured the essence of where true love grows. Yes, all those perfect pictures are misleading when you realize what really goes on behind the camera! I wonder sometimes what was said or done just seconds or minutes before the perfect picture was snapped! It is true that God looks down on us and sees our “beautiful mess” and loves us right where we are. Blessings to you and yours!

    • 25th anniversary coming up and spent the whole morning screaming divorce attorney phone numbers out of the white pages at each other! #marriagestruggleisreal

    • Thanks for saying the true reality of marriage. I will have been married for 20 years in October coming and believe me there have been times when I thought I wanted to kill my spouse, and others when he just really made life so special. I can totally relate to what you said, and do realize that what people put on Facebook is but a tidbit of the reality in their life. I basically use it as a scrapbook of life’s experiences and special moments to share with family and friends. I have no expectations of Facebook being more than that. Yet I see my friends and family who live their entire life through Facebook, knowing full well it does not truly reflect the whole picture. To each his own is what I would say. I know what is true for me .

    • Melissa, loved reading your post. It is so true.
      Just yesterday, I took a short trip to Toledo and thought, I should stop and see my brother. Then thought, I just saw him two days ago. I ‘really’ love my brother. But then thought, he will get tired of me if I am always there.
      So, then I thought…I really love my wife…and I am ALWAYS there. For sure she must get tired of me (I don’t of her), but then realize that is why we can go for hours not saying a word to each other but still be happy. I work out of my home office, so that explains the hours of silence. But, yes, everyone has those times that are not ‘hallmark’ times. That’s why movies and TV sitcoms aren’t real, there is alway dialogue, when we know there isn’t in real life.

      So, thanks for sharing your ‘real life’ with us. It was a guilty pleasure reading it.

    • Hahaha! I love this! Now I think both challenges are good! This one because it shows the reality couples go through, and the other one because it reminds us the good things about our marriage to make all that chaos worth while, (and stop day dreaming that our husbands get for a moment kidnapped by aliens). I didn’t do the love your spouse challenge but enjoyed seeing my friends looking happy in photos and those friends that were making it work although they go through rough patches (as all couples do) some harder than others.
      We know how we all are as women, sometimes we get together for a cause, just imagine if people starts posting the “my hubby didn’t help me with the kids today” challenge or “my hubby spends all day in Facebook challenge” lets add our PMS days and a broken nail to that ? all guys would be looking for political asylum pretty soon ???

    • You know, I’m kinda old, as in mid-60’s. Though I find Facebook a wonderful place to keep up with friends that I can’t see much, I’m also very concerned with the impact it has on individual lives. It’s a social meeting place, and like all social get-togethers, there’s pressure to conform. So it was absolutely lovely to see this post because it’s a far better reflection of what really happens in most households.
      There’s a couple down the street with two teenage children. I don’t know how many times I’ve walked by with my dogs and heard them arguing at the top of their lungs. They’re shouters. But they go places together, kiss each other goodbye in the morning, and their kids always smile and say hi when I walk by. They remind me of my own family-of-origin, where we disagreed about everything and got pissed at each other and made up and started all over again. These are not ‘dysfunctional’ families. They’re just real.
      As for mothering, it was the single, most difficult job I ever did and I don’t think I’d want to try it again. I never got enough sleep, the kids spent cold and wet Canadian winters fighting indoors, and I felt like my brain was melting out of my ears. By comparison, teaching 150 – 8th graders is a piece of cake.
      The world has changed drastically. When I was young, I ran wild outdoors. At age 5, I was gone down by the river looking for places to build a fort. No one checked up on me. In the summers, we lived way up north in Ontario, Canada, in a cottage without running water or power. I learned to keep myself busy and walked around with a rifle slung over my shoulder. For ten years I raised my children in British Columbia. I had to swallow my fears to allow them some freedom to be far away from adults. Now, parents are always in the picture. The demands on parents have increased. The children seem less secure. Mothers especially need to know that they can gripe and complain and look like shit and that they won’t be castigated, because your job got a lot harder than mine, and mine was hard enough. I hope more mothers like you see the potential for using the media as support to the many women struggling, often alone, to raise children in places where you can’t lose sight of them for even a moment.

    • I’ve never thought that the things people put on Facebook is 100% their life. My own philosophy of using Facebook is to post uplifting or informative or humorous things and that a public forum is an inappropriate place to air one’s grievances with people especially spouses. I taught my children that putting negative or disparaging comments about people on Facebook is wrong and hurtful. So, of course, I don’t take what people post as 100% their life, I never have because it’s really wrong to disrespect loved ones in public. I don’t understand why people look at other people’s posts and think that’s ALL of that person’s life and compare themselves to it. Common sense says it’s wrong to air dirty laundry in public, so why would anyone think that other’s lives are always as rosey and happy as Facebook seems to show?


    • I couldn’t find the comment button but just wanted to say your photos and descriptions would e been perfectly acceptable. The love challenge should be holistic, and luckily the posts I’ve seen are about love in good and bad. 🙂 best of luck 😉

    • I didn’t participate because I knew I wouldn’t remember to post each day. But I can honestly tell you that I do love my spouse and our marriage 95% of the time. Yes, we have days that we get on each other’s nerves. But the majority of the time our marriage is just what I would portray on Facebook. I know that’s not true for everyone. But marriage takes work. If you’re irritated or upset with your spouse more often that you’re happy with them, perhaps you married the wrong one. I’m happy to say I married the right one.

    • Awesome article, great truths, great pictures, love it!! I absolutely agree, love is hardwork, compromise, good times and BAD times…I totally agree that all the challenge images are grossly suger coated, thanks for the honesty and humility..

  2. OMG I love you. Move back to Michigan so we can meet and be best friends for lyfe. haha. Seriously though, I love it. SO SO SO true all of it. Keepin’ it real. We just came back from vacation and in my photo dump on Facebook I included pictures of the boys making “NO MORE PICTURES” face and even a few of them mid physical fight – because you know, our vacation was a daily non stop round of my husband and I referring the fights. haha.

  3. I’ve thought the same thing about all those chain things going around Facebook. I’m glad I’m not the only one. I really love your honest post! That is definitely the real side to marriage. Thanks for sharing and making me feel better about my life.

  4. I have been hoping I never get nominated. You said it better than I ever could. Married almost 46 years and all 7 situations with slightly different contexts still apply. You rocked it! It is a journey, not a vacation locale! Awesome at its best. But….

  5. I didn’t get it; but my wife loved your take on the couples challenge. 🙂

    Glad to see that you are doing well with your new endeavor!

  6. Great job! Day 5 pic looks most like me and my man. Honestly, I don’t even have a picture that close of our ships passing to post!
    I’m quietly flying below the radar and grateful I haven’t been challenged. I don’t prefer these “made up” holiday type things either.
    Social media CAN be for good, but it can also simply be us trying to fulfill that storybook life we never found.

  7. This was a great read, loved the honesty and the humor – and I remember many of those days while having just one at home… Now, the empty nest for 12 years….. even more humor in all of that. I was participating in the Challenge and realized it was also to “just” promote marriage and well, although I appreciate marriage and union, I also support other lifestyles and choices people make that don’t necessarily promote marriage so I stopped my posts….. but I do love my husband, most days – some nights and well, he does have to put up with me too! Right? Now back to those pots and pans, and vacuum and sweeper – oh, yes the Bliss of Marriage – but I do enjoy the last chore of the day ! xo

  8. I adored your message! Thank you for being honest, real and truthful-such a pleasure to read! You made my night! Have passed it on!

  9. Omg! I told my husband the same thing less than an hour ago!! We actually were going your post a picture of us arguing while ordering a burger and caption it like this… ” Well, after 23 years, we haven’t killed each other yet, or the kids…maybe a few unsuspecting fish! I still think he’s hot, even though he’s completely lost his ass.. Which I have found! I think he still thinks I’m hot, because he won’t stop trying to touch it. So thanks Babe, and stop looking at the skinny 20 year old, you don’t have a chance!! Lol”
    So, on behalf of those of us keeping it real out here in FB… Thank you for your honesty!!

  10. These are my sentiments exactly. Thank you so much for writing this post. I have been married almost 14 years and love my husband so much, but, haha, yes there is a but, it is very much a small percentage of blissful amidst the real life. I dread getting nominated for these challenges, though I typically give in. Thanks again.

  11. After 32 years of marriage, I too have had photos of days like you posted. Marriage is not easy not perfect. It’s hard but Worth it!! I was challenged and accepted it because people today need to learn how to work through issues not just give up. It was great for me to post pictures, only 7 out of 32 years. If all you have to look back on is the pictures you posted, im sorry. Please don’t knock down the ones who are HONORING their spouse and sharing with folks their HAPPY photos. I’m sorry you’re bitter at the happy, perfect pictures. You judged and you judged incorrectly.

    • I too participated in the challenge and it was my understanding that it wasn’t about “perfect” marriages. It was about celebrating and being thankful for my union. After 21 years of course there are fights, sad times, mad times, etc. but I still feel blessed to be with my husband and I’m proud of what we’ve built. If people don’t want to participate so be it.

      • Exactly!! Although I think the part about the 5% that people put on Facebook is spot on, I don’t see how celebrating the good in a marriage is a bad thing. If someone can’t find 7 positive things to post, maybe it’s time to re-think their whole life situation.

          • Normally all people focus on are the good things in life on Facebook. Have you ever seen a post on fb saying my husband is such a jerk. He came home from work last night and just sat on the coach and did nothing. He didn’t even help me with the kids or dinner and I worked all day just like he did. Some days I think why did you even come home if you aren’t going to pull your far share around here. NO nobody would ever talk poorly about their spouse like that especially on fb. They wouldn’t want others to think their marriage wasn’t perfect. The purpose of this article is to show people that marriage isn’t always Bells and whistles, shimmer and sparkles like the marriage challenge shows. The point of the article is to say don’t always try to paint a picture that truly isn’t always there. It’s ok to say my husband is lazy here is a picture of us on the couch sitting at opposite ends because I’m lazy too! Etc. I for one loved this article and I’m glad someone wrote it because I was thinking the exact same thing!!!

    • So true! Marriage isn’t perfect, but is hard work. I don’t see a problem with sharing the happy times. It helps us remember what we are working for!

    • Yes, this is how I viewed it as well. Marriage is not easy but that why it’s Marriage. It’s not all glittery and rosy but there are many moments that are beautiful and make it all worth while! I do it because I’m honoring my husband who is my best friend and I love to the moon and back!! Are there days and moments I may not like him… yes of course there are. Anyone who is married or has been married knows that. By posting a picture of this does not mean we are perfect. These are some of our beautiful moments that remind me oh how much I love this crazy man of mine!!! There is so much hate in our world today that I love that people take time to share happy moments even if it’s just for a second. And just for the record…I font like all the chain Facebook either. I just want to share Love and Joy!! Remember life gets messy but we have to learn to slow down just a little to catch these moments! Wishing you the best 🙂

    • I could not put my thoughts into words any better than you did Debby Hardy. Melissa, don’t judge me for my choice – I have several friends who chose to accept and several who did not – not one time did I have a second thought about their choice and frankly I doubt they did either about mine . After 39 years of marriage I agree with Debby – although there are mountains of moments like those depicted in the photos of the author, I can find 7 pictures that show why our marriage has lasted this long, – and that is why this is one challenge I chose to accept.

  12. Umm not sure I agree completely !!! You are absolutely right, MARRIAGE IS HARD, but it asked for 7 days…. Surely anyone who been in love could share 7 days!!! Social media can be whatever you make of it. Some use it to promote hate , some use it to spread lies, but for the most part most use it to share the good in their lives with friends and family. Sometimes someone else could use the encouragement, especially knowing that the others life/ marriage isent perfect! (If they’ve gone through what they have and still love like they do , maybe there is hope for us)!!!!Everyone who knows me, knows that my husband and I have had problems!!!! But the GOOD so outweighs the BAD!!! And don’t you have to go through some bad in order to realize just how much you truly ❤️❤️LOVE❤️❤️ Each other! ?!?! I understand your point but don’t be so quick to judge and hate on people who felt good in celebrating the love in their life!!! With each day and picture I shared , I looked back and remembered how much love I felt for my husband over these 18 years of marriage!

    • I agree. If you can’t find 7 days here you aren’t running, doing stuff for the kids, arguing, or just doing regular stuff, that’s kind of sad. My marriage isn’t perfect either but I sure as heck could find 7 days out of the 7,000 + days we have spent together then why am I with him? It didn’t say 7 consecutive days.

      • I agree with you 100 %!! It’s not about acting like your life is perfect or your marriage is perfect . It’s about loving your spouse and showing seven days of that plain and simple and promoting marriage. People nowadays don’t want to stay married and want to give up too easily. Everyone in their right mind knows that marriage is not perfect and every couple has fought many times throughout their marriage but they are still together loving each other along the way!

        • I agree with the above – while the points shared are valid – I believe the entire point of the “marriage challenge” has been missed. It’s not about cultivating an environment that makes life appear perfect. It’s to CHALLENGE married couples to LOVE and SERVE each other for 7 days in a row! THATS hard. And a challenge I deem worthy. Anything that can encourage marriages to focus on the heart for a set period of time is worthy. We have a 50% divorce rate in this country. There’s enough hate in this world to go around 365 days a year. I found this love challenge a breath of fresh air and enjoyed all the posts on my news feed. I personally couldn’t remember to post for 7 days in a row lol however the challenge DID positively affect my marriage – and I guess that’s all that really matters 🙂

          • I couldn’t agree with you all more! Totally agree that Facebook is about all the “good stuff” so to speak, but the point of the challenge was to look thru the bad and hard days and realize how special and important love and marriage is. I for one don’t sugar coat much on Facebook – my friends (whom I’m very selective about) see the real us. My 7 days of the marriage challenge was not perfect pics but ones of us at different seasons of our journey. I pray that everyone can have the love I have with my husband – it has not been perfect or easy, but working thru things makes the love even deeper and stronger. While I know that my situation is not possible fir everyone, it is fantastic to encourage it! Blessings

          • “It’s to CHALLENGE married couples to LOVE and SERVE each other for 7 days in a row!”

            But why do you need pictures to do that? Why do you need to broadcast it to others? Can’t you honor, love, and cherish your spouse without an audience?

          • Yes, this! Alyssa is spot on with her response, in my opinion. I’m lucky. I’m married to my best friend and 99.85% of the time we are the happy sparkly couple that people love to hate. Of course, it took me three tries to find the man that fits me this well and first I had to figure out who the heck I was. It was hard but the marriage I have now isn’t it.

            We have fun. We LIKE each other at least as much as we love each other … and that’s important. We listen to one another and we are not afraid to voice opinions that differ. I, too, moved kicking and screaming miles and miles from my life, my kids, my grandkids but I did it so he could fulfill his calling and as much as I don’t care for where we moved, I would do it again to see how happy it makes him to be doing the job he was born to do.

            He supports me too. Who else would put up with a crazy photographer novelist sticking a camera in your face every three minutes alternating with questions like “could a cadaver dog find bones after they were covered with asphalt?” with out losing his mind?

          • To love each other 7 days in a row is hard? I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t drop in and out of love on a whim, no matter how difficult things might be. I don’t find it challenging or hard to stay in love for 7 days.

    • You took the words right out of my mouth!!! The challenge clearly states…… “Love your spouse challenge”.
      Why did it have to turn to something so negative? Everybody has rough spots in their marriage. But who wants to see pictures of couples fighting. Heck…..turn on the TV, there are a thousand “reality shows” if you want that kind of drama. Keep it positive and share your “love” moments. Plain and simple! ❤

      • Thank you! I felt so sad to see something meant to be positive turned into something negative. This was a great challenge for me to focus on my husband’s strengths. I was reminded of many things about him that I had forgotten! He deserves so much more than 7 days!

  13. The thing is it’s not saying to never admit to the hard times, it’s getting through the hard times and having a stronger bond and showing to others it is possible. This month we’ll be celebrating 15 years. We have definitely had hard times, but we don’t focus on the bad we focus on the good and our love is stronger than what it was when we first got married. If we focused on the bad our marriage wouldn’t be what it is today. Post how you got through those hard times, but don’t forget about the good or else others may think your marriage isn’t that great and all you do is argue. I want others to see what my marriage is now because of those hard and difficult times, not what it was.

  14. Oh, I definitely think your love your spouse challenge photos with these exact captions should be posted in case anyone misses this blog. LOVE it! (Been married 45 yrs and dated 5 so been with my guy 50 years! Your words ring true no matter our age. I did the challenge but not all were lovey dovey some serious and others funny. By the way if you know about ALS- educate yourself about SMA, spinal muscular atrophy. Spread the word. ) Thank you!!

  15. Just.. Wow. you really hit the nail on the head! I really liked and enjoied your article! Its wonderful knowing there are ‘real’ people out there! ♡

  16. Wow, what a sad perception of this challenge. The point in my opinion is not that everyone’s lives or marriages are perfect, but that within the mess, you still love your spouse. You CHOOSE to work hard at your marriage and you are in it for the long haul. Yes my husband and I argue, we disagree, we flat out don’t like each other sometimes. But I love him, he IS my best friend and my would mate for sure. I am grateful for him everyday..even the days we argue.
    Yes I believe Facebook can be a place for those to paint some perfect picture of their lives..but most of us have common sense and realize no one is perfect.

  17. Oh my goodness!! I absolutely love your raw honesty! Because you are so right…I often think about how easy it is to compare our lives to what we see of other people’s lives on Facebook…never compare your life to other people’s “highlight reel”! We are no where near a perfect couple and my husband and I fight, celebrate, support, encourage, blah blah blah one another…but we love one another and are committed to one another no matter what life throws at us! Great post!! You have gained a new follower!

  18. Completely spot on! I love this. And you’re right, most people only post the BEST 5% of their life on Facebook. Well done! And I’m a Michigan girl too.

  19. Just because someone chooses to promote a certain aspect of pictures and saying, “I love you” is not wrong. I don’t understand.

    We share select moments publicly, and others we don’t. Is this wrong? I don’t think so.

    In marriage, my wife and I are more open with one another than on Facebook and even with a group of friends. Is this wrong? Of course not.

    Yet, I do share more with a close group of friends than what gets shared on Facebook.

    A lot of ladies (men too) clean up the house before friends come over? Doesn’t this give a false sense of what there home is really like?

    I ask, because this post seems to guilt trip those participating in the challenge.

    I honestly do not like the chain challenges, but could good come out of it? Out of all the mess and sickening things that happen in the world, could people share encouraging aspects of their marriage and say, “I love you” to their spouse? Could this encourage some people in some good way?

    Yet, no one I know claims their marriage (mine included) is perfect!

    I fear you are attacking something that could be good. Am I wrong?

  20. I mean..okay.. Lol.. There always has to be that one person who makes fun of others when they post something like this, i guess. I participated in the love your spouse challenge and i don’t usually (okay, hardly ever) participate in any of that kinda stuff… And i didn’t do it because i think my marriage is perfect or because i wanted to show off.. I did it because i thought it would be fun. And ya know what? It was fun! It was fun to go back and revisit old pictures and it was fun to see everybody else’s pictures. I hope you 3enjoyed taking these pictures especially for this post that has a purpose of belittling my love your spouse challenge pictures, because while the self-righteous reasoning behind this post is annoying, the pictures were funny and cute. Best of luck in your marriage!

  21. I think some people get offended to easily. I’m taking what you said with the “grain of salt” it deserves. A marriage is ALOT of work! …like a garden…sometimes you are fruitful and sometimes you are full of weeds. Having humor while pulling the weeds is a good thing. Thanks for your honesty. Hopefully it will help other marriages realize that they can make it through the rough times and find those times of love and joy once again. Bless you! 🙂

    • Love this, V! One goal of this post was to make people feel just a little less alone…and to have a bit of silly fun trying out our new six-dollar tripod. Ha!

      • Wow, Melissa. I’m laughing, crying, hyperbole-ing- because I am not actually doing either of those things- at so many of the responses to your playful post. Sarcasm must not be taught in some schools in the USA anymore, eh? For that, we as a country will score lower amongst our fellow countrymen and women.

        Your post was playfully positive, and took nothing away from “Luv Yer Spouse”. But I’m sure you know that. I’m finding I’m thankful for my intelligence, after reading some of these comments and interpretations.

        OK Melissa: Gotta go, need to go start a chainer on Facebook about “I’m intelligent” and then nominate some friends. Tag, you’re it!

        I take full responsibility for my sarcasm.

        • A wise woman once told me, “Being intelligent is a little like being classy. If you feel you have to tell someone you are, especially in order to belittle others, you most likely aren’t.”

        • I nominate this for Best Response to Melissa’s Post. Sarcasm and satire completely elude most social media partipants. It’s distressing to see so many people take offense so easily when clearly none was intended.

  22. Justin and Laila – settle down. No one had been attacked in this blog. She’s staring an opinion, a personal observation. She’s right, no one gets on FB to complain about their pain in the a** spouse. And if your spouse has never been a pain in the a** then you haven’t been married very long, or you’re a saint. Can’t we read an opinion piece and just accept it as an opinion piece? No need to criticize, you’re free to write your own blog and express your feelings.
    MB I think you’re spot on – and in a few years you’ll get to focus again on each other. But sexy time will be when everyone’s home by curfew and you can quit worrying and sleep – the sleep thing doesn’t change from my experience!

    • Did I say something wrong or was my tone coming across negatively?

      My intent was to communicate how it came across.

      I don’t think we should post publicly the sins of my spouse or children. I wrote about doing this on my blog as it relates to children a while ago. Maybe I should post as it relates to my wife.

      If I am mistaken, please let me know and I will swiftly apologize if I was wrong or did not communicate effectively.

    • People do, unfortunately complain about spouses on Facebook.

      I’ve never wished I could hack someone else’s facebook so bad. I wanted to get on and delete the post for them–it was horrible for all of us, and I’m sure it didn’t do the marriage any good, either.

  23. ugh to those complaining to you in these comments. i guess something hit a nerve that they find too painful to look at honestly. it could also be that i know you and know where you are coming from so could maybe fill in the gaps or read between lines, but honestly i thought you were pretty clear. there are always those who misunderstand. as with the vast majority, i loved this. and love you guys!

  24. I harbor ZERO allusions that my friends’ marriages or lives are perfect just because that is all they show on social media. I do understand that they are giving me the top 5% of their lives, and thankyouverymuch for doing that, people. I DON’T WANT to hear your little crap and I especially don’t want to hear your big crap. I don’t want to listen to your problems because I LIKE YOU and it might even bring me down because someone I care about is hurting. I don’t mind once in a while, because I understand that when horrible things happen to people, they need the support, even if it is the support of a thumbs up or down, or “you are in my thoughts and prayers” (cringe, especially when it comes from your heathen friends). So thank you for giving me your most excellent embellished happy 5 %. I have enough of my own life crap to deal with.

  25. Love this! Totally my world right now! We moved to CA late last year with a 3 yo and an infant. We both work and are totally ships passing in the night! We both occasionally travel too! So thanks for showing the other 95%! We live it every day and are grateful for the 5% that keeps us going!

  26. I am a Pediatrician and can only laugh because of all the beautiful baby / toddler photos I see on FB and then they come into my office and are screaming their head off and the moms just look at me and say “This is the real child!”. Life is definitely not what we see on FB. But we all know that. In the end… Life Is Good.

  27. Or maybe people are just trying to highlight the good. Remember good times and why they love or fell in love in the first place. Why take the time and energy at all to detract from that. Would have been just as useful and informative to write your article about love even through and imperfect marriage. Just my 2 cents. Have a good day.

  28. I could have totally related to this post about 5 years ago. But after a lot of hard work, prayer and therapy I find my marriage in a much better place. I’m not as frustrated with my spouse and he’s not as frustrated with me. When I think about those things like him coming home late, our kids being young and needing us more and the sleepless nights and endless housework that I feel solely responsible for…I’m no longer weary but at peace. I know my marriage isn’t perfect, it never has been and never will be, but in the midst of life, when I look at my spouse I feel love towards him, and that makes me smile and makes me want to post a picture of our imperfect life that’s full of love. Grace and peace to you and your family as you choose to focus on the good and the love that’s all around.

    • Love your perspective about the necessity of prayer. Admittedly, I mostly post the happy stuff, too…but these seven photos were too much fun to take. 🙂

      • Melissa, your blog was delightful and made made me smile. Some of the comments rather blew me away. I enjoy a lot of the Facebook posts that I get and I do not read some of those that are unsettling to me. I am loving seeing some of the marriage posts by my students and friends. I also really enjoyed your pictures. My husband died seven years ago and I can see us in both types of pictures. He was a wonderful man who drove me crazy at times. I miss both sides of him. I, being the amazing person I am (please take note of the sarcasm here!), never caused any problems at all. At any rate, keep writing. I love to read things that make me smile and your sense of the “ridiculous” (meant in the best of ways) is delightful. By the way, English teacher, I am a physics teacher so please forgive any English mistakes!

  29. I love to post the positive things that happen in life about myself and my family, that’s the fun part!! I however refuse to post the negative and ugly part of life simply because it’s our business & it needs mine and my families attention to correct, pray about and bring strength back to a back situation! I also hate the drama that goes along with the negative and ugly so I personally choose to correct those problems within the family! So I chose to do the spouse 7 day challenge because to me it’s does show how happy i am with my life! It’s something fun shouldn’t be mad into more than that! Just my opinion

    • Omg. You taught my English class! So funny to have your blog pop up on My Facebook feed! Glad you’re doing so well!

  30. As a divorced/single mom (who may have cringed a little at the “single mom moment” comment) I have to respectfully support the 7 day challenge, and counter your claim. Because, yes, marriage is wrought with struggle and frustration. And yes we need to be upfront about the patience, love, and humility it takes to stay married. But it is easy to forget the good times during the bad times. If a partner forgets why they are choosing to struggle in marriage, divorce becomes an appealing way out. It is good to remember those sweet sacred moments because they will see you through the fights and frustrations. Memories do serve as a reminder that we are only learning to love.
    With a crazy high divorce rate and a falling marriage rate, we need to remember the good times!! Everyone knows social media only posts the sweet things, and that’s okay. I didn’t even mention my divorce on social media – I left it for many years.

  31. How sad. Don’t get me wrong, I hear you. I have been married this time for almost 17 years(it wasn’t that I didn’t love my first wife, I just couldn’t get along with her boyfriend). I get your pics, I’ve been there…but I don’t think that is the point. SURE my wife and I argue! She can make me INSANE, and I am POSITIVE I do the same to her. But with marriage, you can focus on the struggle, or the happiness. Believe me, we have had YEARS where it was hard to find the happiness…but WE DIDN’T QUIT. If you look at your partner, and all you see is pain, you need a new partner! YES, my wife is CRAZY HOT! YES, my wife is sometimes just CRAZY! But SHE is THE MOST IMPORTANT adult in my life! She is the FIRST person I want to see in the morning, and the LAST person I want to see at night. For this BS Facebook challenge, do you want the world to know your troubles? Do you want to air your laundry for your friends? ANYONE who is human knows marriage is not always bliss, but I FOR ONE, would NEVER do/say/show anything in public that might hurt my wife. I love her too much. And what is wrong with filling the world with love and happiness, because honestly, which memories do you want? The fight over money? Over who hurt whom last? Maybe it would help yourself or someone else to see a smile, and 2 people that TRULY love each other, with all their faults. That can understand that I MAY be MAD at something she DID, but NEVER at HER. After 18 years if being together, 17 of it married, I have NEVER called my wife a bad name. I have NEVER hated HER. I have been MAD AS HELL at some THINGS she has done, but NEVER HER. Our marriage IS PERFECT. Perfectly flawed, perfectly unpredictable, perfectly misguided at times. But I am DEVOTED to HER. Tracey Morrison Grant, FOREVER. She is EVERYTHING I AM NOT. Fills EVERY void in my character. I can NEVER give her enough to repay what she has given me. I would pray all of you find that, hopefully with the person you are with, because both they and YOU deserve it.

  32. I will admit that I did NOT want to do the love your spouse challange. When I got nominated, I cringed a little. Then thought I better do it because I do love my spouse more than I dislike facebook challenges. Plus Im home with an infant and need some entertainment. While looking through photos to post I started to appreciate my husband and our life together. I always have but this challenge helped me focus on that appreciation. I am sharing the photos and explaining thier meaning to me or a story behind them. Reminising in the good and bad times. For me this challenge is awesome and I am happy that I am participating. It has given me the opportunity to dedicate 7 days to my marraige and spouse that I otherwise may not have. Not my kids, not a blog, not TV, to my SPOUSE. So while my photos may be sparkly or whatever, those moments are real and I was lucky enough to have them captured in a photograph. I believe this is a lot more than you can say about your posed photos that probably had a billion takes to get it just the way you wanted it. And while I agree with your point about marraige not being perfect, its hard work and it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, and I too get annoyed with the never ending challenges, I disagree with your decision to not do this one. Out of all the challenges this one might be the most important. It’s yourspouse!! They are the most important person in your life and if they are not, they should be. I also dont agree eith your spin on the challenge. While we should recognise the hard times, I don’t believe we should reminisce in them.

  33. I feel as if this was written by me. You could not have spoken words more true to my life. I appreciate this more than you know. I really do love my hubby but some days a lot less than others. Everyday is work. But some days are effortless. You said it perfectly that you often feel like you are the only ones who argue or feel drift in the relationship. It’s a society pressure to not be the 1 in 4 who divorce. Almost every argument I’m thinking is this item are we going down the wrong road. But it’s not always like that and there are so many good in with the bad. But you depiction of the truth was so spot on it touched me. I never thought I would respond. But thank you. This was exactly what I needed to hear.

  34. Melissa, this is so awesome. Hilarious…and true. I love it! I also work for – and we’d love to share this with our readers. We’d give you full credit as author, include your bio and head shot, and link back to the original post. What do you think?

  35. Ha ha! My only problem with this is there there are no dirty dishes or mysterious sticky spots in the kitchen photo. ?

  36. So true! And it will evolve as your kids grow. Our kids are at the college stage, and we have an ever changing relationship. It’s interesting.
    Is it bad that I’m jealous of how clean your house is though? Ha ha

  37. So true about Facebook…1 of the reasons that I personally left the FB world for a very long time only to come back in order to promote my blog. I always have to remind myself that people portray only what they want others to see on facebook.
    Also, you are definitely not alone with the way you talk about marriage. There are many days that I just want to “run away from home”, leave this life behind, and try again. I think to myself, why did I want to get married and is this the man I dated? Marriage is definitely not perfect and something that takes effort 😉 Thanks for writing such an honest post for those of us who sometimes feel we are the only ones have these feelings.

  38. If you need a “LOVE YOUR SPOUSE CHALLENGE” to post a photo of your spouse and look happy, there’s a big probability that you probably didn’t really love your spouse.

    You don’t need a challenge to post your own selfie right? Why does it takes a fucking challenge to post your supposed “LOVED ONE”?

  39. Hahaha!! I say this everyday!! On a funny note, my husband looked at your counter tops and there was no mess or clutter. See, he says! That is how our counters should be. Dying with laughter. It was truly a great read. No, we all feel that way. We all try to be tough and hold it together. We are far from perfect. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Hang in there. You are not alone!!

  40. I absolutely LOVE this! I cringe, become jealous or even get very teary sad when I see many of these posts, partially because we know their lives are NOT perfect like they are portraying, but also because my marriage has been very rocky over the past two years, and I grieve a little that mine is not what envisioned for it to be. I appreciate people like you that make it real. Marriage is HARD even when you have a good one. Thank you! I felt like I was the only one that felt like I did not want to do this. I was nominated, I will not do it.

  41. This is beautiful. I think part of the reason that the divorce rate is so high is because people expect marriage to be a fairy tale, wherein the floor is self-vacuuming, the dishes are self-washing, the children never bicker, and their spouse never leaves wet towels in a heap on the bathroom floor (I’m guilty of that last one, for the record). And it isn’t. And it doesn’t need to be.

    My wife and I are coming up on our 6th anniversary. We’ve had some crazy ups and downs (like finding out one of us is Trans, and still being together – the other’s words were ‘hon, if you’re trying to scare me away, you’re gonna have to try a helluva lot harder than that’). We have a toddler lighting up our lives while simultaneously driving us bonkers. We’ve dealt with depression and anxiety. We struggle to keep the toys picked up. We disagree sometimes. Sometimes we say things we don’t really mean. But we love each other. And we love our son. We will always be there for each other, and we will do what it takes to make life work. And there is beauty even in the chaos. 23 hour road trip with an exclusively breastfed 5 month old, screaming for 20 miles because you’re in Middle-of-Frakking-Nowhere, North Dakota and have nowhere to stop and nurse? We’ve been there, and laughed about it afterward. Looking at each other and facepalming after realizing your 2 year old has managed to climb somewhere you thought he couldn’t and has found a Sharpie pen? We’ve done that, smirked, and been glad that I’m a chemist and know what removes Sharpie. Discovered at midnight that the kiddo has inherited your amoxicillin allergy? Yeah, we got the t-shirt – or rather, our son did, from several feet away. Holding your spouse while they cry from depression? Yup, we’ve done that, both directions. Tolerating each other’s obsessive hobbies (yarn, writing, video games, in our case)? You better believe it. Gone a=on a ten minute rant about the spouse’s most annoying habit? Really – are there any two people living together for any length of time who HAVEN’T done that? But we’ve also loved, and laughed, and made terrible puns, and shared countless hugs… And all of it – even the messy parts – is beautiful. Marriage isn’t a fairy tale. But it is the best thing to ever happen to me. And I’m okay with the mess.

      • I don’t NEED a challenge to post cute sappy stuff – I do that anyway. I post cute pictures of our family aaalllll the time – both of our families live far away, and the grandparents like seeing pictures of the little guy. I post silly stuff too – like the time we took my son’s favorite stuffed animal (a 3.5 foot long great white shark that’s bigger than he is) on the annual 23 hour road trip to see the grandparents. Whoever wasn’t driving was in back with the munchkin, so I used the passenger seat belt to keep Nigel the Shark from flopping onto the steering wheel – and took selfies in the driver’s seat, with Nigel riding shotgun. But I don’t have a problem with posting pictures of real life either. Like the time I spent an hour putting away all of the toys, only to have my son pick up the box and gleefully dump it over his head. I could have been upset. Instead, I laughed, and got the camera, and posted that sucker captioned ‘Lost Cause: (n) The process of cleaning up the toys while the toddler is awake. See also “exercise in futility”.’

        I dread being nominated for an entirely different reason – one of us is Trans, and uncomfortable with pictures from pre-transition… which a lot of the older pictures with both of us are. So… I don’t post those. I could probably come up with 7 more recent ones. But I don’t particularly want to have to answer why I’m not posting wedding pictures. If I do get nominated, probably most of the pictures will be of all three of us.

  42. “But it’s also why Facebook can be so discouraging: we compare one hundred percent of our own life to THE BEST five percent of everyone else’s.” a quote from the article…and therein lies the problem….quit comparing yourself to everyone and everything on FB. It is just social media….
    Facebook, if discouraging, is because people state opinions and then get highly offended if someone disagrees or ‘pushes’ back on their opinion. My goodness, you decided to put it out there for public viewing. Deal with letting others have their life and their joys and quit comparing yourself and/or your husband to others. Don’t assume that everyone else has a marriage just like yours and they certainly have to be ‘hiding’ something. Let it go. If you want to express your opinion publicly enjoy yourself, but don’t get mad and offended when people express their opinion back!

  43. I am okay with letting people share what they like—on this topic. As I’ve no children to bless my days, my marriage doesn’t look like this arrangement of photos; it’s not my reality.
    And what does love look like?
    As an amateur photographer of candid life, I capture a myriad of scenarios. I do like happy smiles. I like thoughtful serene silhouettes. I believe in proclaiming love that’s true.
    It might be good for some to project what they want to remember of love; hopeful of what it can again be.
    Therefore, support any chosen expression of spousal affection. Thanks for your view:)

  44. Of course all you say is true of marriage, and I personally have not participated in this challenge because I didn’t want to. I’ve publicly said amazing things about my spouse and children because they are true, and I wanted to. The only point I would like to make is I really wish people would stop comparing their lives to everybody else’s. It’s nice to see positive and beautiful things on social media, and I have read more criticism of fb & Pinterest because people post nice things. Life is real & not picture perfect, and if people are discouraged because they see something sweet on social media, there’s an issue that needs to be addressed. FB is a way that I can stay connected to people I love that I cannot see often or ever in some cases. I’m all for writing about the authenticity of life and having encouragement for those who desperately need it, please don’t misunderstand my words or intent. I just wish it wasn’t done in a manner in which it criticizes others when they just want to share happiness.

    • Sorry you felt my post was critical! Definitely not my intent. I enjoy seeing (and writing about) the shiny AND the messy, and I’m with you — I REALLY appreciate Facebook for the connection factor (even more so now that we’ve moved across the country!). As for the comparison thing, I suspect it happens to people subconsciously — 90-pound, Photoshopped magazine models have been under fire for ages, and from what I can tell, it seems that social media sometimes has a tendency to give people similarly unrealistic life expectations.

  45. This was funny and true of most marriages, especially ones with very young kids. I think some people missed the levity in your words and took it a bit too seriously. I think when you can openly joke about the struggles, then you’re probably in a good place. When you have trouble laughing about your problems is when you’re in real trouble.

    In reading your post, I didn’t think you were focusing on the “bad” or airing your dirty laundry so to speak. I myself personally don’t mind remembering the struggles (especially the “struggles lite” that are highlighted in your photos versus the real hardcore fights) because it reminds me of how devoted we are to the marriage and to each other, despite the imperfections and despite the hard times. We don’t give up and it makes us that much stronger. It makes it easier to communicate our feelings and be ourselves in a very honest way when we know the other person won’t give up on us just because they don’t like what we have to say or what we do sometimes. At the same time, I also can see how some people want to focus more on the happiness in their marriage. It too reminds them of the love they share. People process things differently and both ways are ok.

    I don’t think your post was “sad” and I don’t think the people doing the happy spouse challenge thing are “disgenuine.” Everyone’s different- my husband and I have never been the “lovey-dovey, public display of affection” types. We’re more the make fun of each other and laugh over our fights types. But I don’t feel threatened or annoyed by people who display only adoration for each other without ever verbalizing their spouse’s imperfections because I know that those people have the same challenges we do and they recognize the imperfections whether or not they ever say it out loud to me.

    As for FB making you feel bad about your marriage, I think if you don’t realize that everyone is putting only their best face on, you may be too young for FB or any social media. It’s a public platform like any other and anyone that puts their business out there (whether at a restaurant, walking down the street, in the workplace, or on FB) would be someone everyone might think is not mentally stable or just loves drama (“making a scene”). Some people post some crazy extreme lovey-dicey sh*t that I personally could never post because it would feel too fake to me but maybe that’s how they really feel- it’s not how our marriage looks but l’m 100% ok with that because I’d rather have our raw and honest and imperfect marriage any day, even on the bad days. If you know that, then no one else’s marriage matters- even the sparkly perfect looking ones 😉

    • Such a balanced, eloquent comment. Thanks for taking the time to add to the conversation in such a positive and thoughtful way! I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  46. I never do the chain mail things and I never pass stuff on BUT I took this challenge a different way. My husband fight, a lot and we also have two small boys. We both work full time and we have a part time gig too. We are tired and we miss each other in passing daily. But I am so glad someone tagged me in this challenge because it helped me to think more positive feelings towards my spouse and come back to why we were married in the first place. We tried to instead of post old photos but take a photo a day so that we could have that 2 minutes together and squeeze in maybe a quick kiss. It actually elevated my mood toward my spouse for the week. I am not defending this challenge because I couldn’t event finish it. I think we lasted 4 days of taking a picture together but I will say it changed my outlook on MY own personal marriage. I think it was more about introspection and less about seeing other happily married couples doing their thing.

    • Haha! Because I’m a certifiable germophobe (and also because we literally JUST moved, so everything had been freshly put away). It’s about the only part of our silly little photo shoot that wasn’t staged. 😉

  47. Disagree 1,000%
    The challenge is to remind the one participating – that despite the sleepless nights & fights in the car, and whatever else – that you DO love your spouse, and there’s a reason you got married. It’s a challenge to HELP you get through the tough times together, INSTEAD of calling the divorce lawyer.

  48. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The day I got nominated for this, I couldn’t even. My hubby and I have been two ships passing in the night–and though we DO love each other, the last thing I wanted was to dig up a picture of the two of us looking happy together. If one existed. Thank you for your honesty and thank you for speaking up for those of us who did NOT jump on the Days of Loving My Spouse bandwagon. And hey. Let’s have coffee together sometime. I’m old enough to be your mother, but I’m pretty sure we’re kindred spirits.

  49. Thank you thank you for this post!! I do believe the challenge is done with good intent and is a way to help you remember WHY you got married in the first place but all those captions you mentioned…. that’s what turns it into such a comparison game. I try to remind myself of the quote, Comparison is the THIEF of JOY! Thank you for keeping it real and being a risk taker to post this! 🙂

  50. As a marriage therapist with a sense of humor I found your post funny! Marriage, unlike parenting, is a bizarrely personal relationship that few go public with. Think about it – you can, in polite company, say your two year old is driving you crazy, and you’ll get sympathetic nods. If you said your spouse is driving you crazy, everyone would freeze up and wonder why you’re sharing such private information.

    This means we lack so much common sense wisdom about real marriage. Every couple, every session, I slowly bust more myths, help each spouse see their actual spouse, not the one they threw all their crap on, and we get unburied.

    And yes, I’m married to a marriage therapist and we have REALLY SHITTY DAYS too.

    One of my friends did this challenge and I loved that he admitted they were in a fight that day and he was SUPER mad at his wife, but oh well, here’s day 6 or whatever. I loved the honesty.

    • So refreshing to hear this perspective, Elizabeth! Your professional insight is incredible. And, um, I LOVE that you are married to another marriage therapist. Amazing.

  51. Thank you so much for this post, it truly paints the picture of real life day to day marriage and I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you again for relaying the message that we are all thinking just not brave enough to post

  52. Here’s the problem I have with her article…..I know that not everyone’s marriage is great. It breaks my heart when I see posts like, “thanks babe for watching the kids so I can get a kid free trip to target!” Or when I see posts that a couple only gets a date night once a year. Marriage shouldn’t be like that, where the wife is the only one making the effort, or the couple fights so much they can’t stand to spend time alone, or any of the other posts that break my heart. Marriage is difficult, however, It shouldn’t have to be, it shouldn’t be hard every single day, all day. As a married couple, you should have at least 7 reasons you love your spouse, at least 7 loving pictures of yourselves together. It doesn’t mean the rest of the marriage is gumdrops and sunshine every minute, but it should indicate you love and appreciate your spouse at least the majority of the time. If you cant even think of 7 reasons you love your spouse, the parent of your children, the person you’ve chosen to spend your life with, it makes me heartbroken for you. But it shouldn’t indicate that those who can are somehow putting on a show or being fake. Every picture I posted was genuine and an accurate depiction of our lives together, and we make selfless decisions daily to make sure it stays that way, so it makes me proud to participate and remind myself why I appreciate my husband. Why does the real always have to be negative? Why can’t the real be positive and why does that make me fake?

    • How on earth can you make something so sweet so negative? If you don’t want to participate in something like this (I didn’t) then don’t participate. But I see couples posting their images and it makes me smile – I see some couples posting and I KNOW those relationships aren’t perfect and it makes me happy knowing they had so many good times to get them through the harder times that I personally know they survived (all of FB may not know about these hard times, but that isn’t the point of FB is it?). Your pointing this out doesn’t prove anything – we all know any marriage isn’t rainbows and unicorns – that is if we are married. The point is that the happy times make the hard times so very worth it. It is a choice to see the glass as half full.

    • That’s awesome, Jenna! My hubs and I had plenty of loving pics, but we sure had fun shooting these staged ones, too. Stay proud to post those happy pics, girl!

  53. If your kitchen, floor, and fridge are that clean, you are maybe showing us an additional 5%, but still no where near 100% of most of us. 😉

  54. I too could not participate in the challenge & I think I was nominated. I have been married for almost 27 years with 3 kids 24, 20, and 17 & this past year I was ready to throw in the towel. Financial tormoil, 2 ships passing in the night unfulfilling h sex life, porno emails (not mine) inappropriate text messages (sexting, not mine again), being accused if cheating (when I don’t have time for an extra relationship), unemployment (mine due to stress of family & marriage), unhappy children. I’m hanging in there but it’s rough! I could should the happy picture but they are only short lived moments. Thanks for your post I’m glad to know that I am not alone.

  55. But you did participate, by shaming those who do the challenge with your own version of your reality and saying others’ reality is obviously not valid, because it’s not yours…. Clap. Clap. Clap.

    This blog post reminds me of all the people I went to school with, who dressed the same rebellious way – they all wore the same rebellious clothing, hair color, make up and jewelry – to make a “statement” and be different. ALL of them. Irony.

    There’s worse things couples could do than publicly declare their love for eachother.

  56. Many people are just married because they don’t have a way out and so they just try to keep it together. It’s better to at least pretend to love them because what is the alternative? Being miserable? kids, bills and health problems, can’t get a divorce. Just stuck in it. Might as well suck it up and realize your life isn’t what you wanted and ‘settle’. That’s what is for lots of us.

  57. Of course marriage is difficult. The challenge isn’t about denying that. It’s about celebrating the love that brought you together in the first place and keeps you together through those challenges. It’s a reminder of why you continue to work on your marriage. It’s an antidote to all the negativity that Facebook is teeming with.

  58. Amen! My husband literally works every day. He gets no time off. So between him working every night, and sleeping every day. We (me and the kids) rarely see him. I feel annoyed that he is never there to help with the children or help with the chores. I love him but most days I feel like a single mom. So I would feel like I was lying if I posted some cheesy sappy crap on fb. Im totally anti-cheesy romance in the first place.

  59. I remember the moment, not long after the wedding, that the thought occurred to me, “Ok. This is marriage. Not a movie.” … We’ve seen darker days than most anyone knows about, or would even believe, but I don’t put our dirt on fb, not because we aren’t authentic people, but because we don’t disrespect each other in public. Working through those things is what makes a marriage a strong and beautiful thing. That’s why I participated in the Love My Spouse Challenge. We’ve worked hard to make it work and not simply throw in the towel and quit on each other. And I think that’s worth celebrating! ❤️

    • OMG! Thank you for your honesty. I waited till 50 to get married. And have wondered, why doesn’t my fairly new relationship / marriage resemble Madam Oresident in TV. I thought I was alone in the world. ??

  60. I did participate in the “Love Your Spouse Challenge”. The challenge was to post pics of you loving your spouse for 7 days. Not that most couples don’t have ups and downs, sleepless nights, disagreements, etc. Most do and we do too. It looks like you completely missed the point. In spite of our ups and downs my husband and I still make time to show each other love and affection. None of our pics were staged. We could post pics of hugs and kissy-face everyday. We make it a point to not allow the day to day distractions of life get in the way of our love for each other. I did the challenge because we have a lot of young adults in our families and as FB “friends”. I want to be an example for some of them who may not know what loving a spouse looks like. Your pictures are good but maybe they should be posted in the “My Spouse and I treat each other like Roomies Challenge”.

  61. It’s not just you. It’s everyone….Every. Single. Couple. And if they deny it, they’re lying.
    I participated in the challenge because I wanted a photo reminder that even when it’s bad, it will be good again. Even when I’m sad, I can look at pictures of my family when we are happy, and that can sometimes make me feel hope and happiness again. Pictures are supposed to remind us of happy, joyous moments of our lives….so we can get through the down times.
    I found comfort in this challenge, because I know all those other couples have dark moments, too….and still manage to hang on and smile for the camera. Some days it’s fake it till you make it, some days it’s pure marital bliss, some days it’s wtf am I doing here?
    Cheers…from a “more-than-occasional-married-single-firefighter’s-wife”…

  62. I just love this so much. My MIL nominated me and I promptly untagged myself from her post. Not because I don’t love my husband…I DO! But because I’ll never in a million years remember to post for 7 days in a row, my husband hates pics & all things social media and if it takes a 7 day challenge for people to know I love my husband, I’m totally doing this marriage thing wrong anyway, I’m not participating. I also skip the motherhood dares and all of the other challenges & dares that come my way on Facebook. There should be a “real life and adulting are hard, but we get through it” challenge. I could get behind that all day long!

  63. Im going to disagree. Before I get my head bitten off, let me explain. My marriage? Far…and I mean FAR from perfect. And I dont think that anyone that is married would say anything different about their own. We all have those neverending arguments about ridiculous things that, in the long run, mean nothing. We’ve all had the isnt it YOUR turn to get up with the baby, or drive the kids somewhere, or do the dishes conversations. Weve all passed each other giving high 5s and running to our next tasks. We worked opposite schedules for a looooong time, so I get it.
    That all being said, it isnt about projecting to the world some false facade that you are living a Disney Princess fairy tale life. To me, its about recalling WHY we were smiling in those pictures. The memory associated with each of them. A time, captured in a photo where maybe we were living in a fairy tale. It remembering that even when things get rough, the good often outweighs the bad. That happy times counteract the not so happy times.
    Maybe it isnt for the rest of the world to see, but perhaps to gently serve as a reminder of WHY you love your spouse. Maybe a small trip down memory lane would help you to feel not so helpless in what seems not so ideal.
    Most of my friends and family know the struggles weve faced…it was pretty public the basic gist of what happened. Of course there are a lot of details that noone knows. My point is that I know Im judged when I post how I love him. I know many snicker and dont understand…and thats ok. I dont ask them to. I dont really care what anyone thinks. So if I post lovey dovey pictures, its not for the rest of the world…its for MY world. Its for ME. And perhaps, it makes ME remember why I love him and our life, as imperfect as it may be.

    • Absolutely agree with you Amber. This post is wrong in so many ways. Yes marriage is NOT easy but it’s beautiful when two are in it for the real reasons. The challenge is there not to show off or be fake it’s to support marriage.

  64. I agree. However, I have an issue with all of the other challenges on social media as well. My thing is if you are married and have kids, full time job, home responsibilities, etc…how would one have time to get on Facebook and complete all of these challenges. Let’s put our phones down and disconnect from the social media tirades and facades and enjoy our family with the down time from all of the family/job responsibilities and play ball with your son, have a tea party with your daughter, go for a walk with your wife and kids with the dog, etc. Just my two cents.

  65. Please be my best friend! You and I are living parallel lives. I read this and almost cried that I am not alone in all of the “married with kids” chaos that entails. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! And the part about basing your life 100% on everyone’s 5% is so true, and I’m going to steal it to mantra in my head when my recently turned 4 year old is up all night and all day for 6 days in a row (she has issues) and my 18 month old is pulling her sister’s hair 1,600 times in a row and my husband has headphones on playing World of Tanks for hours as if we all didn’t exist.

  66. It’s not just you. It’s us too. I couldn’t bring myself to participate either.

    I loved this ENTIRE article, but especially this: “Marriage is not just a glittery fairy tale. Marriage is hard. Marriage takes work. Marriage is a choice you make on EVERY day, not just on a sun-soaked, euphoric wedding day, and it is a whole host of other clichés that are only overused because they are so, so accurate.”

  67. Well as for me, I think you can love your spouse and be proud of your relationship. Posting photos of your love does not mean you have a perfect relationship – no one does. The true test of a good relationship is hanging in there when the going gets rough, when you disagree – that demonstrates the commitment you made on the day you wed. I think if you can say after 40 years of marriage and 44 years of being together (as I have) that you would do it all over again without hesitation, then you are doing something right. The bad times make the good times more enjoyable. Be proud of your accomplishments! Chill!

  68. Happy to see so many people understanding what “love & marriage” is all about. August 12, my husband and I will celebrate our 55th year as husband and wife. I use to tell people that we have 500 marriage: like baseball, you go to bat and strike out, the next time you hit a home run. We have 5 children born within a ten year period–4 boys and 1 girl. Believe me there are many more exhausting experiences to survive. My husband, who I do love dearly is a manic/depressive so our life has been filled with ups and downs. Yes, life gets better because you realize that arguing is productive and you feel closer together. You do not want to be a part. My husband doesn’t have too much time left, but I am still thankful for everyday even when I get exasperated with him.

  69. I cried reading this because I could’ve written it myself. We have more downs than ups and I sat there……….waiting for this nomination, not having a clue what I would post. Just realizing THAT, made me cringe. I got the nomination and messaged my BFF telling her I wouldn’t be doing it for that very reason. She replied that she nominated me in hopes I could FIND some happy memories…. I’m sure I could find happy memories. But those are memories, not life today. Sometimes I get resentful of the very beings that begin these damn challenges because when I get tagged in a post where I’m supposed to show how great and blessed my life is and I DON’T follow through, what does that show my friends and family? How do I feel about that?

    • I too was nervously waiting for the nomination I knew would come, sooner or later. It came this morning during an extremely busy day at work. Honestly, I probably couldn’t find 7 pictures of “us”, unless I used only pictures from our wedding. I hate having pictures taken, and he’s usually behind the camera. After some stressful days, weeks, and months, it was enough to send me in to a mini tailspin. I kept my composure at work, but at break time, I “broke”. Your article is brutally honest, but wonderfully written. Thanks for a fresh perspective!

    • I absolutely loved your version of the 7 Day Love Your Spouse challenge. I think I got such a huge kick out of it because it’s the sort of thing I’d come up with only mine would be the 33+ years of marriage our-kids-are-grown-so-why-is-life-still-insane version. I’m grateful nobody has tossed that “nomination” at me, because I I”m afraid the sarcasm in my 7 days of photos might be misinterpreted. Kind of the way your very clever and honest post tapped a few nerves. I love my husband, but there is no way I could post seven sweet romantic photos complete with gushing prose. That’s not the way I love him and that’s not our marriage. And I loathe chain mail types of things, particularly on Facebook. I’m sorry you got such a lot of blowback, but then that’s social media, lots of people easily offended by other people’s words.

  70. One think I hate is leaving people out…for instance I am not a Mom yet see people posting about things that make them happy to be a mom thus I was also challenged on the Marriage post so I included two widowers and they both got mad at I decided not to participate at all…I was trying to do something good and it backfired, not the first time FB has gotten me in trouble

  71. I love this! I am secretly praying I do not get nominated, because I will not be participating in this. I thought the pictures you shared of what it should look like was spot on. I truly believe that people post what they want us to see. I do not post about my marriage or my crappy dayC. I do post about how I have made positive changes to my life by investing in myself with personal development and joining a company that allows me to stay home and have financial freedom. But I do have tough days and to ask me to “Pretend” I am madly and deeply in love with my marriage, I just can’t. I live a normal life with everyday challenges like everyone else. I just don’t post about it. I prefer sending positive vibes to everyone. We all need that. Thanks for a great blog today, I needed this!

  72. Maybe you need marriage counseling? Because yes me and my husband have disagreements and discussions but we do not fight! All marriages have ups and downs but not all married people fight, yell, or argue. Maybe I am living the fairytale but my husband has never yelled at me nor me at him but we are able to communicate and agree to disagree sometimes. Maybe your marriage has some communication problems or maybe there are anger issues that should be addressed. Even in the pictures you posted you should feel happy that you have a husband, healthy children, a car, a husband with a job, you have a house, and a couch to relax on. You should feel good about all of those things. I am sorry you are not happily married.

  73. I’m so glad you wrote this!!! I thought I might get by w/out a nomination, but nope, my cousin did it to me!!! Thanks, B! (B is her first initial, I’m not calling her a bitch!) I have not accepted the challenge, I’m ignoring it!! Have a feeling, someone else might tax me too! The whole thing is ridiculous and you are so spot on about everyone just putting their awesome lives on FB!! Maybe that’s why I’m so shocked when a friend announces she’s divorcing, because damn, on FB, her life was perfect!

  74. Why does it have to be negative? Facebook has enough negativity…yeah there are ups and downs in every relationship so why can’t people post memories that they remember and make them happy? I hate going on facebook and seeing peoples posts when they are complaining about their significant other or children, no one wants to read any of that, we wanna read things that make us smile.

  75. I can respect your feelings, but please understand how offensive it is to see people like you post that you are a “sometimes single parent.” You are absolutely never a single parent, as evidenced by the fact that your PARTNER is on the phone with you. You are home raising your kids because you have a partner. If that sweet girl or precious boy fall ill, you won’t face it alone, because you have a partner. There is someone willing to talk about your days and call you to let you know he’s late because you are NOT a single parent, ever. if that lovely room you’re in floods or someone breaks in or any manner of disaster happens, you won’t be frantically calling neighbors or friends to see if there’s any help to be had for you, because you have a partner in this life and that is miles away from being a single parent. You are asked to parent even when your partner is not home, but that does not make you a single parent. For all the reasons above and so many more I can’t understand why you would blow off a positive marriage challenge. The whole point is really a gratitude exercise for all the ways marriage can enrich you, whether the moment, day, week or month is stressful. It’s about the beautiful side of commitment. There are many of us who are truly single parents, some by choice but many because when spouses left us they didn’t just leave the marriage, they left our kids. Widows and widowers of war, cancer and all manner of accidents and disease. It is a hard place to be and it makes me angry to see that being made light of. I’m currently facing a possible cancer diagnosis and I am terrified every day what will become of my son if I can’t work full time to provide for him? How will he continue to go to a school and receive treatment that benefits his autism? Could he ever function independently? I don’t know, and it is an awfully scary and lonely place. There is no call coming from a spouse that will be late but is still my partner and my son’s father. So please quit being just another married mom who throws that “woe is me, I’m a single parent” for a few hours a day type statement around. You aren’t. On your busiest day you are not in this alone. There is some else vested in your life and your children’s. That is a wonderful thing.

    • This was so well said, and you are absolutely right. So right, in fact, that I was totally blind to the idea that a phrase like that might be offensive. I can’t imagine your situation — I respect (and salute) your bravery and strength! Thoughts, prayers, and best wishes to you regarding your potential diagnosis, Anne. I wish I could reach out and wrap you in a virtual hug.

      • Not everything is roses all the time but I think it let’s us see the good in our spouses We chose them for a reason. My husband and I participate and we do love each other and knowing that hard times come and there are times that we get self absorbed with our own problems and our 3 girls (2 are teenagers) but we are stronger together than on our own. Anyone feeling hypocritical about posting should talk to their spouse about their reservations. There is good in the world and we should be happy that others are happy or at least are trying at any given moment. And don’t try to compare your unique relationship to anyone else’s it is only yours. Just be happy for them. And if you know someone posting that was looking for a divorce… Maybe you are witnessing a miracle. God can change people’s hearts and heal relationships.

  76. Just because we post “shiny, happy” pictures doesn’t mean we don’t go through tough times. It’s a nomination if you want to participate, to show the love that you and your spouse share and to promote healthy marriage. A healthy marriage cannot be sparkly 100% of the time, it takes work, no one ever said it didn’t. Seeing pictures of happy people in their marriage is much better than most of the crap on Facebook, that’s why I do it.

  77. I think I get what you’re saying, but life isn’t filled with a bunch of rosy unrealistic portrayals of marriage that the rest of us need to be disillusioned of. Life is filled with marriages falling apart, friends complaining about their spouses to other friends, and mostly the rest of the marriages that seem to be boring platonic roommates who aren’t that excited about each other.

    We need more people saying “My man/women is the best and treats me like royalty and I’m so lucky to be with him/her for my life”, because those are tiny bits of hope in a culture that is a storm of negativity about marriage.

  78. I did the challenge as a way to remember some of our best times and to honor my husband, who although most days drives me bonkers, I do love dearly.
    We seem to be going through a rough patch right now, what with just moving to a new city, living in a child-size bedroom at my in-laws, me being jobless and pregnant, and us not being intimate in weeks bc their is no way we can do that in his parent’s house… I still love the man I married, and we have had some great times together and we will again. So yes, I think focusing on the good is the way to go.
    Also, people have to stop comparing their lives with other people! That’s not what it should be about. People share the good, some people share the bad and ugly (oh too much), people share what they want you to see. If you are a very close friend, then you already know what is going on behind the scenes. Sometimes when you share the good, it helps you to remember why you are on that path in the first place. Sometimes it helps you to see your life in a better perspective and stop focusing on the crap parts. And if you still feel the jealousy over other people’s perceived shiny, happy lives, then maybe it is time to reassess your attitude or your life… Just some thoughts.

  79. Love this! I read your bio too. 🙂
    I would adore to become SAG!!! My hubby isn’t into me acting (because it would “take me away from home” sure, whatever) so I haven’t acted much, just a bunch of stuff when I was younger and a full length indie film a few years ago. I feel so at home on the stage or in front of the camera. I am very shy around new people but if I’m in character, watch out, here I come!!! Lol!!!

    Superb writing by the way!!!

  80. My husband and I have lots of arguments–about being broke, about faith, about dinner, toothpaste caps, you name it. We also deal with–every single day, serious health and life challenges and we have survived! In this world, there is so much sad, so much bad and angry and so much fighting. Taking a few moments every day to chronicle the good, the blessings, and the sacrifice of marriage is a good thing–you don’t need to find the negativity in this. really, you make an argument where there need not be one. I love my husband and am grateful that despite all he and I have been through–that we still have each other.

  81. I LOVE your “stand.” And for another perspective – what about the divorced person? People have NO idea how badly I wanted my marriage to survive…how much I wanted to count the years of marriage with my ex and father of my 3 children…and how much I feel like a big failure and loser that I couldn’t. Now I have this on FB to remind me of my failure and loser-hood? every time I see someone’s post on the 7 day challenge, I cringe because I feel that I wasn’t able to maintain a long marriage so there must be something wrong with me. I realize that I have some healing to do there and that’s me not them, but still. Anyway, thank you for taking a stand on this one!

    • Oh man, I think we both have some healing to do, because I’m reading your comment and thinking, “People have NO idea how badly I want children…and how much we are not going to be having children….and how much I feel like a big failure and loser that I can’t have ONE, let alone THREE. EVERY DAY there are children all over FB to remind me of my failure and loserhood. I see someone’s post of their three beautiful children and I cringe because I will never have children of my own, no matter how much I want them. Yep, I hear yah, sister, I have some healing to do too and I agree it’s not you, it’s me, but still. Grief can be so painful, can’t it? Time won’t make it go away, but it will certainly soften it, and we’ll be stronger for it. Meredith, I really wish I could give you a hug right now, keep that healing process going, you’ve got this!

  82. I can’t take part in that event either. I was asked to but didn’t. My marriage is not good and hasn’t been for a long time. Some people know this, some don’t. But I’m not going to pretend that it’s something it’s not. Thanks for posting!

  83. There are some, like me, who wish I had a spouse to take photos with and share. But, getting real, that’s still celebrating your marriage and your life. If you stay together through all this and much more, you still need to celebrate. With all the bad things in the news; murders, terrorists, election hell, abused animals and people, even a bad day in your marriage should get accolades. It makes you stronger as a person, as a marriage partner, as a parent. I see nothing but good in that. If anyone told you it was gonna be easy, shame on them. If you believed that and are surprised, shame on you. If you’re still married, you are both AWESOME and there is reason to celebrate! Post your very real, very truthful pictures. Nothing wrong with that.

  84. THIS. All of it! Even the parts about children, and I don’t even have any. Your pictures made me laugh out loud (yes I spelled it out!) they made me cry but then they also made me appreciate that I’m not alone, and that marriage is hard work even if you can’t imagine life without each other. Cheers to you for sharing the other 95% It was perfectly imperfect!

  85. I love your version and pictures of the “Love Your Spouse Challenge”! It wayyyyy more realistic. I guess most are showing the up sides to loving their spouse. I never received the challenge or if I did I didn’t notice. I’m glad I didn’t, because I wouldn’t have been able to participate either.
    Thank you for sharing, for being able to laugh at yourself and allowing me to laugh with you. Know that, no it is not just you! I don’t have little kids, but, the struggle is still real. Dealing with someone else’s personality, wants, needs and desires when all you really want to do it be left alone is more than a notion.
    At the end you said you prefer your words and your people to be genuine with a side of sarcasm thrown in…well I’m your girl!! ???
    Anyway…thanks again for sharing you. Congratulations on your success, may you have much more! BTW…love your sense of humor!

  86. Ha! I’m completely opposed to the “chain-thingies” as you call them…and also kind of anti-blog comments, but I love your post so I can’t keep my mouth shut. I’m one of the rare ones who keeps her fb pretty real – my life, warts and all. But then I’m the one who put the fight-during-the-family-photoshoot on the Christmas card, so you can imagine what my #loveyourspouse challenge lloks like. FB/insta/etc NEEDS the honesty. Pick up the challenge! For the good of the whole!

  87. I participated in the Love Your Spouse Challenge because I thought it would be fun. I think this is why most of us did it. For anyone to walk away and take from it that people are advertising a “perfect” union is just ridiculous. Anyone that’s been in ANY type of relationship, be it marriage, boyfriend/girlfriend, friendship, siblings, whatever, knows about the ups and downs. Maybe that’s why it was called the Love Your Spouse CHALLENGE because marriage is quite challenging! However, if someone can’t take a week to find the good in it and post a few pics and comments, well then maybe some self reflections need to be made and some re evaluations done. Just my opinions.

  88. Wow. Talk about taking something way way out of context. If you didn’t like the challenge then simply come up with another one. EVERYONE knows marriage is hard work. It simply stated to “celebrate” your marriage. If I had been asked to participate in a challenge about “daily married life” I’m sure everyone would have some very interesting experiences to share.

  89. Thank you for putting into words my feelings exactly! I have been so utterly annoyed by it but couldn’t pin point why. Marriage IS work and a daily choice to persevere.

  90. Thank you for this. My husband and I JUST “celebrated” 11 years married, the last 3+ having been extra challenging. My “excuse” for not having a gift or even a card for him that day was this: “My gift to you is that we are still married. ” He didn’t object. 🙂

  91. No one has a perfect marriage and it’s wrong to assume someone does(and put yourself on a pedestal as the ONLY one with struggles. Everyone has struggles that they don’t share on facebook. And that’s ok. No matter what things people post on their facebook, it should be a given that they are usually going to post positive things. That’s the point. If you get offended because people usually post good things, or tag you in a challenge, it’s not for you to compare yourself, and if it bothers you, then you’re missing the point of facebook.

    Personally I did participate in the Love-Your-Spouse challenge, not because my marriage is perfect(far from it…. I have faced more challenges in my first 4 years of marriage than anyone can ever imagine) but because I am still in love with my husband in spite of(and because of) everything we have faced.

    In many of the pictures I chose to share you see a sincere smile on my face, not because my life was perfect at that moment (some pictures were from some extremely difficult times), but because I chose to be positive and made the best of the worst situations. It’s who I am.

  92. Hmmm…I don’t quite agree with this. My husband and I argue as well, but we have always said, “we would rather be right there fighting with each other than anywhere else.” Marriage is for better or worse, so even at our worse I would still stand up and tell the word how much I love him! If you don’t think you could stand up and say that on your bad days then maybe you do need counseling. Im not naive enough to look at Facebook and actually think everyone’s relationship is perfect but it does make me happy to see people having a good day. Try watching the move “just married ” with Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy and pay close attention to the end where he’s talking with his father (my favorite part) and he tells him as he’s looking at his sons photo album, ” you don’t see the bad times in a photo album but it’s those times that get you from one happy snapshot to the next.” I did the love your spouse challenge and I’d do it again!

  93. Some of us know and understand marraige isn’t perfect. I personally hoped someone would pick me. It gave me an excuse to celebrate my marraige and show my husband how much I love him through the good times and bad. If you think that all we’re doing is trying to be perfect your sadly mistaken. Its sad everyone can’t be proud of their marriage because no one will ever have a perfect one #dontrainonmy parade

  94. I must say I like it all. I like what you wrote it gives a different view of life and I like the challenge. I was married so I know the pros and cons of marriage. I won’t dare judge either side but I enjoyed reading your blog.

  95. You nailed it! My husband and I have been married 32 years as of September and we would agree with all your daily discriptions. Marriage is the hardest, happiest, challenging and most compromising way of life two people can have.

  96. I had a hard time with this one too. There aren’t many pictures out there of me and my husband, it’s just not our thing. I resorted to daily selfies of the two of us for a couple of the days. By the seventh day, I was like forget it. This is a joke. No one is this happy and in love all the time. Some days I’m pretty sure we don’t even like each other. Somedays, we have hall sex. You know, you pass each other in the hall and say f$&k you. Life is real and love is hard, especially with kids. It’s not that we don’t love each other, we do. We just aren’t always happy, shiny plastic people. I’m so glad to see someone else admit “its not just us” too!

  97. Well, it looks like the challenge worked on you after all! You posted in a much bigger way!
    All of us have these moments and some of us really like posting shiny happy pictures. It makes us feel good. While I appreciate your view, and it does bring back memories of my children when they were young, (They’re now your age) these times wax and wane in a marriage. My husband and I have been married for 31 years and there were times that I didn’t just want to divorce him, I also contemplated homicide. But in the end, it’s the good moments, the shiny happy people moments that make it all worthwhile.
    If you are ACTUALLY comparing your life to others, seriously, that may be your real problem.
    One day at a time.
    And there are going to be some DOOZIES, just you wait.
    Until then, I think I’ll post Day 4 of The Marriage Challenge, because we still have each other, were still alive, no one has gone to jail, the bills are paid and LIFE CAN BE GOOD.
    Don’t sweat the small things, it’s ALSO way too short!

  98. Seriously, that’s the POINT of the whole thing. I’ve been married 29 years. L-O-N-G years. Perfect years? Heck no! But, we’ve stuck it out and worked thru ALL those days like she described. That’s why we CAN celebrate and promote marriage. We know how hard it is. We didn’t run in opposite directions when things got tough or get a divorce. We worked thru it. Day-by-day. I don’t remember anything that said “Do this only if your marriage is picture perfect.” I for one want to show the happiness of my 29 year marriage by posting 7 pictures.

  99. Geezum! I don’t even know where to begin with this one…

    No ones marriage is perfect and if yours is, then you’re obviously lying to yourself.

    Marriage, much like life, is full of good times, bad times and tough times (really tough times). It’s how you get through those moments that makes it worth bragging about.

    For your friends considering divorce, perhaps this challenge could help. Maybe (just maybe) taking a trip down memory lane, searching for images where they are happy would remind them of better times… of why they got married in the first place. Maybe seeing images of better times will remind them that this marriage is worth fighting for rather than just throwing in the towel. Not saying it will… I know some issues are deeper than that but what would it hurt?!

    I have not participated in the challenge but I enjoy seeing my friends share images of their happier moments. It sure beats #bluelivesmatter, #blacklivesmatter, #alllivesmatter, #voteforhillary, #votefortrump, #ImGoingToShareThisStupidArticleWithoutCheckingToSeeIfItsLegit

    The people who are participating in this challenge are obviously enjoying it… why do we have to shame them for it? If you don’t want to participate, don’t.

  100. Thank you so much for this because after 32 years of marriage I thought it was just us too. It’s been a rollercoaster but worth it. We are still working at it the same way you are only with an almost 17 yr old and almost 11 yr old. We weren’t nominated but still celebrate our love for each other and just had our Anniversary. But the people who are wanting that divorce attorney can somehow find how they came to love their spouses again and find their forgiveness and fight again for each other. It always matters how we come through these joys and trials that’s what makes our love for our family and spouse grow instead of apart. Thanks again for your take on the “Love Your Spouse Challenge” I enjoyed it!

  101. This really bothers me. How can you twist this in something so negative. It was meant for fun. I have enjoyed seeing everyone’s pictures. I have never been married but I know marriage is hard. All I want to say is lighten up and have fun in life.

  102. I had an uninspiring, marriage for 22 years. I, like you, convinced myself it was normal. IT IS NOT. You should feel PASSIONATE about your spouse and very much into love making. My second husband is my passion and my everything. He is a gift that I get to reopen every single day. It sounds like you have crossed over into the “we’re cohabiting: and you’re thinking of him more like a buddy or a brother” stage. This is a scary thing because you normally can never get back to where you once were. You don’t sound happy to me. The REAL thing IS out there. It IS real. Don’t ever doubt it. All the arguing and fussing and fighting and just settling is sad and unfortunately, that’s what too many people decide to do for the rest of their complacent long lives.

  103. My cousin and his wife have been married 5 years and have a 2 year old son. Recently he decided to post every day for 30 days a reason he loves his wife. Her birthday was in 30 days. If he can find 30 things in just 5 yrs Im sure you could have found 7. If not then I’m sorry you are in a life long commitment without true love that can see through all the bad times and faults. I have been married for most my life and adore my husband even when he makes me want to pull out my hair. We still do kisses over the phone and hold hands walking into the store………..we are 59 and 60 years old. Yes it’s easier now but I have always loved him with all my heart. Had I not, well this post would probably be more like yours.

    • I’m sure she could have found 7. Heck, she probably actually found 30. That’s not the point here. It’s that there’s a popular (inaccurate) conception, that marriage is a fairy tale, and if someone is having a bad day and pokes on to facebook and sees 50 billion posts of ‘Life is perfect’ it’s easy to think – even if only momentarily – that you must be ‘doing it wrong.’ No – that’s just how marriage works. There are good days, there are bad days, there are days of pure chaos. But there is beauty in all of it – yes, even when you and the spouse are running in opposite directions to head off crises, or passing out on the couch instead of retreating to the bedroom. There is beauty in life between two people who love each other – even in the messy parts. And sometimes, people need reassurance that it’s okay – and perfectly normal – that there ARE messy parts.

  104. Oh fraken love what you wrote! Read this just on the right, when we fought over laundry detergent ??Definitely how my husband and I roll. I am all for starting the love your spouse challenge let’s be real edition.

  105. I laughed at every challenge day post! You are truly hilarious and honest. I’ve been married 23 years and we have three kiddos (including twins). Yes, life is full of surprises and more battles, but we keep fighting the good fight. When we are actually alone and my sweet husband mentions “sexy time,” it takes every fiber of my being not to yell ARE YOU KIDDING? Let’s sleep! I’m happy to report he’s usually on board either way! Lol. Thanks for the laugh!

  106. OMG!!!! I thought I was the only one who was cringing and praying no one nominates me for this one. I mean I love my husband and our marriage us good, but it is not the miracle everyone else’s appears to be. I LOVE this piece! It was so perfect and really hit the mark for a real marriage. Thank you for giving a voice to those of us who are lost in the day to day doldrums of a real life marriage.

  107. I get your point, but I think everyone knows there are many daily struggles in every marriage. But I can assure you, you have a miles better marriage than many people. How do I know? I know because you and your husband discuss things, even if it gets loud sometimes. He calls you instead of just leaving you to wonder where he is. He works beside and with you, co-parenting, even if that means you’re constantly running in different directions and exhausted at the end of the day. Count your blessings. Some of us endure a great many trials in our marriage and, guess what? I still did the challenge because, despite the trials, there were many beautiful, happy days that I am very thankful for, even if they are only memories.

  108. Yes! Thank you! I have secretly been dreading getting “nominated” for this challenge because of sooo many of the things that you mentioned!! Thanks for keeping it real!

  109. A friend of mine posted your link on facebook and I am so glad she did! I think your take on the whole thing — and the subsequent photos (with descriptions) is wonderful. Thank you for sharing and giving me my chuckle for the day. 🙂

  110. Wow. What I see between this blog and a lot of the comments on here, is jealousy and bullying. I am doing this “challenge” and choose to do it to spread positivity on FB. We certainly need it in this day and time. No my marriage in not perfect. I actually planned on making day 6 post about that very topic before I saw this posted on someone’s page. Now I will be adding to that post about how I feel about jealousy, bullies and negativity. I have made it a point to anyone who has ever said to me anything about my husband and I having a “perfect” marriage that it certainly is not. That it is something you have to work at everyday. Some days it’s REALLY hard to do even that. But if you have one that is worth it, you do it. You get through whatever it is and then you enjoy the good times and celebrate your hard work. I don’t know about all of you but I’m not in the habit of taking pictures of the rough times. So I don’t have those to “show off”, but I do post photos of the fun, good times because I like to celebrate them. Now it is my opinion that if someone takes offense, as so many freaking people do these days, then there is this little drop down that you can click on that says “unfollow” or better yet “unfriend”. Because I’d rather have more of the positive in my life than passive aggressive bullying blog shares”. Aren’t we trying to teach our children not to be bullies? So why turn around as an adult and do the same thing? If you have a problem with the photos people post you might want to go back through your page and review all the feel good photos you’ve posted over the years. Aren’t they just a form of the same thing?

  111. Loved the photos.
    And you are right; we put our best stuff on Facebook usually.
    You’ re also right to say that marriage is work. Congratulations, you have made a crucial step on the road to Enlightenment.
    I had a satori moment of clarity when I realized the “love” is a verb. Of course it is work. It is what you do that matters more than what you feel.
    And that picture in the car? It will be a funny story, social eday, eventually, hopefully. Or so it seems from this end of 34 years of marriage. Best of luck to you!

  112. I don’t ever do challenges or chain letter things, even when they were on actual paper or by email! Oh, and one of my favorite wedding photos is of me licking my husband’s nose. LOL (yes, taken by a professional photographer when we were supposed to be gazing adoringly into each other’s eyes & then kiss)
    I guess I just don’t take things so seriously… unlike some of your readers ;-P

  113. How do you have time to write all this ?I did good to snap or find a pic to put on fb. Good read I think most married couples totally understand the frustration that occurs in marriage and I think it is nice to see the happy moments that most people are posting. Reminds me of all the love that couples share which puts a smile on my face:)

  114. You are so right, marriage is hard and is hard work. When you are young and you say for better for worse for richer for poorer in sickness and in health you have no clue what that really means or what you were saying. Sadly these days so many that say it don’t really mean it. We spent 12 years of Saturdays Sundays and in fall and spring during High School 3 to 4 nights a week traveling to soccer fields. The snapshot you have shared of your life made me think that I was looking in a mirror. You all are a great looking family and believe me the best is yet to come, you hang in there because I promise you don’t want to miss it. It will be worth every drop of Blood Sweat and Tears that you shed. Good luck, God bless.

  115. The ideas of blogs are for people to voice their opinions. I love how readers take it upon themselves to completely bash the writer by trying to show them how they are wrong, even though no facts are given throughout the blog. In the entire list of comments, I maybe found three or four well-written responses to the author (in my opinion.. go ahead, tell me I’m wrong). The majority were basically telling her what a piece of garbage her marriage is. I feel sorry for everyone who failed to see the humor in this. I hope you can find any humor in your lives at all.

    • Yes, I gave up on reading all the comments, now just skimming through. It appears reading comprehension and critical thinking (as it’s meant something, not really to be critical, which is how it seems too many apply it…) are sadly lacking. ?

      • Honestly, far too many people read and then react without even contemplating what they just read. They approach blogs like this with “how does it make me feel?” rather than “what is the author trying to convey?” That’s why you end up with a basket full of personally directed criticism and almost no one recognizing the purposeful humor of a very well written piece.

  116. This really makes my day . So funny and real and refreshing. All these things Do happen in all relationships. The best part of it is the way you worded it. Love it~

  117. I’m sorry but FB is just FB. Not everyone has that perfect marriage. It’s inly perfect cause the 2 people in it make it perfect cause they’re not perfect but perfect for each other. And if people want to show the love they have with the husband or wife through social media with the spouse challenge. Then so be it. It is just a picture of you and spouse who you are in love with. Everyone knows that not everyday it’s perfect like that. But come on let’s be real here. There is nothing wrong with this challenge. I get what this person said. But at the same time I think she doesn’t get it.

  118. Omg everything u said is my thoughts!. Thank you for sharing the reality of marriage!! Love it!! All your photos exactly! Lol.. I cringe with the challenge cause it’s not like how everyone post it to be.. U are definitely not alone!

  119. My husband and I always seem to be on the outs in mid-February. So while I’m searching through the Valentine cards for one I feel I can honestly give him, another woman says, “Why must they have such mushy cards; life just isn’t that perfect!”

  120. i told my friends I didn’t need to post 7 or 30 or however many pictures displaying my love for my husband. he knows I love him each and every day because when he wakes up he knows I haven’t smothered him in his sleep. that’s your proof. that’s my reality.

  121. Amen sister. Thanks for showing what a real marriage and real LOVE looks like. Love doesn’t always mean rainbows and unicorns….a lot of times love just means you care enough not to lock him in the basement or put the kids and him in a permanent time out. Nicely done!

  122. No life and marriage arnt all fairytales. And not everyone snaps a picture during every fight. You don’t want to remember the bad days or at least I don’t. In my almost eight years of marriage we have been through more trials the most couples do in their whole life. My husband had cancer. One of my close friends lost her husband to cancer around the same time. then it now seems like a ton of people we cross paths with have it lots we are close go. Including my dad. It’s made my son have behavior issues seeing it all first hand while being so young. So no our life isn’t puppies and rainbows but it’s nice to have the good memories to look back on and share them. In stead of the fights over money and kids. When your in debt upto your eyeballs from the medical expenses. So I see both sides to this.

  123. I get you are a blogger trying to find relevancy through the topics you choose to bIog. I find your article and subsequent assumption to be a insight to you and want makes you feel insecure. that people “only” just post their perfect, happy lives for the world to see, is the most telling statement. First it’s a happiness challenge, challenge being the operative term. I wonder how many people are challenged by this endeavor to find pictures to share. Not everyone is happy, but who wants the uncomfortable awkwardness of your baggage, splashed all over social media. Being with fighting best friends is enough, but now it’s in my face on social media. No thanks.,,,,
    Your pictures meant to be snarky, and tongue in cheek, but I find them to be more telling of your desire to make the people around you feel uncomfortable so you can wallow in commiseration that your marriage isn’t what you expected to be. Your words make me look to the deeper base of what you are about in your blog. Why does it bother you so, I ask quite frankly. Anyone who has been married for any length of time, realizes that marriage is peaks and valleys. Deliriously happy in one moment and seeing red another time! Add kids and voila you fairy tale prince is a raging asshole, for a myriad of reasons..
    You ask for honesty, but how about blogging some honesty yourself. Blog about your journey, your are talented and funny, you can blaze the trail for self truths and disappointment in marriage with your wit. How about making yourself the target, rather than picking off people who probably get marriage more than you think. Personally I don’t care what people post, and I enjoy their 5% truths..

  124. AMEN ANGELA !!!!!!!!! It’s to promote marriages. To try and write an article gripping about your own marriage… That’s a personal image. And this article shows her life as a negative, overwhelmed Disater story. All marriages aren’t built to self-distrust. In today’s society marriage is portrayed as a negative entity. The challenge challenges us married people to be just as excited about being married, as being excited about our child’s first t-ball game. I’d rather see 7 days of blissful marriage pictures, than 7 days of the mess you normally encounter on Facebook. Let’s promote what God created man, and woman to do…. Get married….. Nothing is wrong with promoting happy marriages. Ive been married 21 years, and my daughter just got married several weeks ago on our 21st anniversary date. Marriage truly is a beautiful THING.

  125. I’ve been married for 41 years. I’m a marriage and family therapist. The hubsters and I teach a regular marriage class in a mega church in Southern California. Thank you for making me laugh out loud at 5:33 am! A good marriage (just a GOOD ONE–not even a “great” one!) is the product of a LOT of intentional work. LOL

  126. It is never perfect but what works needs celebrating because it is a lot of work to make it work! That is why I celebrate my spouse… because it could have been over but because of God and commitment and hard work, it is worth celebrating today. A day at a time… definitely not perfect! A gift all the same 🙂 #MarriageWorks

  127. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I think it’s a huge testament to how much you love your spouse when you can share some of the less-than-perfect moments, in which you managed to refrain from strangling them… lol.

    Seriously, though, great post. What’s sad is people not finding the humor clearly intended, and projecting bitterness and unhappiness onto you. All the responses about ‘the point of love your spouse’ make me think about that old adage, “me thinks thou dost protest too much!”

    I adore my husband, I don’t always like him, we fight and argue, the kids drive us nuts, and sometimes, at the end of the day, we’re so exhausted all we do is sit in bed, put on Netflix or TV, and hope the kids (11, 8, & 4) don’the destroy the house before bedtime.

  128. This is wonderful writing & you are spot-on about marriage! It is hard! We are empty-nesters, still argue and really could he please just stop talking about it, and whereas I do have a good sense of direction he STILL thinks he might know better. Has he not learned??? 🙂 He, too, comes home at never O’clock but that is because we farm AND because we farm he has had to take another job to cover the costs of the farm that don’t equal the income. I do love him even though our 20-somethings are making more than us.

    But mostly I have a husband that is shy and he doesn’t like photos. It is hard to find photos of us together and rarer yet to find one where he smiled or didn’t look like a stiff man against a wall.

  129. Omg! I love this post! I was thinking the same thing when the “Love your spouse…” thing started. My hubby and I barely get to see each other some days. He works 40 plus hours, I work part time and take care of 4 kids and take care of an invalid in-law. Plus, we have rentals we have to run and take care of. When the kids were little, his idea of babysitting was merely making sure that the house didn’t burn down and no one got poisoned. We are too exhausted to take a “happy” picture in the few moments we are actually in the same room.

  130. Was this written a long time ago? I’ve known for years that Facebook is selective reality… It’s a place to share the good, and very infrequently, the bad… Only if the bad doesn’t loose you any followers.. ? No one wants to see the junk.. The menutia, the leftovers.. They want the positive! Love your spouse! Be mad at him! Scream at your kids! Roll your eyes! Be who you are!! It’s ok!
    Just don’t post it on fb!! ?

  131. I couldn’t help but notice 6 out of your 7 pictures involved your children and the drama that surrounds them. The stress and resentment of raising children shouldn’t be taken out on each other.
    I’ve been married 25 years to a man I’ve never had a fight with. We don’t have children, and when you take those out of the equation, there’s really nothing left to fight about. We really are one of those happy couples you claim that lies about their relationship status. Our lives really ARE sunshine and roses, that gets better by the day and we know we owe it all to having no children. The older we get, the happier we are that there are no children in our life. It does get better for us every year.

    Just because your life choice of having children is dragging you down and making you unhappy, giving you reasons to fight, does not give you the ” knowledge” that happy couples don’t exist.

    We do.

  132. I disagree with your post. I’m on my third marriage, and it is wonderful. I have wished I had meet him first, but I would not have had my 3 beautiful smart girls. I was married 11 years the first time ( the girls father) and I tried to keep it together, but it’s hard when the other wants something else. Yes we had great times and bad times, but like I said one person can not hold a marriage together with out help from ones spouse. I did not meet my second husband till 12 years later. Yes I dated some, but everything went into my kids. I married my second husband thinking the Lord sent him to me. Well I my have misread the Lord. He was abusive and me being a red head could not hold my temper well. This was the worst time of my life. I said I would never married again. Until I had a beloved Aunt tell me it took her the third time to fine her true love my Uncle. I meet my third husband on face book. We were friends. We meet and married 9 months later. The only thing that would make our wedding better was if my Aunt could have been there. She passed away earlier that year with cancer. So I have had it rough and no marriage is perfect and I would have posted good pic’s of the other marriages if it had gone around then, but that was than. I do not believe in divorce, but sometimes a person has done all they could. I like seeing good things on face book. I for one am tired of all the dirty laundry all over face book.
    Everyone has their opinion and in my opinion you are way off base on this.

  133. Wow. Talk about raining on someones parade. I don’t think the challange EVER says anything about marriage/relationships being perfect. It sounds like the problem is not in the challange but the way you perceive it. Yes, marriage is hard, relationships are hard, life is hard. But you know what is harder? Losing a love. Losing someone who you shared a perfectly imperfect marriage. But you know what you remember fondly from that marriage. The good times. You think about ways it could have been better. You regret the bad. I was blessed to have been given a second marriage and know that there will be bad times, but now I refuse to dwell on them. Celebrate the good. Encourage others to celebrate the good. There are too many discouraging posts. I choose to rejoice in the happy. Rejoice in the love. If you don’t want to participate then don’t. But why do you have the need to spoil somebody elses fun, by reminding them that there life is hard and messy, when they are trying to embrace the good.

  134. Love this! Thank you for writing this! I love the superhero picture! That’s our life-run! Plus, who has 7 pictures of just them and their spouse? Not me. It made me realize I barely have any pictures of my just my husband and I together… We would love to stop and take a selfie but we “have stuff to do”!

  135. I think it’s wonderful to see declarations of love etc. publicly. This doesn’t mean that a couple doesn’t have rough times. After 23 years of marriage and, believe me, a lot of ups and downs, I still love my husband with a bursting heart, and I say so regularly to him, and on Facebook. Because, I want to publicly acknowledge all the wonderful things he has done for me and my family. It doesn’t mean we don’t have bad days, or even weeks and months, but it’s simply an expression that just because things are tough doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate him just as much as I do when things are smooth…

  136. So I am participating in this because I DO LOVE MY SPOUSE. Through the good times and the bad. The pictures I am posting remind me of the good times, because that is where our focus should be. We should be loving one another through all the crap. And honestly my relationship is good, happy, shining, glitter and unicorns way more than 5% of the time and it certainly is not shared only on Facebook. With all the negativity that continually circulates, I think it is wonderful to see some light, humor and joy once in a while. And a reminder of the gift and joys of marriage.

  137. PREACH!! I have been married about 900 years, am at the end of raising children in my home and I honestly don’t think I could find 7 pictures of the two of us together anyway. Marriage is about the hardest thing I do every day and mine is never pretty enough for facebook anyway. Well…. there may be a few nuggets but I would have to change my clothes anyway to take a picture of it. Thanks for all the real feels!!

  138. I only wish I could participate in the Love your Spouse challenge! My husband & best friend, father of my 7 children died suddenly with absolutely no warning on our 28th anniversary.

    No, marriage is not easy, but you get thru it by hard work & loving each other unconditionally. I wish you were standing in my shoes instead of me.

    Be thankful you still have your spouse to walk thru the messiness of life.

  139. I do hope that the picture of you two in front of an alcohol filled refrigerator is just a joke. If the two of you enjoy alcoholic beverages together and neither of you have a problem, enjoy yourselves. If either of you have a drinking problem or can’t deal with the other’s drinking alcoholically, there is AA for the alcoholic and Al-Anon for the spouse of an alcoholic.

  140. This article annoys me so much that I have to just leave a comment. The “love your spouse” challenge is NOT a negative thing. As much as I didn’t want to partake in it because how bad my marriage can be ……I was tagged once and ignored it and then when I was tagged twice it really made me think and I’m glad I did it. What this has helped me with is realizing how many times I’ve considered quitting and then realizing how much I love my spouse and my family and how much harder we need to work at it. It’s not a pretty picture and you can post whatever you want, doesn’t always have to good and pretty……but don’t knock others for trying to do something positive, plus, the ones tagged have been tagged for a reason and it’s kind of nice. Nothing worth getting jealous over or saying oh no, not another challenge but I think this challenge is worth focusing on the good that can come out of a marriage besides looking at it as painting a fake, pretty picture. Trust me…..there’s enough fakeness on Facebook as we don’t need another challenge to prove it. It’s unfortunate how many marriages have failed and how easy it is to quit and it’s so real……..the struggle is real…….and you can’t tell me that you haven’t felt this once about your marriage……but it’s ok, you decide how you want to fix it and move on. There’s really no reason for this article. Anyway, this hit a nerve.

  141. But isn’t that the point? That it’s always easier to fight than to love. Love you have to choose. I find it encouraging to scroll through my feed and see other couples remembering why they love each other. Common sense tells me of course it isn’t like that all the time. But if others can make an effort to show their spouse love in the middle of fighting, well that takes strength, and if they can, maybe I can too. Marriage is hard. So show what makes it good! I bet your spouse would not complain hearing you say nice things about them publicly.

  142. I never thought the challenge was about professing perfection. I thought it was about enduring….like, life sucks sometimes, you suck sometimes but I’m not giving up. But then my marriage is only perfect to me, the perfect laboratory to help me gain patience, love when I don’t want to, learn to care about someone else when I want to be selfish….we fight bicker and sulk….but we haven’t given up. That’s my celebration.

  143. She got it wrong. The challenge is to say Yes we endured ups and downs like everyone else but love conquers all and we are still happily married.

  144. I imagine I’m in the minority and will doubtless take some grief from what I’m about to type, but I can’t help but see the bizarre and comical rationale in defense of marriage. So many posts tell of the misery and frustration that comes from the “hard work” of marriage and how “it’s worth it in the end.” These things make no sense to me. Furthermore, it makes no sense to believe that stubbornness equates with happiness or that suffering will bring satisfaction when I’m 80. Marriage is nothing more than a financial contract; far too easy to get into and far too difficult to get out of. I’ve been married twice, once for close to 20 years (the union that produced my three adult children) and one that will end after five years. I’d much rather be alone than in a frustrating, problematic, and ultimately unsatisfying marriage. Marriage is an antiquated concept that still exists because a) people fear being alone in their golden years, b) people fear their children being damaged by divorce, and c) people wanting financial security. Advocating for a contract that has a failure rate of 50% and is no longer necessary in an era of dual working parents seems foolish and backward. Best wishes to those of you who “stick with it,” but I’d rather spend the majority of my nights alone and rely on the consistent and reliable joy found in time with my children, friends, and family than struggle through a pointless and forced co-existence that outdated laws make difficult to exit, just to say I persevered. Love is not about perseverance. Living with a person you have slowly come to resent on many levels requires perseverance and patience, but that’s not love, it’s simply stubbornness and fear of change. Life is hard enough as it is without investing decades of time to maintain a relationship for which the luster long ago vanished, and that offers little-to-no truly meaningful value. Maybe I’m unlucky or maybe I’m selfish, but either way; marriage is a game I’m no longer interested in playing, and I’m clearly not alone. The number of truly happy married couples I’ve known in 53 years is a small fraction of the overall number; those suffering in silence, cheating on spouses, and wishing they had a way out.

  145. Thank you for your honesty. I too received that challenge & how I wish I wanted to post the best of the marriage pics. I can’t and the reality is that my husband and I are going through another of countless bad spots. I refuse to post the lie disguised as glits and glam. No can do. I appreciate that my friends and family have those type of relationships, heck someone has to. I really appreciate my cousin thinking that my marriage is worth highlighting. Now don’t get me wrong. I believe in marriage and know well that it won’t be a perfect situation. After 17 years I’m questioning every thing about it. Send up some prayers for us.

  146. This is fantastic! I have to say, I did participate in the challenge because after being married 20 years – I had to remind myself that even though many days I want to suffocate him as he snores beside me (not really), I do love him & he is a great dad & husband. Is he perfect? Far from it but neither am I. We do have great times & those are the moments I post… But my friends know I also post when he does something stupid!

  147. Marriage is hard work and not always pretty, but I participated in this challenge because through it all I do love my husband. We have had our share of ups and downs and gone through lots of problems. I choose daily to love him even when things are not so good.

  148. haha….the only challenge I have participated in was the love your dog challenge! I ignore the other nominations because I need to keep it real and would rather not share my version “real” with the entire world. Marriages are messy, challenging, sacred, vulnerable, and beautiful because we, as humans, are so complicated! Thank you for keeping it real Melissa 🙂

  149. Cracking up at myself. I read a few paragraphs, got the point and scrolled through your photos and thought, wow, her kitchen is so clean, she’s got great hair and she’s thin. I’m calling a counselor now. 😉

  150. Honestly though, maybe others just choose to look at even the struggles they have as a positive thing instead of being negative about it. Is my marriage perfect? No. Do me and my husband have heated discussions? Yes, every couple does, these are chances to grow! Social media is not a place to air your problems. I don’t see how this is even a relevant article for one simple fact: the love your spouse challenge is about showing that even in the rough times you love your spouse and through all the mud and muck of our marriages we still got through. I choose to say hey, yes we have struggles but guess what I still love my husband undoubtedly, he is the only one I would want to be with, he is my soulmate, my best friend, my other half, just because I believe those things doesn’t mean we are perfect. It means that we choose to grow and make the negatives into positives.

  151. I didn’t read all the comments, but I will leave one here as I did on a friends post who shared…

    Agreed, we are all human, but at the same time, I think part of the challenge is to remember WHY we love our spouse! Looking back at 7 photos of happy times is a good way to reflect on the good in a marriage – and a great way to forgive all the BS that arises! I will NEVER say my marriage is perfect, I would just rather take the good with me and leave the bad on the side of the road that we call life!!!! 😀

  152. Oh honey, trust me when I say our relationship isn’t always perfect. Better yet, ask her! (haha she’s had to deal with me! ? bless her heart!) But what I can tell you, is our not so perfect moments have without a doubt made our relationship the strong it is now. Did we snap photos of our arguments and tears, well no. (Plus I’m ugly when I cry) But those arguments and tears make the happy pictures I so proudly post, very dear to us. The pictures simply show how hard we’ve worked and why we worked so hard. I never look at a photo of her and I and frown. I look at photos of us and smile, because I’m proud of what we’ve become. I’ll show the entire world if I could.

    I personally loved the challenge, simply because it made me go back through old pictures I haven’t seen in years. (and with her deployed at the moment, it has been a little emotional to say the least) It reminded me why she and I have made it this far and why we’ll continue to go the distance, together. If the argument the author is trying to make is valid, then why ever show any pictures on any given day? ?

    Every couple argues. If pictures of my wife and I make you feel insecure about your marriage, that’s not mine or a photo on Facebook issue, it’s an issue that may be in the walls of your own home.

  153. Well, heck, you have got one amazing house!!! On the other hand, I hear your points, but the challenge is about celebrating the commitment you have to one another and remembering your love. Just like your pictures in this blog. Step back and take a good look. However harried you may feel that you are, your house is amazing! You have so many blessings. Celebrate those! Don’t focus on the negative except for how it may help you be a stronger, better person!

  154. So Melisa concludes “Marriage is not just a glittery fairy tale. Marriage is hard. Marriage takes work. Marriage is a choice you make on EVERY day, not just on a sun-soaked, euphoric wedding day, and it is a whole host of other clichés that are only overused because they are so, so accurate.” I agree with Melisa, but with some counter rebuttal to submit as well, is she will allow me.
    I disagree with some of her assertions, especially in context of what the scope and perspective and intent of the 7 days love your spouse is. Why does it feel like she suggests that marriage is all doom and gloom? And why is it uncomfortable if not difficult to say the positive about your spouse at least of only 7 days, if that what it is? This is where my rebuttal begins.
    Melisa seem to suggest that just because couples post positive things about them for 7 days, they are suggesting to the public that their marriage relationship is all roses every day. But that is NOT the case. Those couples know the dark sides of their day to day interactions, but for only 7 days, they are challenged to be intentional about talking good about their spouse and marriage. For others, I would assume, the first day would be very difficult. They would sweat to find something good in the other spouse. Not that it is not there, but because it is so drowned out in the multitude of that which is negative to the extent that it appears as though this person that once called a sweet heart is not a sour heart all through and through.

    The 7-day challenge seem to be aware of this natural fact that it is easy to talk about all the gloom and doom and all what is not going right in our marriage, except what is. So Melisa is so right when she says “Marriage is hard. Marriage takes work. Marriage is a choice you make on EVERY day…” The 7-day challenge seek to exploit that need to be intentional to work on it, and a choice to speak well of your marriage and spouse, including posting the best pictures of you. As a couple, you know very well all the dark spots, some could be public, you may have shared with you friends how you are even contemplating divorce, and some could be so very private, but it does not matter. The challenge is to rise above those feelings, dig deeper and look deeper at spouse, and you will be surprised how many GOOD things you find. By the end of the 7-day challenge, you will be surprised how it get gets so easier to say something good to your spouse.

    All the negatives, challenges and sorrows of marriage, we paint in the dark color, twist the view to the rear, then paint the good attributes with white color. The couples then make a CHOICE to focus ONLY on the white color. They are aware of the dark color, but they CHOOSE NOT to focus on it.

    Slowly, they being to learn love “covers all wrong” and that mean person they once described as a devil next to them, slowly transforms to be a sweet heart. A friend of mine, Dr Molepe, testified that there is something euphoric and game changing when for 7 days you come home as a man and you get a compliment instead of nagging.

    Perhaps there will be another challenge to describe what the dark sports look like in each family, though my guess is that at the end of the challenge many people will be discouraged, depending on how each write up ends. It will be encouraging if it ends on a positive note, like saying “despite it all, we have become stronger together and are determined to stay married forever as a result of the challenges we went thru together,” as opposed to conclusions that scare the unmarried.

    So to me, the 7-day challenge thing is not so much about show off, but a healthy race to be positive, for lack of a better description. One of my favorite writers, EG White, put it this way, “Though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love. The warmth of true friendship, the love that binds heart to heart, is a foretaste of the joys of heaven.” – Adventist Home, 106. I guess that is a #Lifetime love your spouse challenge. #

  155. I loved this article!! What was ironic is that I too was nominated and only made it through Day 4….yes that’s right Day 5 involved some pitter patter about who knows what and I refused to post a picture that day! LOL! Now only do I realize that the nonsense of that day would have made Day 5 the best one!! A true picture of the ups and downs of marriage. It’s not easy but boy is it fulfilling! Even on those “Day 5s!” Great article!

  156. I love it, and if anyone nominates me (what does that say about me if NONE of my friends have nominated me yet?! hmm.). I’m just going to post your article each and every day. LOL Hope that’s ok. This is so well written and so much the truth.

  157. This is so true. I’ve seen others who are cheating on their spouses take the 7 day challenge and think to myself WTF? Why pretend……..I’d rather not pretend marriage is easy. There are times I publicly give my husband accolades on FB but it’s very rare and he appreciates it so much. <3
    I love your article!

  158. Dear Michiforniagirl,

    What a shame that according to the article, 5% of life is shared on social media and it only represents the good times!

    Feel free to share ALL of my timeline with the world because 95% of what I post IS MY LIFE!

    Has my life been perfect? Heck no! But I choose to live that 95% life only because I’m incapable of the 100%!

    I read the article and looked at the pictures and then compared those “staged reality” pictures to what I know about the majority of the people on the planet! If that’s the worst they could be portrayed then attitude and gratitude levels possible are in dire need of examination.

    The idea of posting pictures of “Loving Your Spouse” challenge might do this “Michiforniagirl” good!

    It’s unfortunate that some choose to compare their life to those on social media, but a dose of gratitude in a non-third world setting just be healthy for the person posting the status as well as others who have given up hope!

    Of course the posting of “reality” might be entertaining for many, but for others your worst times are still better than their best. In that case….depart from social media so others won’t be offended!

    Otherwise, good conscious efforts should be reserved for greater moral challenges in life!

    I know 5% was probably hypothetical, but like you said, “Let’s keep it real!” Compared to the world and the state it’s in, posting anything that includes food, beverage, children, and a house is pretty amazing. The fact your husband posed with you for the pictures tell me that even the marriage is pretty spectacular.

  159. I’ve been happy to not be tagged – I’d be hard pressed to come up with 7 pictures of us together that are less than 10 years old. Because 1) I’m the family photographer, and my hubby always cuts off people’s heads when asked to take an important picture (like the one and only time we met Mickey Mouse at a Disney brunch); 2) between working until 7 pm and getting home at 8:30, then going to bed half an hour later because he has to get up at 4:30 am; and golfing every weekend during the summer, I think I’ve seen him for all of 4 hours since February; and 3) divorce hasn’t come up between us, but I sure think about it – I love him, but there’s definitely a lack of interest thing going on there, on both sides, I think. That’s pretty normal, I think, in a long-term (28 years) relationship, but right now isn’t the best time for happy together pix. I’m ok with that for a while. So if I get tagged, I respectfully decline.

  160. I agree with you on the fact that marriage isn’t perfect and it takes hardwork to make it work. I don’t agree with you on your take on the challenge. It’s completely wrong. The challenge is not meant for you to document your 7 day loving activities with your spouse. The challenge is meant to remind you of what you love in your spouse and maybe this small act can somehow give you a glimpse of something else about your relationship other than your aforementioned daily I exciting activities with your family. Life happens and to some, they need to be reminded of why they’re in it and reminisce. You don’t have to do it, but don’t criticize those who do.

  161. This is awesome you took the time to put reality in check. Yes marriage is not perfect but this challenge is to show that no matter what- you will choose to love your spouse. Even through all the craziness and quietness. The pictures were to help you stand for the love you choose to live in everyday. I chose pictures that reminded me of all the growth we have been through the past 22 years. Do I need to announce all the trails it has been? No I will rejoice that we still wake up next to each other with a smile and a choice to love no matter what the day hits us with.

  162. This is hilarious and true! I love it! Thank you for being real! For 26 years I have chosen to “love my spouse….” And some days that is what it is… a choice. There are no cute pictures or warm fuzzies that make me feel that way…. It’s a choice. Other days are the warm fuzzy kind of love, but lets be real, the majority of days are a choice. And when you look at your marriage as a whole, you are glad you married your love. Again, thanks for keeping it real!

  163. Love it!! So funny and so true!!!! Thanks for a laugh and a little dose of “your not alone” reality! in reality my phone is full of pictures of my kids and none of my hubby and I. But I loved your posed pix!!! Too funny! Thank you!!!!! Disregard everyone’s criticism, most of us get your post perfectly:)

  164. Thanks for this- I love your honesty! As a married mom with two kids (3 and 1), I completely understand. When trying to complete the challenge myself, it was hard to find a picture of my husband andI in the last few years sans kiddos. Although we love our kids, it showed us that we need to refocus a little bit more on us. Although I am very blessed in my marriage and plan to participate the challenge, I will be honest with my FB friends and show some real “us” ones, even if “us” is 3 or 4 in number. 😉

  165. I can relate to what you are saying for sure!
    My husband and I have had many hardships over the last few years, as well as being seperated for an extended amount of time.

    We certainly do not have a perfect marriage and hope that my posts did not portray that we do. It was so good going back through pictures and being reminded of the good times we have had together. It is so easy (for me anyway) to focus on the negative. I think it also encouraged my husband as he could not wait to see the next picture and what I would say. It reminded us both how we can so easily take each other for granite as we push (busily) through life. I was so thankful that someone had the courage to tag me so I would take the time to be reminded about the things I am thankful for in my marriage. Negativity seems to come natural to find the positive seems to take being purposeful.

  166. I have to disagree with this. I am in a marriage with 5 children and I can honestly say after being married almost 6 years we Do not fight or argue. The overly lovey dovey posts are not only real but they are 95% of the way our life together is. We both feel like we are the worst to give other couples advice because we know it’s possible to not have arguments and disagreements so we can’t relate to a life like that. Just because it seems too good to be true does not mean it is. Sometimes it is true.

  167. Simply put, no marriage is perfect and the challenge is not to imply that it is. It’s a small activity among fb friends. I find it more challenging just to find pics with my husband.

  168. I feel sorry for this women! Yes, we all have those moments where our marriage is not perfect, that’s life! But the thought that we come together and celebrate the amazing times we have together as a couple in a marriage is something to be celebrated! We are happier together even with the bumps in our lives and let’s be proud of that and celebrate our happy moments and share them so that we can all remember why we married our best friends and the loves of our lives! It’s not to pretend that we are something we’re not, it to celebrate that we are in fact the people in these pictures and it’s worth celebrating. Shame on you! Shame on you for not encouraging the celebration and for a moment just reminding eachother why you are in this together. I love my husband, I truly love my husband and even after a fight, our marriage is great just the way it is! Congratulations to all the couples who took the challenge and could fine or take 7 pictures with their spouse that make them proud of their marriages.

  169. Hey Melissa!
    I loved this piece I think it’s hilarious.The Captions especially are just priceless.The thumbs up picture kinda reminded me of myself…I always flash the peace sign every time me and my boyfriend take a selfie.It’s like my default move. Anyway I think people took this post much more seriously then they should have…Relax people and live a little.Love from Kenya.

  170. Thank you for this blog. I appreciate the additional perspective you bring to the “Love My Spouse” challenge. And that you were willing to show a bit of what goes on “behind the curtain” of marriage. 🙂

    I, too, have a different perspective from a lot of people, apparently. Honestly, I didn’t take the time to read the 300-some odd comments here, so perhaps this has already been shared. But, personally, I just don’t understand the point. If it’s a “Love My Spouse” challenge, why is the challenge to post pics of you and your spouse together for other people to see? Aren’t there better ways to show actual love to your actual spouse?

    Honestly, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love that it can help people connect with each other, but I hate that it often leaves me feeling so disconnected from others. I’m 37 years old, have never been married, and even though I would VERY MUCH like to be in a loving, healthy marriage, there’s a real possibility that I will never have that in my life. I’ve been in one long-term relationship (7 years) which ended 10 years ago. Yes, I’ve been single for 10 years. And, by the way, I am an actual full-time single parent 100% of the time. (If anything about your post was insensitive, imo, it was the line about feeling like a single married parent. At the same time, I can’t really fault you for that- it’s your interpretation of your experience.)

    But, back to the topic at hand. Honestly, whenever I see the usual “Love My Spouse” pics, I don’t see marriage being “celebrated,” I see marriage being shown off, like a trophy or a show pony… ESPECIALLY when the spouse doesn’t even have a Facebook account! How is that possibly “Lov(ing One’s) Spouse”? It’s just really frustrating that (seemingly) every time I log onto Facebook, a friend is posting “Happy Anniversary to my best friend and the best thing that ever happened to me. Can’t imagine my life without him! #soblessed” especially because *I AM* living my life without *MY* Him. That thing that they just can’t imagine? That’s my actual life. I just don’t understand why those anniversary wishes are public fodder, rather than being written on a card to the person’s spouse, or spoken to him directly. I would assume it would mean a great deal to a spouse to hear that… Not sure why the rest of us need that bulletin every single year. So, for me, the “Love My Spouse” challenge, as conducted by most people, is just an extension of that same mindset- of inviting others to pat them on the back for finding someone smart enough (or, in some cases, stupid enough, desperate enough, or foolish enough) to marry them, rather than thanking, loving, celebrating, and/or honoring their actual spouse.

    So, for all those reasons, I thank you. Thank you for giving a more balanced perspective of marriage. Thank you for not trotting out your perfectly groomed, perfectly curated, Show Pony Marriage, but rather sharing a peek at some of the bumps in the road of married life.

    I really believe (or at least I really try to convince myself that I believe) that neither being married nor being single is exclusively “good” or “bad.” Both have their inherent blessings and challenges, as everything in life does. I believe there are healthy marriages, toxic marriages, and everything in between. I believe there is healthy singleness, toxic singleness, and everything in between. And we all have “winning” days and “failing” days, regardless of our marital status. But there’s something about this “Love My Spouse” challenge that strikes me as terribly, well, less than genuine. Rather than tagging people to participate in the “Love Your Spouse” challenge, I’d like to challenge people to live their best life! And if that life includes a spouse, love him or her to the best of your ability! And, just in general, be kind. I think we could all use more kindness and wisdom in all of our lives, regardless of marital status.

  171. My marriage is not perfect. But we do love each other. 6 years after we married, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. He didn’t care that I lost both breasts and was a total effing bitch through treatment, but stood by my side, got me thru the worst of it and has been a terrific partner for the past 13 yrs.

  172. Been married for almost 25 years now and I agree with you 100% that to make marriage work takes a lot of hard work and commitment….I love my husband with all my heart and did not feel the need to post our picture perfect photos together in Facebook…it’s enough that we both know ( :

  173. You win the internet with this one! Love your honesty and hilarity in depicting real life marriage and family. And your friend’s quote regarding only seeing the best 5% of someone’s life is so true {except for those few friends that seem to post EVERY. SINGLE. THING. on facebook}.

  174. We have 8 kids, 7 now adults. There have been times we wanted to throw in the towel and nearly did. I participate in the challenge because it shows that even though we have had our issues, and yes, almost split, we have still loved each other. Even when we did not like each other, our love was there. Sometimes we had to search for it, as we were so busy running everywhere but together. I use it as a reminder of that, and remembering the good times has sometimes been what got us through. I never pretend all is perfect.

  175. Ha! Loved this – I did the opposite – moved from CA to MI last August when i was pregnant with our fourth. Relevant and timely article sine I was just “tagged” in this challenge!

  176. Wow, I am right there with you. A Minnesota girl uprooted living in Texas. Hubby is a military guy, and is currently halfway across the world. We have 4 kids, so my days are literally crazy. I feel like your description of yourself emulates me in so many ways, I want quiet alone time but crave the company and conversation of adults! Netflix, you get a chance to watch that anymore. I wish! We just pay to have it, I guess. No time to actually park it for a while and enjoy anything! My dvr is practically full of shows that looked fun to get into, but I have still only watched the commercials for them. Marriage is rough and most days I feel like I am taking on the responsibilities of it all, while my 5th child, oh I mean my hubby, enjoys life. Good luck, and you are not alone!!

  177. The funny part is there were no rules, you could have posted whatever you chose. The statement that you could of participated but not the way you were “supposed” to came from your own mind. If you have FB I would bet that your page has profile pics and other photos you have added….theses photos are no different…you shared them to show your best 5%. I participated for a couple days and then just stopped….those were my rules. I say play by your own rules, do what you want.

  178. This was a great article and you actually nailed LOVE. Love is not only a feeling as much as a commitment to support, encourage, and persevere through life with each other. The majority of life is either mundane or downright nasty. Those are the times that LOVE is tested and shown to be true or not. My wife and I are Christians so our perspective tries to follow a I Cor13:4-7 definition of what love is. Maybe you don’t have the same personal theology, that’s fine, check out Bill Shakespear’s Sonnet #116. All of us have days we don’t “feel” like doing it. That’s when our will has to take over. A good memory for good times and a bad memory for offenses times help immensely

  179. While I haven’t and won’t participate myself, I do not agree with this blog. I don’t feel like we should screen our own postings because it only shows the best 5%. Of course what everyone posts is going to be their best, no one goes around talking about their worse moments, those are private moments and shouldn’t be shared on FB. I didn’t participate in this challenge because I feel like the only person that needs to know how much I love him and how special he is to me is my husband and he isn’t on social media to see it, but if someone else wants to use FB to give words of affirmation (a proven and very important love language), so be it! My hope is that someone participating in the challenge was able to use it to remember why they fell in love in the first place and it saved their marriage!

  180. I’m not sure how I got to this site but I’m glad I did. I’m about to move in with my new partner of a year, in fact it was our first anniversary yesterday. I’ve been divorced and he is 19 years widowed with children living at home. Children? who are soon to be 25 and 27!!

    He is 70, late to fatherhood, and I am 65. I parented young and my daughters are just about old enough to be their parents. My children left home relatively early to go to college etc. and are active and pretty self reliant. His children live a very privileged life and at the moment make no contribution at all to the household. I never dreamt I would be hands on parenting again and together we are bringing his offspring into the real world of living within a family community.

    It is hard at times for me and I’ve stomped off, gone out for a drive, taken a nap and sulked – not always at the same time 😉

    I am learning to embrace his optimism that everything will work out (by that his ‘children’ becoming responsible, independent adults who participate in the home) and deep down I do believe this. I’m the impatient type and want everything to be orderly, of a fashion, now.

    Thank you everyone for your words of wisdom that pretty much embrace my own views that marriage and relationships are hard and very much need working at. I love my new family and at the moment I’m washing probably twenty loads of years and years of buried clothes and muck. Some people think I’m mad clearing up after someone else’s ‘children’ but I think it really is an investment in the future ‘adults’ as they emerge. Call it bonding ….. 😉 😉

  181. Why turn a beautiful thing into a negative one just because of your own insecurities that your relationship and life doesn’t measure up to others. Facebook is not the problem you should feel secure in your own life and relationship and if you don’t maybe you guys need to work on things instead of spending time making your insecurity and everyone else’s an ok thing.
    – A psychologist

  182. THANK YOU!! Thank you for writing this. I have been thinking the same thing this week. Like, seriously, is everyone just madly in love and skipping through life with no problems? Facebook can be very deceiving sometimes and you just have to step back and remember it is not total reality. I appreciate you posting your day to day pictures:-)

  183. This is why you promise to love each other through thick and thin. Sometimes you’d swear you hate each other, but you hang on to that promise. Soon crisis has passed. At almost 35 years of marriage and five children grown, you think, “how did we make it?” When the kids are grown, you think you are done. There is so much left to enjoy: grandchildren, holding on to one another as you enter those scarry years of old age. If that’s the picture you have right now, post it anyway. It is just a part of life, and it doesn’t mean you don’t love each other.

  184. My boyfriend and I have been together for two and a half years and the talk of marriage has started to come up. There are days where we are so in love and I think I could never spend my lif with any one else. But other days we fight about “the great nothing” and have disagreements and it’s hard in the midst of those not so sparky days to remember that we are two different people with two different views on life. Then I go on Facebook and see all of my friends in their “perfect” shiny marriages. It makes me wonder if we can do it. This article was great, it was a remainder that Facebook is only those awesome life is wonderful moments, and what you didn’t see was the fight they may have had five minutes prior. It’s always reasureing to be reminded that everyone goes through the same struggles, it’s not just us.

  185. What I saw in these pictures is that your house and car are way nicer than mine…so…the grass is always greener I guess.

  186. I guess I didn’t view this “challenge” as an unrealistic portrayal of marriage. I think anyone who is married is perfectly aware that 1) it’s hard work; 2) it’s not all butterflies and rainbows; 3) it’s not always completely serenity and happiness.

    Did I want to be bothered with being tagged so that I would feel obligated to post 7 days of bliss? No, not really – but I did it anyway b/c, well, why not.

    It gave me an opportunity to look back at old photos that have been tucked away and those which I have never posted on FB before. The pictures are not just of happy, blissful moments – but they are where we began. What I have learned from it is that It allowed me a few quiet moments to myself to sit back and appreciate my spouse a little more even though he may currently be annoying the shit out of me. Even though we annoy one another, it doesn’t mean that we don’t continue to love one another.

    It also brought to my attention that we rarely take photos of just the two of us anymore – it’s always pictures of our children. It’s a reminder that we have really sacrificed ourselves and our marriage and we should extend the extra effort to get back to just us every now and then….before it’s too late.

    Marriage IS hard work. It should be celebrated. In this day and age so many people take the easy road and walk away without making a valiant effort to keep it together. There is too much negativity, hatefulness, intolerance, anger, etc., in the world – why not spread a little love?

  187. SOoooo well said. For someone approaching 39 yrs of marriage, I concur that love is an action, not just a feeling. I’ve been through this roller coaster called marriage, and yes, it is hard work. Love means being committed, even when it’s hard. I learned long ago not to compare myself, or my marriage to anyone else’s. Big mistake. And I believe in being positive, affirming my hubby and marriage. But there’s a big difference between being positive and unrealistically over the top gooey with praise. Be positive, but be real.

  188. I’m a guy, great post, and I don’t know where some of these people got divorce from this, guess that was all they could cling to. Also, would love to hang out with your husband, his fridge stocking skills are on point.

  189. While I did not read every post here as there were a lot, out of all of the 20 or so that I did read it seems that everyone agrees with what Michiforniagirl had to say and I hate to possibly be the ONE person that disagrees, but I totally disagree with your assessment of what the “Love your Spouse” challenge was meant to be about.

    Everyone knows that marriage is work and if you don’t know that then you actually do live in a fairy tale. I have only been married for two years, a complete baby marriage to compared to most who have posted here, but we have in fact had our share of drag out screaming at each other fights. Mostly over money and my 16 year old who is not my husbands 16 year old. I don’t post about those events on Facebook because those are between my husband and I and I would never embarrass my husband that way and would not want him to embarrass me that way. We do not fight in public…ever.

    I guess I just do not understand why you would think that this challenge was supposed to sum up a persons marriage in 7 posts…it was merely just a celebration of the good times that everyone has had in their marriage. If you have not had at least 7 good times in your marriage then you are clearly married to the wrong person. I am sorry that no one celebrates the bad times…or mediocre times…the whole point of Facebook in my opinion is to share the simple things in life with your friends and family…the good times, because life is busy and you can’t get together as often as most of us would like to. We all have our bad times too but I just don’t think that is Facebook material…maybe that is just me.

    I actually didn’t even finish the challenge because I just got busy and forgot, I only made it to day 3 and it was my husband that pointed that out to me.

    I love and treasure all the good times I have with my husband…and my son…and I was happy to post those pictures on Facebook. For me it was not about who saw my pictures, I knew my husband would see my pictures and I knew he would like every one of them because we do love each other. And yes, there are days I want to kill my husband and maybe those are so few and far between because we have only been married for two years.

    Just my two cents.

  190. Hilariously TRUE, and I appreciate your dose of reality with a big helping of humor. I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a minute. Just b/c you love your spouse and you are thankful for blessings doesn’t mean that your marriage is perfect and blissful. If you are looking at other’s FB posts with this perspective STOP IT! While I try to keep it somewhat real, I’m not going to post all the ugly family/spouse moments. That would be disrespectful to my family members. So because I respect their privacy and don’t complain about their/our weaknesses in public, should I then be prevented from building them up and celebrating the positive? It’s the responsibility of the person reading other’s posts to keep in mind they are only seeing the best of anyone’s life. Just like in social situations when you ask how someone is doing, they are likely going to put their best foot forward and talk about the positives instead of airing their dirty laundry. (Hopefully, anyway!) You can be honestly, authentically positive in counting your blessings and that doesn’t mean you are fake. Love is a verb, not a feeling and marriage is hard work. Just like it’s a choice some days to love your spouse, it’s a choice to count your blessings instead of complain about the negative.

  191. Marriage is hard as hell, yes. It’s not pretty 24/7. I hear your point of view and by all means you have every right to not post pictures of you and your husband on Facebook. Maybe it is a silly way to show love, to each his own ya know…but I would propose a few pieces of food for thought:
    1: Realize that the love your spouse challenge is just that: a challenge to celebrate love, not a claim that your marriage is perfect rainbows and ponies…and that maybe some people are choosing to do it to honor their spouse even if they are in the midst of a fight or an arguement that day, because that’s part of marriage right? I made a vow to my husband that said “I will love you even on the days that I don’t like you.” Anyone who enters into a forever promise thinking there will never be fights or rough patches or horrible, terrible, no good, very bad days is naive, but we all made a promise “through good times and bad” So are you saying that just because you and your husband argue and fight and even think you hate each other some days that you can’t still try to love each other through that?? There are plenty of days that I have to remind myself to love my husband because I’m not liking him very much at the time…
    2: Please, please, please NEVER EVER use Facebook as a measure of your life or success…come on now that’s just 6th grade shit and anyone with half a brain knows that 99+% of people are not posting the bad on Facebook, but 100% of people have bad days and struggles and challenges (married or not!)
    3: I get your sarcasm but maybe you could choose to look at your 7 days in a different light: Day 1: I’m thankful that I have a husband who loves me enough to argue with me about stupid stuff. After all, statistics say the by seven years most people will have given up on marriage and played the divorce game, which I can only imagine is far worse than arguing about skin on salmon and who didn’t flush the toilet; Day 2: I’m thankful that we have a car to do the things we want to do because dear lord getting places with 2 kids and no car would SUCK!! (And undoubtedly lead to more arguing); Day 3: I’m thankful for a fridge large enough to store that much beer and a partner who is A-okay with using it in that manner, cuz hey, who the heck doesn’t need to have that much beer on hand when you have 2 kids and are constantly arguing?! Day 4: I’m thankful that we are blessed with kids because there are so many people out their who can never have kids of their own…and on that note I’m thankful that I am able to breastfeed because I know it’s better for my baby but some moms just can’t do it no matter how hard they try; Day 5: I’m thankful that I have a husband who goes to work to support his family; Day 6: Dear lord I NEVER see my husband but I know he must be here somewhere because I would be far more insane if I had to catch the baby AND the pasta at the same time!! So thankful to have someone to face the madness with; Day 7: I’m thankful that when I’m too tired for sex SO IS HE!! Netflix and chill it is…literally ?

  192. I have been happily married for 7 years, and have been with my guy for 12 years altogether. We have been through many things over the years (deaths of parents, illness & surgery, loss of pregnancy, loss of jobs, etc.) but I have to admit that being married has been amazing and I am grateful every day for the wonderful man that I am sharing my life with. Yes, we have only been married for 7 years, but the topic of divorce has never come up and I can probably count on one hand the number of times that we argue in a year’s time. We are not fighters and both of us hate drama. We laugh together every day, kiss and tell each other that we love each other every day. We are courteous to one another and encourage and support each other during all ups and downs in our lives. Perhaps in today’s society, we are a rarity. First, we do not have kids. We are not going to have kids because of infertility. We are each other’s top priority. We have dogs, who we love with all of our heart. We have created a little family that works for us. When I saw the Motherhood Challenge appearing on my news feed, I cringed because I know what it is like to not be able to carry a child, when everyone and their sister can, and I honestly felt awful inside. But you know what I am grateful for? I am grateful to have a loving husband who loves me whether or not I can bear children. And I am grateful for the life that he and I created, so when the Love your Spouse Challenge came up, of course I took part. I am not ashamed because the pictures that I posted are typical of our every day life – traveling to cool places, relaxing at a winery on a Saturday afternoon, cuddling with our precious pups – yes, that an honest look into our lives. And just as all of you moms took part in the Motherhood Challenge because you are proud of your kids, I took part in the Love your Spouse Challenge because I am proud of the life that my partner in life and I have created. Every marriage has its own challenges, and no one’s marriage is identical to another’s, but for those of us who have low-stress and enjoyable day to day lives with our spouse, well, we should be able to take part in a stupid fun little “challenge” to proclaim our love and happiness to social media without criticism because our marriages might be slightly more enjoyable than other people’s. If you can post your enjoyment of being a mother, then I can post my enjoyment of being happily married.

  193. I created my own version and posted (in a private group) snarky pictures of my son’s Superheroes posed with my daughter’s Barbies. I love my husband, but we do NOT have a perfect marriage. I loved your post! Thank you for your honesty (said in the voice of Sherman to Mr. Peabody).

  194. BRILLIANT! I saw a nomination for this and wanted to post pictures similar to yours. This is a real look at marriage. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love the other person; just the opposite…It means you love them enough to do “real” life with them! Well stated and what a brilliant way to present this.

  195. Nail. Head. Mic drop.

    I love this post.

    I’ve spent the last two weeks hoping no one tags me for the challenge. I love my spouse but we don’t do lovey dovey sugary fb garbage.

  196. Of course life and marriage has their definite challenges, we all know that. This was just something fun to do bragging about your spouse. Nothing more, nothing less.

  197. Thank you for being the voice of sanity. I am nauseated by this stupid love and marriage challenge. I’m sure the husbands are all embarrassed. It does just make a person look like they are trying to force happiness in a troubled marriage, either that or lord it over their friends…….we’re so perfect! I am very happy, but I express it to my partner not my FB page.

    • Loving your spouse does not mean the challenges you talk about don’t exist. The real key here is to love your spouse in spite of those challenges. With 51 years in, I can tell you there are days (still) where I wish a sink hole would open up and swallow him … and I know he feels exactly the same. But when it’s all said and done, I do love my spouse because he loves me ‘in spite of me.’ I participated in the challenge for a couple of days and found it kind of interesting to post the ‘love’ pictures to remind me that even with all the bad, we have had some really good times. In a world where we’re inundated with the bad stuff, it’s good to stop and shine some light on the good sometimes.

  198. I understand where this article has come from but I actually disagree with the need to make this assertion. With all the craziness that goes on in our lives I actually find it refreshing to see happy photos of people. I have been participating in this challenge because we are in a very stressful time in our life, saving for a house, living at our inlaws with 3 young children (and sleeping in the loft), buying a car that turned out to be a lemon and having to take someone to court, and being horribly in debt for the last few months and trying to recoup, and the idea of posting a happy picture of me and my best friend makes me feel hopeful for a better tomorrow. If we have had good times then there must be more to come right? I would say that there are challenges everyday that suck but even through the tough times we can be happy and glittery ☺️

  199. Ugh, your house is so clean. You have kids just like us but your house is immaculate! Is it just us? It can’t be just us. But Facebook says otherwise… I’m so depressed….. :} Thanks for the article. Gave me a chuckle.

  200. This is such a sad view point to me. You are absolutely right: marriage is hard. I, too, have gone to bed angry at my husband. I, too, have fought with him about money and discipline and things I said 27 years ago. Marriage is hard and not always glamorous. To me, that is not what the Love Your Spouse challenge is about. It’s about the fact that you’ve moved past those times, that you are still together, that you’ve still chosen to love each other even in the face of insurmountable odds. I think anyone who expects their marriage to be perfect is lying to themselves, because that’s not just the truth. However, there is nothing wrong with couples celebrating the fact that they’re making it through together because they’re a team and they love each other, through the bad times. And that should be celebrated.

  201. When you’ve been married for 30 years, the kids grow up and move out, and you’re finally able to rediscover each other….it only gets better from there 🙂

  202. As someone who is participating in the above mentioned “challenge,” I looked at it in a totally different perspective. I looked at it as a way to forget the 3 years that my husband was out of a job and we managed to survive on a teacher’s salary. I looked at it as a way to forget the 20 week miscarriage I had 8 years ago and we still survived. I looked at it as a way to remember the day my only child was born and we have raised an amazing 5 year old. I looked at it as a way to forget the continued struggle we go through to try and give our son a sibling.
    I took a hiatus from Facebook a few years ago when I was at an all time low and all I kept seeing were people getting married, getting their dream job, moving into their dream home, and having their 10th kid when they “weren’t even trying.” Anyone who’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, any social media is of course going to only post the positive moments in their life. It would be ridiculous for me to have posted about my husband not working. To post about my struggle with infertility or that I’m tired of living in the same house for 11 years that we are growing out of, but my husband won’t move.
    With all due respect, your marriage is no different than the millions of marriages out there. I would give anything to be woken up by a child crying. Would give anything to have a kitchen like yours. Give anything to have a fridge stocked with beer!!
    Please respect my comments like I will respect your choice not to participate in the “challenge.”

  203. Great blog post! It was a good read and definitely spot on. 🙂

    My wife & I had sought out the advice of a couple in my church who had been married 40+ years and were still very happy together. When we asked how they did it, she replied that made sure never to use the “D word” (divorce) in any argument they would have; the word Murder did come up a couple times now and then but never divorce. Another couple told us that whoever wanted to leave also had to take the kids with them and that was why they were still together. Interesting couples.

    But you’re absolutely right – marriage is work. Anything worth something is. There are days when I don’t feel lovable and I don’t even want to love anyone else. But I’m committed – and I love her.

  204. As a single 30-something whose Facebook newsfeed is filled with the Love Your Spouse photos lately, I appreciate this post! If my friends were posting stuff like this, I would chuckle and feel empathy for their real life instead of scrolling right on past.

  205. So not with my girlfriend who posted this blog on her FaceBook page. LOL we already know all marriages are flawed and full of challenges. So if couples around the globe want to post something positive EVEN if they fake it till they make it I’m for it. Posting positivity could be saving a marriage that is on the brink. No one should be judging anyone’s marriage point Let’s celebrate the positivity they are putting out ther and hope it’s planting a seed for the images to become a reality!

  206. Hi, I was filled with many emotions when and read your post. I don’t have an opinion on your article; after all, I don’t know you. But the people who know us know we are “real” not phony, we are just happy. My life is NOT perfect. But my imperfect person hasn’t left my side since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am not posting to show off. I post to show my gratitude . I have had some major illness every year since we met. I am 11 1/2 years older than he is. I had four kids when we married. Nope, I am no slouch and no charity case. We have NOT had an easy time. I just wanted you to know it isn’t all fake. Look us up….Sydney I. Portilla-Diggs. One perspective to another!

  207. I think your pictures are Beautiful, they tell a story! Nothing in life is easy, everything you want you fight for whether its marriage, or a career. Its always hard but I say they are beautiful because you and your spouse although may fight not only fight over things but you fight for each other. Not everyone is ready to take on marriage but you guys did so that mean you and your spouse will always keep fighting for each other. Not everyone will fight for each other, so no its not just you. But it is just you that you were lucky enough to find someone to fight for you too. Not everyone is so lucky.

  208. I did the challenge because I want to remember those moments that were fun or silly and just us. I focus on the crap way too much. I know the crap is there. I forget the good stuff is there. I wanted the reminder that I love my husband in spite of the day to day crap. And I want my friends to know it too.

    And I posted only one “Pro” photo, of our wedding day. The others were selfies or taken by someone else in the moment. My flab is hanging out for all to see in our beach selfie. But it was not about me. It was about us. About my love for my spouse. It does us all good to remind ourselves of the good moments.

  209. Can I just say I absolutly agree with everything you said. I have been married for twenty years and while it has been wonderful, some days I wonder “How is this my life and my marriage.” I tend to skip straight past those challenges because they can make me depressed. Especially o days like today when one teenager is yelling, “you don’t understand me,” the other is on the sofa with a broken ankle, and my husband is wondering how we are going to pay for surgery for said ankle. But for every down, there are plenty of ups and I tend to think those help make up for all the craziness. But social media wandts us all to believe that everyone’s marriage is perfect, when it’s not.

  210. I think that it’s just a way to make Facebook more positive. And, while I get that, I am put off by the Marriage Challenge. Maybe it’s because it goes on for 7 days! A couple of days would do. And, the constant nominating of other couples…..! I am happy that I have not been nominated. I really don’t wish to participate. And, I won’t. We will be married for 40 years soon. There has been the good, the bad, and the ugly. I will tell you that once the kids are grown and on their own, the stress level comes down considerably. We have fewer arguments, but he still gets on my nerves sometimes. And, I get on his, I’m sure. I don’t want to “prove” to my Facebook friends that we have a good marriage. Also, I haven’t seen any gay couples nominated/participate and I am uncomfortable with that.

  211. Darling post and SO clever! Go girl – tell it like it is. We can sugar-coat it all we want, but anyone who’s been together a significant number of years (in our case 28), knows it ain’t all bliss, even if FB says it is. Thanks for the post! <3

  212. Yep, yep, yep to ALL this. Been married 8 years with 2 kiddos… We have had like 3+ “marriage” talks in the past week because, guess what? After 8 years we still don’t do everything perfectly. We still cannot read each other’s minds and that causes uh… conflict. And change is hard work. And marriage is really hard work. And yeah, maybe we should occasionally share that on fb… not to air dirty laundry but to bring some reality to something so completely unrealistic (…facebook). 😉 Thanks for keepin’ it real.
    ps- I like the sarcasm.

  213. Absolutely love this! Yes! Let’s keep it real so that we can encourage one another rather than compete! Thanks for sharing!

  214. I appreciate your honesty and I think others do too. But it seems a little offensive in regards to the implication below that because I am posting fabulous pictures of beatiful moments through time with my spouse that someone like me who is honest even to a fault is not being so. . Someone who does feel they married their soul mate, made a covenant with the Lord that day 11 years ago and He is the reason it gets better and better everyday. Yes marriage rakes work, but I don’t believe it has to be “hard” . Yup. That’s my opinion/ shiny unicorn and all. I believe daily if you drop your heavy load before the Lord & take up His yoke you will find He is stronger, and the outcome will far exceed all your hearts desires. I truly feel I am living “exceedingly, abundantly, far above all we could ever ask or think” Ephesians 3:20. May the Lord bless you with more of Him and His unconditional love?

    “I’m SO with you. I post the shiny and the pretty, too. But this time, I wanted to try it with a dose of truth”

  215. As a writer I am sure that the intent here was to be funny and show the ups and downs of marriage. But watching how others shared it and the cynical comments they made reminds me of the dark side of this wonderful social media world we all have a love/hate relationship with. People have taken this to mean be perfect or don’t show up because if you do you are a fraud (I am sure that is not your intent). Your title not your content sends that message–the “good conscious” part says posting a picture would be wrong in some way. Pictures don’t say everything is perfect, it says we are hanging in there despite the odds. It could even be someone posting a picture in faith hoping that God will restore their marriage and then something like this comes along to make them feel hopeless.

    Just like posting school pictures doesn’t say your child is Einstein… It says you are proud to be blessed with them through the good, the bad, and the ugly!!!! Doesn’t mean you are a fraud if you don’t post the day the failed at something, the day they got kicked out of class, or the day they ran from bullies…

    Just like me lifting my hands and praising God today doesn’t mean I didn’t ask Him if He had forgotten me, left something undone, or had quivering faith yesterday…

    Your marriage, your life, or your journey can be a masterpiece worth celebrating, a work in progress that has you on your knees, and a hot mess all at the same time!

    I tell others don’t wait until it’s perfect to celebrate! Celebration can renew commitment and strength! Life is short, you can’t wait until all of your ducks are in a row to participate in anything! I am a live and let live kind of girl, so no hard feelings whatsoever… Just wanted to share my take, respectfully. ❤️

  216. Yes. Marriage is hard and it’s not all happy. But really…. I think the real problem is within ourselves. People scroll down Facebook and constantly put themselves up against what they see on their feed. People aren’t happy for another person anymore.. They are stuck in this comparison mentality. Yes. Facebook is the mostly the best of everyone’s life. That’s Facebook. But I have also seen people post their heartbreaks and their struggles. Let’s let people celebrate and honor what they want. And let’s sit in the sideline and encourage each other. I did the honor your spouse challenge until day 4. Sorry I didn’t post posed shots of me and my hubby fighting, tired, and hating our lives so that everyone else on Facebook feels better about themselves. I’ll try to refrain from posting pics of my children too since not everyone has those. Oh and the good time with friends because some people don’t have those either. Until… Well I just fall off the face of Facebook and everyone doesn’t see me anymore. Maybe that would make everyone feel better too. But hey! Makes for a good writing piece. Good job.