Editor's note: This post by Kelsey Keller Weller originally appeared on her blog, A Little Bird Told Me. It has been reprinted here with permission.
It's the hashtag that makes me cringe above all hashtags (and there are many cringe-worthy hashtags out there). I've seen it time after time, and it's always bothered me, but then I just shrug it off:
It's not a big deal.
Or is it a big deal?
Marriage is not a competition. It shouldn't be. But the first year of our marriage, I quickly found that for many people that is exactly what it is. I think it even became that for me. I started to feel this icky pressure to prove to the world that Brian and I had a worthy love story. I needed to show all outsiders that our life was good, our home was clean, that I was a desirable wife and, most importantly, that Brian was a flawless husband.
I posted pictures to Instagram when he brought me breakfast in bed. I wrote out a mushy Facebook status when he brought flowers home from work. Looking back on that first year, I just roll my eyes at a lot of the things I did and shared, all just to prove to others that our marriage was happy and we were lovesick for one another. What a cheap act for me to pull, really. It wasn't right for me to put Brian's acts of love on display for the world to see. It was degrading, really.
Not only was it degrading to my own relationship, but I can see clearly now how it could have been degrading to other couples. Putting everything out there, perfectly rehearsed, can be hurtful to the couple who may have just had a fight, are struggling financially or are in any other kind of a rut. When you're saying your husband is the best, someone might actually believe it, and that might bruise their heart.
I hope that each woman truly believes that her husband is the best. That's how it should be. I know Brian is the best for me. However, that gives me no right to say he's better than all other husbands. That's simply not true. Every love story is special and sacred.
I've learned my lesson. Marriage isn't a competition to be the most in love. It's not something to be put on display for others to judge and compare themselves to. Marriage is a sacred thing between you and your companion.
Sure, I love seeing the occasional mushy Facebook status from other couples, and it makes me happy to hear about how your husband brought you home a really great surprise. I'm not saying to never share. I am only suggesting that maybe we all need to ask ourselves every now and again, "Am I over-sharing?"
Also, when we share pieces of our marriage, we can do it in a manner that enlightens and lifts others up in their own marriages and relationships. We are a community of women; from here on out I want to strive to strengthen my sisters in their own relationships. I'm so over the comparison game, and I want to kick the "let me paint this picture that my life is perfect" thing in the gutter.
My husband is not perfect. He does things that drive me bonkers.
And I still love him.
Kelsey Keller Weller lives in Logan, Utah, with her husband and one cat. She recently graduated from Utah State University with a degree in broadcast journalism. In her spare time, she blogs at A Little Bird Told Me.