Feb 17

Real or Perceived: How Do Others See Your Marriage?



So, in lieu of doing a podcast this week, we are going to do a blog. I promise this won't be a normal occurrence,  but possibility a treat every now and then. And what better way to start things out then a sexy kissing picture?!

No, this isn't Trey and me. Trey can't grow that much facial hair! Ha! I kid. But something interesting happened to us while we went out on our Valentine/birthday date last night that really got me thinking.

Trey and I are a fun couple. We just are. We're loving. We laugh. Loud. Sometimes too loud. We joke. We touch. I really think we are just a pretty cool couple. We are constantly accused of being newlyweds (flattering as far as I'm concerned) but we always just laugh and say we've been together over 10 years and have 4 kids. Other couples are often drawn to us. And please know I don't say this out of bragging or anything in that manner. It's just truth.

So, last night as we were enjoying a very very very needed night out (it was a rough day!) we noticed the couples next to and behind us almost uncomfortably staring. Now, it wasn't the 'seriously, these people are gosh for saking loud' stares, but the inquisitive, thoughtful stares. We shared a few laughs and kind words with the couple next to us. Even sending them a drink they had suggested was good. And it was. They were sincerely shocked and incredibly thankful. The couple behind us kept on joining in on our conversation, making remarks and laughing. We loved it. Were used to it. But it got me thinking, what do others think of us?

By comments such as we must be newlyweds or having an affair (HA!) I'm assuming they enjoy/appreciate our interactions. But it leads me to question, how do people perceive you and your significant other?

Are you the avoidance couple? We know many couples that hardly ever spend a minute of time together during the day. They each wake up, get kids ready, go off to work, one takes the kids to after school events while the other goes to whatever evening meeting they have that day. On weekends, they each go do their enjoyed activities, separately, they go to different Sunday school classes and then have different activities they even do during service. It seems to the outsider as if they are doing whatever they can to not be together. Especially not together alone. They may be married, but they spend more time together with their mailman than their spouse.

Are you living together yet apart couple? You may be together a lot. Maybe you don't have kids, are older or just don't have to work a tremendous amount of time. So, technically, you have tons of time together. But possibly this time is spent watching tv, in separate rooms. One does their crafts while the other does their hobby. Possibly they are both addicted to their computer's or iPhones? Whatever the case may be, to the outsider it seems as if they have very little in common together and live in convenience and not passion.

Possibly your together for the kids. We see this a lot in middle aged couples whose children are getting ready to leave the house. Very very little time is spent together, and if it is it is generally for a kids activity. They are also realizing that they have very little in common except for their children. Yikes. Now suddenly their only common interest is going to be gone. Now what!? Some times these can be a little trickier to pick out. Unlike the avoidance couple, they are often seen together at school events, fundraisers, etc... But their home life is lacking.

And lastly, the married forever couple. This is often in the 25+ years couples. Kids are gone. They may not enjoy each other tremendously, but they've been married so long they don't even mess with making they marriage an awesome one. These are often the people who love to give advice about sticking through the harder stuff and 'take the advice from me, I'm old and wise.' But they are missing passion. It seems to the outsider they are just everyday acquaintances. Not lovers that have been married for 30 years!

I was at the grocery store picking up a few things. The cashier asked me if my husband got me anything for Valentines. I said yes, he just happened to get me some beautiful flowers but we are not always big Valentine people. She agreed and said after 40 years of marriage they don't do anything for much of any holiday. I jokingly said 'but don't you love each other?' (panic not, I know her in passing, she is not a total stranger. Ha.) She stated 'of course we love each other, but the passion is pretty much gone after 40 years.' She said this in a manner that was that is just what happens. NO. No it doesn't have to!!!!

No matter how you slice it, real or perceived, I perceived their marriage as lifeless. She did not speak kindly of her husband. She did not speak fondly of him. In fact, it was almost as if she was speaking about a mole on her arm. It's benign but too expensive to remove. Really?

I want my marriage to be so much more! I want people to see Trey and I think we are newlyweds at 30 years of marriage. It is possible. I have seen glimpses of it in others. Please hear me say that we are not perfect. Trey and I do fight. We do have disagreements. But we settle them and move on. Now we don't come home and have sex every night on the kitchen floor. That might be expected of newlyweds. However, we have something that's even better. We have come to know each others, likes, dislikes, pleasure areas, non pleasure areas and our sex is SOOOOO much better than it was when we first got married. People perceive us as a fun, sexy, loving couple.

I love it.

How are you perceived. You may be telling everyone that your marriage is fantastic. There are no problems. You love each other.Blah blah blah. A dog can call himself a cat all day long, but everyone that sees him knows he's a dog. People aren't dumb. Unless of course their marriage isn't any better and they're in denial as well.

So tell us, how do you want your marriage to look to others? How do you want your children to feel about marriage. They are getting their foundation from you.

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