Why Joking About Marriage is Ruining Yours

Having a close blogging friend who shares a similar passion for marriage is great! We bounce ideas off of each other and talk about marriage topics on a regular basis. This is one of those subjects that we talk about often. I love the perspective that Charlene shares in this post! I enjoyed it so much that I've already read it three times.

You know something that really grinds my gears? Marriage haters. You know who I'm talking about. There's always those guys at work (sometimes women join in, but in my experience, it's usually men) who bash marriage. The institution in general, their own marriage, their friends' and families' marriages, all of it!

The bashing usually consists of a cliche phrase. You know the kind:

"The old ball and chain"
"Mrs. Always Right"
"Last day of freedom"
"Jail sentence"
"Still time to back out"
"Your life is over"
"Honeymoon phase"
"7 year itch"
"Learn to say 'Yes, dear'"

It always drives me crazy! This kind of attitude has become expected. Everyone jokes about marriage being terrible. But! I have found that most of those people who joke about how terrible marriage is, actually have happy marriages. They love their spouse. They typically even speak highly of their spouse. But when they talk about marriage, as opposed to their spouse specifically, they complain and joke and generalize.

I don't know where it started, but I have a sneaking suspicion that media of some sort had something to do with it. You know how TV shows always depict marriage as a prison sentence. For some reason, the one show that always comes to mind is "Everybody Loves Raymond". Ray and Deborah's marriage always seems so terrible and looks to be falling apart. I get that it's funny when she rolls her eyes and acts like he's an idiot and she never should have married him. And I laugh when he snickers behind her back about how she never lets him do anything he wants. But I hate how it's become some mainstream on TV.

But again, when you look at real marriages, at least most real marriages, this doesn't seem to be the case. I've been watching a lot of Wheel-of-Fortune lately (don't laugh) and I've noticed that whenever Pat asks the contestants about their families, they say something like "I'm married to my wonderful [or insert another great adjective] husband of four [insert number] years, Pearson." These people seem happy with their marriages and seem to really love their spouses.

So here's my question:
Why do we feel the need to act all cool and bash marriage in general? This attitude could be dangerous for your marriage! Here are only a few reasons why:

You start believing it.

Even if it's just on a subconscious level, if you act a certain way around certain people about anything, it could start to become who you are. Do you want to actually feel like your marriage is a bad trap just because you act like it is in front of your friends?

You start to project these feelings on your spouse instead of only marriage in general.

I know you love your spouse. That's why you married him or her.  But if you keep thinking that marriage is all about the "old ball and chain," then you'll start to see your spouse that way and it will become a self-fulfilling prophesy of sorts.

When issues come up, you'll be less inclined to work on them.

Why would you need to work on your marriage when you believe that marriage as an institution is supposed to be dreadful anyway? There's no reason to try to fix problems, they're just inevitable.

Even when you're not having issues, you don't invest in you marriage.

Again, what's the point in working on something that's doomed to give you a crummy life?

So please, stop this madness.

Marriage isn't all bad. And if your marriage isn't pleasant, do something about it. Work on it with your spouse. Don't bash it to your friends. Don't just brush things off because that's the way they're supposed to be. Nothing is ever like it is on TV, right? So why do we think marriage should be?

I'm over on Enduring All Things talking about all of the great parts of marriage that we forget to share with people. Click here to read my post.