Have you ever been scrolling through social media and found yourself cringing at something that someone has chosen to share so publicly? I’m not talking about a controversial political post or some TMI story about their health or something disgusting a child has done. The type of posts I’m thinking of are those that share an argument or frustration that the poster has with their significant other. I most often see these in private social media groups but I’ve also seen them as a post in someone’s regular social media feed.
I have a confession that I’m not super proud of… A year or two after we were married, Joe and I got into a heated disagreement with each other over dinner one night. On the drive home from our date, I created a social media post that basically asked everyone to take my side and tell my husband why he was wrong. I had friends who commented and said exactly what I was hoping they would say. But I also had family members who made a comment to me the next time I saw them that I’d kind of thrown my husband under the bus.
I wish I could say that I immediately recognized my wrong and took the post down and apologized to my husband for taking such a disagreement to social media and publicly shaming him in that way. Unfortunately, it took me a couple of years to really see and admit my mistake. I’ve thought about that post often and wish I could take it back, but I know that once I put it out there, even after I’d deleted it, that harm was done and the perspective that my friends and family had about my husband was skewed by those words that I’d shared. I’ve since deleted that post, and many people might not even remember it happened, but those words harmed my husband, they showed an ugly side of me, and they harmed my marriage.
Before you post about your differences of opinion on any form of social media, I want you to ask yourself one question. Is what you’re posting shedding a positive or negative light on your spouse? You and your spouse won’t always see eye to eye. You might have disagreements about politics, the number of kids you’re going to have, how to budget your money, etc. Those discussions are between the two of you, they’re not for the rest of the world to weigh in on.
Silly, trivial disagreements can be entertaining on social media and fun to see which of you is the most “normal”. Joe and I got into an argument early on in our marriage while making dinner one night. He was making French toast and I was appalled because he didn’t add cinnamon or nutmeg to the batter before dipping the bread in and he told me that it wasn’t necessary and I could sprinkle mine with cinnamon when they were on my plate if I wanted. We took that disagreement to Facebook to see what the preferences of our family and friends were and which of us had the majority vote on their side. It was a silly thing and something that we both stayed stubborn on our opinions for.
As a side note, I would be say be cautious because you can pose questions in a way that seem silly when you’re really looking for your friends and family to take sides in a more serious issue in your marriage. For example, you and your spouse might be disagreeing about how many kids you’re going to have. Posting a poll in your Instagram stories, asking your friends to help “settle a debate” and vote on whether you should have an even or odd number of kids because “don’t they all need a buddy to ride with when we go to Disneyland?” might seem funny and trivial, but it you’re really bringing the world into your marriage where they don’t belong. Whereas, having everyone vote on which Disneyland ride is better, Splash Mountain or The Incredicoaster, is a fun debate to let everyone take sides on.
I will definitely continue to vote on your Instagram story polls about which Harry Potter character is the best/worst or how you eat a Reese’s or whether or not you put cinnamon in your French toast because I enjoy a little friendly banter and want to help you prove that you’re not the weird one. But I hope you learn from my mistake of posting something more serious on social media and avoid throwing your spouse under the bus or making them seem anything less than the amazing person that they are on such a public forum. I love social media, but some things are meant to be private.
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography