I remember having a conversation with my wife a few months after we were married that hurt. She had been hurt by something I posted on Facebook that painted her in a bad light, and I was hurt because that hadn’t been my intention at all. But then, what had my intention been in the first place?
One of the things I love about my wife is that she is extremely intelligent, she has a great mind, and she loves learning as much as I do. But especially when we were first married, I wouldn’t post about the amazing things she said, but only share the times she made a mistake, because they were funny to me and I had an “audience” on Facebook, be it friends and family or my small number of readers on my blog.
But I didn’t realize I was hurting her. More than that, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t cherishing her like a husband is called to do.
Recently, I saw a newly wed man post something on Facebook that his wife said that was in the same vein as what I used to post, and I really wanted to just comment “wow, your wife sure is dumb.” Not because I believe it, but because that’s what he is basically saying. He may not realize it, and she may not either, but the message being communicated when you post something like that is not that you cherish your wife.
Something I’ve learned over the last few years is that the world doesn’t need to see every memory, hear every story, know every struggle. I’ll admit, I over-share, especially when it comes to our son, but I still have cut out a ton in terms of what gets shared online and what doesn’t. And it’s thanks to something genius my wife said a few years ago, while we were walking around on a visit downtown and I went to take a picture but my phone died, she replied “Oh well, I guess this memory will have to be just ours.”
I think we could all use more memories in our marriage that are just ours. You don’t have to completely get rid of your phone and social media, but you can choose to cherish your spouse more than your audience.