Can social media can improve your marriage? I have yet to come across a marriage that resembles the Facebook version of life. I know mine doesn’t.
But common terms used on Facebook are great reminders of important aspects of marriage and how we should treat our spouses.
Whether you love it or hate it, Facebook boils down the basic elements necessary for marital harmony.
Facebook isn’t an icon of conventional marital wisdom, but employ common Facebook terms in your relationship–like, friend, share, what’s on your mind or update status, comment–and you may notice surprising results.
Here’s what I mean:
On Facebook, this is a simple way to show your friends you enjoy what they’ve said. It’s validation. How does this translate to marriage? Everyone wants validation, including your spouse. A “like” is encouragement. It’s says “I hear you. I see you. What you’ve said is important.”After posting on Facebook, how often do you check back to see how many “likes” you get? The more “likes” you get, the better you feel. In marriage, “like” your spouse a lot. Validate him. A “like” is also a form of respect. It tells your spouse you support or agree with what he is saying or doing.
Friends are people you share your life with. You share important moments, triumphs, and sadness. A friend loves at all times, and the bond can’t be broken by simply clicking “unfriend” or delete. Be a friend to your husband for better or for worse and for richer or for poorer. Friends want what’s best for you. They respect each other, listen to each other and work through conflict.
When we think about sharing, we usually think about clothes, food, or money. But in a marriage sharing refers to everything or almost everything. Sometimes people go into marriage with a “mine is mine” and “yours is yours” or a 50/50 mindset. When you unite in marriage, mine and yours become ours. You not only share material things, you also share your hearts, burdens, and experiences as well. Being able to share life with someone gives experiences more meaning. Marriage thrives when couples share: the good and the bad, successes and failures, and disappointments, and hurts.
- What’s on Your Mind or Update Status
“What’s on your mind?” greets you when you logon to your Facebook page. Communication makes us feel connected with one another. “Status Update” is one of the most common things people share on Facebook. It’s a way to tell people what’s going on in your life. The two most important types of communication are communication between man and God and man and other humans, especially a spouse. Communicate what you’re feeling to your husband. Let him know what’s bugging you. Also let him know you love, respect, and appreciate him.
When your husband tells you what’s on his mind, say something. Nothing’s more awkward than saying something and it’s met with silence, dead airspace. When you post something on Facebook and you get no comments, you feel like no one cares or no one’s listening. Same is true in a marriage. Your husband wants to know he’s been heard. You’re listening; you care. If you don’t know what to say, say that and ask how you can help. Make a noise. You don’t have to have a long conversation. Just acknowledge someone has said something to you.
This one creates quite a bit of controversy everywhere except on Facebook. We click “follow”on Facebook with little hesitation. I know I do. I don’t feel like someone is trying to take advantage of me or boss me around when I click their “follow” button. I don’t debate who’s in charge. But, that’s not my response when my husband asks me to “follow.” Using Facebook terms, “follow” can mean you’re a “fan or supporter” or you “allow someone to have influence in your life.” What was your response the last time your husband asked you to “follow” him?
Obviously Facebook terms don’t cover all aspects of marriage, but it can give you a great start on positively relating to your husband. Treat your marriage like you treat Facebook. Check it a few times a day. Comment, update your status and like. And your love just may go viral.
Which Facebook terms could use improvement in your marriage?
*Added after reader comment.
Sheila Qualls is a former civilian journalist and editor for the U.S. Army’s award-winning newspaper, The Cannoneer. Sheila is now a stay-at-home mom, speaker and writer. Sheila writes from the experience of 30 years of marriage, five kids, homeschooling, 10 corporate moves, two dogs and a ferret. (May they rest in peace.) She inspires women by giving them a view into her world through a window of humor and transparency, one awkward moment at a time. She helps women navigate life’s emotional twists and turns so they can be the authentic women God called them to be. You can follow her on Facebook or on her blog at http://www.sheilaqualls.com.