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The Reality Of Marriage That You Won’t See People Posting

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The Reality Of Marriage That You Won’t See People Posting

Marriage and social media

Anyone can post an idealized view of marriage or long-term relationships on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. However, in reality life is often a little different. Read on to discover five ways in which real-life marriage doesn’t always quite live up to the cute photos and quotes posted online.

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Arguing is an art form

When you live together, arguments are inevitable. Spending hours every day in the same space is a recipe for inevitable conflict. It doesn’t matter how well you get on or how much you love one another, there will be times at which you end up yelling at your spouse for the most ridiculous and trivial of reasons. Most petty arguments are over within minutes and forgotten within days, but they feel pretty important at the time. You are especially likely to engage in petty fights if both of you are the type of person who always feels compelled to have the last word. Arguing over whose turn it is to take out the garbage can become a matter of supreme importance.

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Falling asleep together comes with its own soundtrack

What could be more romantic than falling asleep next to your spouse at the end of a long day? Well, as peaceful and idyllic as the image might be, the accompanying noises and other nuisances aren’t so romantic. Behind every cute photo of a couple cuddled up together in bed lies the very real probability that at least one person snores, snuffles, hogs the quilt or is in some way an antisocial sleeper. These aren’t just one-off annoyances either. When you live with someone, you have to tolerate their quirks every night for years on end.

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In-depth conversations turn into deep sleep

The idea of coming home to your partner at the end of the working day and spending a few hours of quality time together in the evening is a lovely thought. Couples who post about their cozy evenings in with their beloved seem so blessed! In theory, you can converse on all the important issues of the day, share your innermost thoughts and daydream about the life you want to build together. The reality? You are both so tired from working, looking after the kids and keeping up with housework that it’s easier to pass out into a deep sleep than it is to string a coherent sentence together.

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Mess is inevitable

If you ever see a post featuring a couple proudly proclaiming that they have tackled the yardwork or divested the house of all dirt and dust, bear in mind that this doesn’t reflect everyday reality for most couples. Yes, some people manage to team up on a regular basis and cross all those household jobs from the to-do list, but the vast majority of us take a rather different approach to the housework. In all likelihood, those happy couples who appear united against the ceaseless onslaught of domestic duties have those evenings in which they are far too tired to do anything other than come home, collapse on the couch, and resign themselves to living in a state of chaos until one of them finally manages to catch up on their sleep and summons the energy to wield a vacuum cleaner.

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More by this author

Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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