This Ain’t Your Parents’ Marriage

by Mariana Lenox
SUCCESS CD Production Manager

I have to admit, I am that little girl who adored her parents. While my friends’ parents were all getting divorced, my parents were still together and happy about it. I held them up as the standard for marriage. But after a year of marriage I can tell you with certainty, this ain’t my parents’ marriage. I have come to realize being a newlywed in the 21st century is significantly different than it was for my parents.

First, you should know that my husband and I met online, MySpace to be exact. Now, granted, we had a previous connection, having gone to the same high school, he graduated a year before me, but still our relationship was born from technology. And technology has since been a staple of our relationship, as it is for so many younger couples. Text, instant messenger and sites like Facebook or Twitter are often the main means of communication—certainly not the case for people like my parents. So how do you establish a meaningful, fulfilling and, most important, stable marriage, when texting is your primary means of communicating with your spouse?

Honestly, it’s not easy, and I can’t say that I have completely succeeded. But with my husband working twelve-hour days, and me working five days a week at an office I drive an hour each way to get to, we have to “make it work” (as Tim Gunn would say).

First I think ground rules should be established. For example, you should both agree that important subjects such as finances, life decisions, etc., should not be discussed in depth via text or messenger; perhaps via phone calls when necessary, but preferably in person.

Also NEVER, EVER argue through technology. There are too many opportunities for miscommunication; I would know. Instead try this: If you do start to fight with your spouse via text or instant messenger, take the lead and tell them that you don’t think you should talk about this now, but instead wait till you see each other. Not only will the time between the start of the fight and seeing each other give you time to cool off a bit, but it will also allow you the opportunity to reflect and find some perspective.

Always remind your spouse how much you appreciate them. After a long day it can be easy to take that for granted in person, so use texts and messaging as a positive tool. Surprise your spouse with a sweet or flirty message that will make them smile and give them even more reason to look forward to seeing you at the end of the day.

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