‘Every couple has fought on the way to a party, only to step out of the car smiling. We post pictures of our kids melting down, but never share photos crying after an ugly argument.’

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“The other day, I was complaining about Dave to a former high school classmate. ‘Wait,’ she said. ‘You and Dave fight?’ It had been a while since we had been in touch, and all she knew was what I put on Facebook. I explained to her that Dave leaves a trail of cups and socks wherever he goes. He can never ever find his phone.

We hit a rough spot when Dave tried to save money by patching our driveway himself. He watched some YouTube videos and got to work. Equipment kept arriving in the mail: gallons of sealer spread, a miniature jackhammer, special shoes. He tracked tar into every room in our house like a dog with a bloody paw. In the end, Dave constructed an asphalt ski mogul.

I erupted after the girls went to bed. We had only recently moved into our home, and I was worried about what the neighbors would think. I was furious about the fumes and the trail of black footprints.

‘Every time you try to fix something you only make it worse!,’ I screamed. ‘You are not handy!’

Courtesy of Rachel Paula Abrahamson
Courtesy of Rachel Paula Abrahamson

Dave was apologetic. He repeated he was sorry and promised that in the spring, we’d hire a professional to do the work. But I kept yelling — and not just about the driveway. I yelled at him about throwing wet towels on our bed and for feeding the kids cereal bars for dinner. I ranted about beard trimmings in the bathroom sink.

And then Dave, who never raises his voice, started yelling that I am not affectionate enough and I catastrophize everything.

‘Honestly,’ he said. ‘Sometimes it’s really hard being married to you.’

The next day, I did an Instagram Story of Dave doing a silly dance in our kitchen. Look at our happy life! No problems here!

I adore my husband. He is a family man. He has endless patience. When he snores, I’ll move to the guest room, but I always end up back in our bed because I miss him. He’s going to Maryland on business and scheduled time to visit with my grandmother. I had no idea until I saw him googling the distance between his hotel and her nursing home.

‘Wait. You’re going to see Bea?,’ I asked.

‘Of course,’ he replied. ‘Why wouldn’t I?’

Courtesy of Rachel Paula Abrahamson

I am so lucky. We have a wonderful marriage. But we also have bad days where I dread the sound of his car pulling into the garage. Occasionally, we argue in front of our kids — though we try to make up in front of them too. Sometimes when I’m really mad, I imagine what my life would look like as a single mom. This is normal. It’s OK.

I don’t expect people to start venting about their relationships on social media, nor do I recommend it. Friends will hold grudges against your spouse long after you have moved on.

Every day I have to remind myself that Instagram is simply a highlight reel, especially when it comes to relationships. We post pictures of kids melting down in a supermarket, but we never share photos of ourselves crying after an ugly argument.

Know that every couple has fought on the way to a party, only to step out of the car smiling.”

Courtesy of Rachel Paula Abrahamson

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Rachel Paula Abrahamson of Boston, Massachussetts. You can follow her journey on InstagramSubmit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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