By now, you may have heard of the Love Your Spouse Challenge, a social media trend that began in the summer of 2016. The challenge asked married couples to share seven day’s worth of marital photos and memories on social media using the hashtag #LoveYourSpouseChallenge.
Participants were then asked to nominate other married couples to join in the fun. Like many social media trends, this is one that seems to have fizzled out.
Controversy Surrounding Love Your Spouse Challenge
There was a bit of controversy surrounding the challenge. Some people were really excited about the trend, jumping on board right away, as if eager to prove to the world how much they loved their spouses and how superb their marriages really were.
Others backed away from the bandwagon, wondering: was the Love Your Spouse Challenge even good for your marriage?
Many bloggers seemed to take offense to the trend. They felt that people participating in the challenge tended to use photos that showed only the fairytale, sugary side of marriage. Melissa Bowers was one blogger who had no qualms about voicing her opinion on the matter.
She decided to share a series of photos offering a peek into what she believes her own own marriage really looks like: a realistic one. Her response went viral.
Many other wives and mothers were in agreement that it’s the more difficult, raw, and sometimes silly fights in a marriage – the not-so fairytale-esque moments – that make a marriage strong. These moms posted their own versions of the Love Your Spouse Challenge.
The Experts Weigh In
New York-based psychotherapist and author Will Meyerhofer expressed concern about the trend and told TODAY.com that he felt the challenge could put pressure on people to overshare their lives on social media.
“Relationships take place between two people. When they turn into public displays, it puts a lot of stress on couples,” he says. “Sure it’s nice to let people know there are happy couples out there. But when you start advertising your couplehood, you’re turning the attention away from where it should be, which is on the two of you.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some experts argued in defense of the #LoveYourSpouseChallenge and revealed they felt the trend was actually a good thing for relationships.
Psychotherapist Tina Tessina, PhD, also shared her thoughts on the matter with TODAY.
“Yes, participants often focus on the happiest moments in their marriage but that’s actually beneficial,” Tessina says. “Of course (they’re) highlighting the good things. I recommend that all couples remind each other of the good things.”
Did You Take the Challenge?
I myself did not do the challenge though I also was not nominated to do so. If I had been nominated, I honestly probably would have questioned participating. Not because I don’t love my husband – of course I do!
While I can see the benefit of the challenge, I believe one should strive to love his or her spouse every day, to see the good every day – social media trends or not – while being realistic.
Though it’s awesome to be married to my best friend, I know that no marriage is perfect and it’s refreshing when people are real about what it’s truly like.
Sometimes there are storms that rock the marital bliss boat off course. Sometimes it’s smooth sailing and discovering a secluded beach to hold hands and watch the gorgeous sunset disappear on the horizon.
But at the end of the day, it is never completely simple. And what matters most is being there for each other, no matter what.
Did you participate in the #LoveYourSpouseChallenge? If so, feel free to share your thoughts below.