Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Old Lines: Why I Write About My Marriage

I was a blogger for nearly four years. Two of those years involved consistent blogging and taking part in the blogging community. For many reasons (some of which I may fill you in on later on) I up and quit and never looked back..until now, that is. Here I am with a brand new blog and lots of new things to say. But I think I had something valuable to say before. Every once in a while I will share some of my posts from my former blog--they are my "old lines" if you will. Enjoy!

This post was originally drafted March 5, 2012

I'll be honest, there was a time when I would read a Facebook status or a blog and the second the person started talking up their marriage I immediately suspected something was up. If that person was really so happy, she wouldn't have to tell everyone else.

I think it's because of my mom's love of the phrase: Me thinks, thou doth protest too much.

My mom always taught me:

There are two things that people talk about when they don't have it: money and sex.

Those are my mom's words, not mine. But they've stuck with me forever. So I transferred them to everything. People that are truly pretty don't need to tell you that they get hit on...if they actually know they are pretty. People that are smart don't have to tell you how smart they are. They just are.

People that are happily married don't need to tell everyone they are.

That theory pans out in some situations, but not in all. Basically, I've been humbled and here's why:

I am ridiculously happy. Happier than I ever expected to be. And I write about it a lot.

I woke up next to Zach the morning after our wedding for the first time and I felt at complete peace.

It was instant. Of course I loved him like crazy before we married, but once we were married, my heart settled down. It felt like it was home.

I remember writing in response to an inquiry from a friend the day after our wedding, "Our house is already home." I hadn't expected that. I thought it would take some time to get settled into. We'd have to make some memories there or something. But Zach was with me and it was such a cool feeling. I had totally underestimated marriage.

I had underestimated how beautiful it is to have a friend for eternity. How exciting it is to have someone who you can make out with one minute and pay the bills with the next. How you can one day buy plane tickets to Hawaii and the next minute be buying tickets to the cheap theatre while sneaking in candy.

I had hoped it would be so blissful. I wasn't really sure what it would shake out to be like. So many people warned me of an adjustment period. Zach and I hadn't lived together before we were married and so many people commented, "I could have never married my spouse if I hadn't lived with him/her first. There are certain things you need to know."

And while I have an incredibly strong testimony of waiting until marriage, I did wonder what kinds of things would be so disturbing once I started sharing a home with a man. I was not worried, I just didn't know what to expect. What was going to be so different about him once he shared my address? I was happy with him before marriage and I assumed it would carry over.

What I didn't expect is that it would carry over a million times more. That my love for him would increase exponentially by the minute. Each time I curled up beside him to go to sleep, I would utter a prayer of thanks. For this truly was the best thing to ever happen to me.

I had a wonderful single life. It was exciting and fun. I spent a lot of time with a lot of different people. I laughed a lot. I cried. I felt everything very deeply. My heart was totally exposed at all times. Marriage felt so different from that, yet so similar. I felt like I was on a high but my heart felt different. I don't know how to explain it other than it felt safer--it didn't feel exposed.

I would sit at work and listen to people complain about their husbands or their lacking lives and I didn't want to be the obnoxious girl who was like, "Oh, I love my husband!" So I would find little things to add to the conversation. "Oh you're completely miserable but don't see a point in 'trading' one dud for another? Well...let's husband left his dishes in the sink last night." They always paled in comparison but I would add little things to these conversations.

In my heart I knew it was wrong to do that. I don't know why I did. It's just that girl thing I think. I didn't want to make someone else feel bad by sharing about my happiness.

The thing is, it started to affect my marriage.  Nothing major happened or anything, but little things turned into bigger things at home. I would pick fights over ridiculous stuff. I started seeing things in a negative light more often and I wasn't feeling as happy as I had been prior to this. Basically when it comes down to it: I stopped being a grateful person.

I actually noticed the change when I stumbled upon a few marriage blogs. Some marriages newer than mine, some as old as my parents' marriage. I started seeking out these blogs because I enjoyed reading wives write positively about marriage and their spouses. It was something that I truly enjoyed reading about. I like reading about happy love stories--I was a major collector of love quotes in high school and am still a watcher of all things Disney to this day. I love love. So reading about it inspired me.

I'd read a blog and I'd be reminded of the wonderful blessing that I've been given. I'd be a little more quick to apologize and a lot more willing to forgive.

 I thought about this quote in reference to a lot of blessings in my life, especially my marriage:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. “
–Marianne Williamson

I decided that I was going to stop playing small. I would stop playing my marriage small. I am incredibly blessed. I love my husband like crazy. I now share all sorts of things about how happy I am in my marriage in real life as well as on this blog. It has brought more peace into my home and heart. I just tell it like it is. "Yeah, my husband is pretty much amazing and I am crazy in love with him."

Sometimes it isn't well received. Like when someone with a failed marriage tells me, "Well, that's how it should be for the next five years at least. Then things will start to change."

Sometimes it's liberating for other people. I've had a few people tell me they are inspired by the love affair I have with my husband. Zach has literally had men (okay, it was one man but still, this one made my day) approach him at church and tell him that he is a lucky man because his wife loves him so much.

In a time where family values and marriage are grossly discouraged, disrespected, and often times mocked, I want to do my part to restore faith. I haven't been married long, but I hope that by sharing my happiness, it will help keep my marriage strong and happy. Marriage is underestimated by a lot more people than a single Sharlee, and I want to do my small part to help change that. Whether it's in a conversation with a coworker, through my blog, or at the grocery store. I don't care. I want anyone and everyone to know...marriage can and should be...amazing!

That's why I write about my marriage. I want to. I want to share. I want to make it clear that not settling is so so worth it. I want to create a desire for others to recognize the happiness in their lives and feel liberated and excited to share it.

What motivates you to write about the topics you write about? Do you ever feel a little skeptical of someone who shares the good?

And in case you missed it yesterday, I posted over on Lauren's blog about my favorite parenting F-word, check it out!


  1. Life with AmberlyJune 11, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    I LOVE this!!!! I really can't say anything more than that, but I LLLLLLOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEE it so much, so much! This is perfect and explains it perfectly. I've actually been contemplating this a lot because bloggers who write about their marriage get a lot of flack from people who would "never write about their marriage" for reasons that are totally understandable, but I still don't feel like they should judge others for it. I may be linking to this post in a future post :)

    1. Sharlee HatchJune 11, 2014 at 8:10 PM

      Thank you! It is honestly one of the reasons I came back to blogging. I found myself so happy with my roles as wife and mother that I felt it needed to be shared. While there are lots of blogs out there with this message, I've been more sensitive to the messages out there that say the exact opposite. I think a lot of times our judgements come from our own insecurities.

    2. Reply
  2. The HodgepodgesJune 11, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    I think there is a difference in talking about how happy and grateful you are, versus just flat out bragging. I feel like the people who are trying to brag and do it often are the ones trying to hide something. The ones who are just grateful for their lives and their spouse etc are the ones that are just happy. If that makes any sense ha ha ha. Also, acknowledging how grateful we are for those small things the spouse says and does always makes everyone happier.

    I write because I want to remember it all. These moments FLY by in the blink of an eye, and when they are grown up I just want to remember. I want the kids to be able to go back and read their stories someday.

    1. Sharlee HatchJune 11, 2014 at 8:52 PM

      I think writing to remember is so important...when it comes to any of it. I've already noticed that I've been blessed by keeping those thoughts on "paper." It has helped when I'm frustrated with Zach and it has even helped me as a mom already.

      I agree about the bragging. It's hard to tell what someone's motivation is, and I know with social media I often read into what a person is writing about sometimes just to make myself fee worse. I magnify things and that can be a problem too. Sometimes it's the writer and sometimes it's the reader :)

    2. Reply
  3. rachel garberJune 11, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    I blog about whatever comes into my head randomly throughout the day - for the soul purpose of getting in out of my brain :)

    I always enjoyed reading about your love of being married - or being honest about being married to a divorcee - because you were just ahead of my exact same experiences and I learned lots from you! So keep writing about it because I too, love love. (by the way, be looking for a post in the next week that links back to this one here! I wrote it for our anniversary but haven't published it yet, will do in a day or two or three but thought I'd give you a head's up)

    1. Sharlee HatchJune 11, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      Thanks for reminding me that I need to post some "married to a divorcee" stuff soon! :) Thanks for this comment, too. And link away. I'm very excited to see your anniversary post! :)

    2. Reply
  4. Lauren SkousenJune 13, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    You are so AUTHENTIC. It just radiates through your writing. I think that might be the biggest difference between some people who blog about marriage and others - does it feel authentic, does it feel forced, does it feel like they're trying to compensate, does it feel sincere...? Ultimately though, I think it is hard for any of us to judge what others write about and why. I love your reasons though - it is hard to contain so much love AND it can be a force for good in the world. Like this post made me really want to go find my husband and squeeze the stuffin' out of him. Thanks for the inspiration Sharlee!

    1. Sharlee HatchJune 18, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      Thank you so much. You really are too nice to me. I agree with the compensation piece as well. We never really know. I just know that I've been given a hard time for writing about my marriage, but for me personally I've found many blessings for taking note of those feelings and memories. Some I plan to share on the blog eventually--it's actually been an answer to prayers.

    2. Reply
Add comment
Load more...

I read, value, and respond to all comments--please share.