August: Does Your Marriage Rock?
They say it pays to advertise, and I guess it works. Walk down any street in America, and look at the clothes people are wearing. A large majority of them, I’ll wager, are advertising something. If not a brand name product (including the manufacturer of the clothing itself), it’s a sports team, a video game, a television show, perhaps a place they’ve visited. We are walking billboards much of the time. And the funny part is, we probably paid to wear that shirt or hat that advertises someone else’s business!
Then again, there are those that wear something to promote a good cause (think pink ribbons). That’s probably a good thing, since many of those organizations (like ours) don’t have the media advertising budget of the big corporations. Sometimes, too, it’s a great way to raise social awareness of an issue that needs attention. For example, the Coalition Against Domestic Violence (of which Compass is a member) is getting ready to make some shirts that encourage people to speak up about intimate partner violence. “Break the silence – End the violence” is one suggested slogan for the shirts.
So, to paraphrase a recent ad campaign, let me ask you: what’s on your back? What messages are you spreading with your wardrobe? One message that I believe needs more exposure is the message that marriage is a good thing, and it works if you work at it. We hear a lot about divorce and marital distress, both in the media and in private conversations, but there are many good marriages out there that are worthy of some advertising! Most marriages, in fact, are doing well. None is perfect – because there are no perfect people to make a perfect marriage. But there are many marriages that rock! By that I mean that the couple is generally happy, they get along reasonably well, and they are committed to each other for the long haul. It doesn’t mean they don’t have problems, but they don’t let the problems define their relationship.
Why “advertise” your healthy and strong marriage? Because people — especially other couples — need the encouragement. Young people in particular need to see that some marriages do go well, because they are exposed to so many that don’t. A recent survey showed that a high percentage of high school seniors still want a lifelong marriage, but a much lower percentage believes that it is possible. I encourage couples – especially older ones – to walk hand in hand, sit with their arm around their mate, and even show some occasional PDA. The world needs to be reminded that married love is wonderful!
In case you’re interested, there is an online store that deals exclusively in this kind of apparel: Union28 Marriage Apparel. Take a look at what they have, and order some for yourself and your spouse. Also, if you email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) I will send you a bumper sticker that says “Our marriage ROCKS!” And yes, it has the Compass name and website on it. After all, it pays to advertise.
Contributed by: Larry Compter, Executive Director
Above image courtesy of Union28 Marriage Apparel’s Facebook page.