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  • Writer's pictureEvangeline Lawson

Why I Kept My Marriage a Secret from Social Media for One Year

A few days ago, in celebration of my one year wedding anniversary, I posted a sentimental note on a few social media platforms. The increased heart rate before actually clicking post, was intriguing and in many ways comical (because it was a choice). But the rush of anxiety I felt at the moment was legit for one main reason. I was about to reveal an intimate detail of my life to a bunch of people who I don’t truly know.

If you read my last post, I have a complex relationship with social media. But my decision to keep the update on my marital status private for a year was personal preference. One discussed with my husband, with the agreement that when things felt organic enough to announce, then I would. There was no assumption on timeframes or the method in which sharing would occur.

I never felt the pressure to say anything. Partly because I am pretty private generally, and outside of the occasional picture of my family members or me in some natural setting, I do not share much. Beyond my love for books (which if you pay attention to that digital space, I definitely have defined opinions), I am typically a quiet observer online, as the timelines and comments exponentially expand with each passing minute. That matches my actual personality. I do not have this online persona that is misaligned with who I truly am.

I value maintaining a veil of privacy.

Despite what some may think, I wasn’t hiding. My husband and I do have a normal existence—with dinner parties and movie dates, and trips to the grocery store. We’ve met strangers on vacation who only know us as a couple. Several of our friends witnessed our nuptials in person.

Family? Well, that’s where a bit of a wrench pops up.

We both have a large extended family. Everyone was not invited to our wedding. By design. I always wanted a small and manageable affair with enough people that it would feel festive, but not so many that I was overwhelmed or lost in the shuffle. Logistically, when inviting one person obligates you to extend an invitation to another and then they have a partner or kids, tough decisions have to be made. Additionally, while I did not want to hurt anyone by excluding them, I wanted to only feel loved and supported during such an occasion and honestly, not every relative could show up unselfishly and do that.

In planning the wedding, I did not want to sift through tons of unsolicited advice, so I kept things relatively close to the vest. So much so, that people who showed up were pretty surprised by who they'd be rubbing elbows with at the dinner reception. We didn’t allow guests to photograph or take videos that day. Partly because we wanted people to be present, but also to minimize the possibility of leaked photos. Because no matter how much folks love you, the satisfaction of being the first to break the news, is too tempting for some to resist. My overall rationale was less fuss, less stress. And oddly, outside of a few wedding day snafus, it worked.

That mentality spilled over into when I would publicize my marriage. I wanted to protect it. Keep it to myself for a while. I needed to settle into all of the changes until I found a place of safety in revealing. In many ways, keeping it to myself was easier. It was absolutely less stressful. And while some may have deemed it selfish, I felt liberty in defying others’ expectations of how I should manage such a significant life event.

Despite how it may appear on social media, there is no rule that we have to disclose everything.

If we do decide to divulge, it should be free from outside influence. It is actually helpful for our mental wellness to understand our limitations and respect them, while accepting the role social media plays in how we define ourselves and our needs. Are we disclosing because we want acceptance? Or do we truly want to use it as an extension of our communication with one another?

It was both freeing and empowering to make the best choice for myself. I was glad to finally share something so important to me, but to do so on my terms.

© Evangeline Lawson August 23, 2023

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