When news of Rachel and Dave Hollis’s divorce hit my news feed I literally had to stop what I was doing, go sit in another room, and read her words over and over. I was in SHOCK. I baffled my family with how sincerely this announcement shook me to my core and knocked the wind out of me for a good 30 minutes.
I am a Hollis company fan. I’ve read every one of Rachel and now Dave’s books, I’ve listened to hours of their podcast, I’m guilty of turning on one of their marriage counseling podcasts when Craig was around so I could pretend we were listening together. I’ve priced out tickets to their spend women’s weekend or Rise conference, I’ve cooked breakfast while listening to their morning live shows every day at 9 am. I took Rachel’s advice to heart and felt like I had a big sister offering advice and relating what I was going through as a young mom and through a few tough years of marriage. I have start today journals and I’ll try every day to move my body and drink half my weight in water.
if you follow the Hollis Co, you know what I’m talking about. If you have no idea what I typed in the above paragraph, I’ll summarize: I’m a hard core Rachel and Dave Hollis fan. But more than that, I totally bought into their marriage counseling podcast. I believed that if we worked hard enough, we too could have an exceptional marriage JUST LIKE Rachel and Dave. I planned the date nights, I took their advice on co dependency to heart and scheduled time apart, I did all of the things as Rachel would say.
But when things got hard in our marriage or life in general, when I turned to Rachel and Dave’s advice, I was told “choose joy” and “you’re not trying hard enough if you aren’t happy” and “you’ll never lose weight if you won’t commit to moving your body and drinking the water.” They also made me believe that if I was putting in the work and not getting results, I wasn’t and we weren’t trying hard enough. They made me feel inferior with their advice when I was struggling because look at them – they made it look so damn easy when obviously, they were struggling much worse than Craig and I ever have.
Because LOOK! Rachel and Dave our in the work and they made it happen and they have that exceptional marriage. YOU GUYS – that’s literally the tag line of their marriage counseling/advice podcast!!
So yes, I was SHOOK. I was upset and I know that I don’t have the right to be. I’m just some girl in Iowa, who I am I to be upset with some couple in Texas for ending their marriage?
But here’s what gets me: if I wasn’t perfectly happy, I wasn’t choosing joy. They told me I wasn’t trying hard enough. They told me to work harder at it and they weren’t.
YOU GUYS!! They SOLD OUT a marriage/couples conference for $1800 a ticket!! And then in their announcement they tell us they’ve been contemplating this for YEARS!?!
But I also get it. These pictures came up on my timeline tonight:
Would you believe that Craig and I were at such a tough spot in our marriage when these photos were taken? That we barely spoke to each other unless we were fighting? That Craig took off work in the middle of the day when I told him to meet me at the marriage counselors office or I was leaving?
That doesn’t make for good captions on pictures.
Truth bomb right? That was a rough summer and while we were both floundering with our own version of post partum depression and my undiagnosed anxiety and body dysmorphic disorder, we were trying extra hard to convince the world we were madly in love.
So I get it. I get that marriage is hard. Rachel and Dave’s announcement made me look deeply into how I was portraying myself online and made me question if I was duping my readers.
So while I’m still confused and feel as though my own parents told me they were getting a divorce, I get it and I know how it feels to magnify the good on social media and minimize the bad. I know how it feels to try twice as hard to prove that everything is perfect to make up for the fact that you’re in marriage counseling and wondering if you’ll make it to your 2 year anniversary while posting photos like this online:
That being said, thank you to my wonderful and goofy husband for letting me share this with the world. Thank you for working with the unmedicated version of Kalissa’s anxiety to get to where we are today almost celebrating 5 years of an imperfect marriage.
This is the very first time I’ve publicly admitted that Craig and I have been in marriage counseling and we can testify to how much counseling in general can improve a marriage. We haven’t gone together since that summer but I still continue to go to my own counselor and still feel it benefits our relationship greatly. If you’re struggling, know you aren’t alone.
I don’t claim to be an expert in the subject matter, but if your marriage feels hard, you’re right. It is hard. If you feel like you’re working extra hard to prove your marriage on social media, I’ve done that before too. If you feel like giving up, I’ve felt that before too. You aren’t alone and apparently, neither are Rachel and Dave.
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