The Story Behind #staymarried

Or... How I decided to do my part...
  1. Got a text from a friend, then a phone call.
    She'd cheated on her husband. She'd confessed to him. She wanted to talk to ME about it. Blurgh!
  2. She wasn't the first.
    Just the latest in what felt like an epidemic of friends going through hell in their marriages.
  3. I couldn't sleep.
    I've always dealt with mild depression (dysthymia) but now I also had anxiety and insomnia. I wondered what was the point of marriage at all and was sure my own marriage was doomed to failure.
  4. I started researching.
    There had to be more to it. Is anyone out there really glad they got married? Was my own marriage just a timebomb of heartache waiting to explode?
  5. I started Tweeting with the hashtag #staymarried
    I decided to turn my despair and anger over divorce into encouragement for my friends who WERE still married. I tweeted things like: A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. #staymarried People liked it.
  6. Other people started talking to ME about marriage.
    140 characters didn't seem like enough. I'd learned a lot in my research about what a successful marriage looked like and I wanted to share what I learned.
  7. My husband @TonyPeterson designed a site.
    I started writing. Katie the Editor started editing. The #staymarried Blog was born.
  8. Odds are, I won't stay married
    That's the first post I published, sharing my background and the stats against my own marriage. That post set the tone for everything else we've done with #staymarried. You can read it here if you want...
  9. That was in 2012.
    We've since partnered with The Gottman Institute (foremost researchers in marriage and relationships) produced The #staymarried Podcast series, and now I'm working on The #staymarried Book.
  10. Instagram turned out to be my favorite.
    We still blog and podcast, but Insta is where we engage the most. I like seeing how people use the #staymarried hashtag on their own photos and engage with the quick bites we post.
  11. Could be next?
    Now that I'm here, I wonder if #staymarried lists would be helpful... Thanks @mallofamanda for the great list request!
  12. (Added) Doh! Forgot to mention that my friend, the one that texted, she and her husband are still married and are BOTH working hard to repair the damage.