Top 10 Myths about Marriage

The way marriages are portrayed through media and popular culture can cloud our expectations of marriage and set the stage for disappointment during marriage. Do your own reality check by reading this top 10 list of myths.

1.Myth: Marriage will solve all of your problems.
Reality: Any unaddressed problems you had prior to your marriage, you still have when you get married (and you could carry into future marriages). Marriage isn’t a magic wand that can take a person’s troubles away (even if it feels like that’s what happening in the beginning). Take inventory of the issues you “bring to the marriage table” and address them with the love and support of your spouse.

2.Myth: Good, healthy marriages come naturally–couples don’t have to work at it–romance will always be alive in a good marriage.
Reality: All relationships experience peaks and valleys. The everyday problems and challenges of married life can often cloud over romantic feelings. This is when making commitment is crucial. When you are in a valley, try compiling a list of your spouse’s virtues to remind yourself of why you love him/her.

3.Myth: Living together before marriage is a good way to test if the marriage will be successful.
Reality: Cohabitation is not a good “test” for marriage. In fact, we now know that cohabitation prior to marriage in many circumstances is associated with negative marital outcomes.

4.Myth: Your love life is neutral.
Reality: Your love life has spillover effects into friendships, other familial relationships, co-workers, etc. It also affects your physical and mental health.

5.Myth: “Never go to bed angry.”
Reality: This maxim can become counterproductive if an argument drags on and you’re only getting less agreeable with each other. It’s OK to call a time out, set a time to reconnect the next day when you’re fresher and have had time to cool off

6.Myth: Healthy marriages are conflict free.
Reality: In actuality, all couples experience conflict, but healthy couples can communicate and resolve conflict effectively.

7.Myth: Your spouse completes you.
Reality: You were always a complete individual. A spouse can complement you, but not complete you, nor is it reasonable to expect your spouse to fulfill all of your emotional needs.

8.Myth: Married people have less satisfying sex lives than single people.
Reality: According to a large-scale survey of Americans, married people report having sex more often and enjoying it more that their single counterparts.

9.Myth: Marriage is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.
Reality: Successful marriages aren’t generally the result of luck or chance. Couples with enduring, healthy marriages typically share similar values and life goals and have both a strong commitment and friendship in their relationship with one another.

10.Myth: Marriage conflicts only stem from the behavior of the spouses.
Reality: It is amazing how much outside people, situations and events can impact your marriage. Strong boundaries around your marital relationship will help you and your spouse weather the storms of outside interference, such as nosey in-laws, demanding children and extra-marital temptations.