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5 Myths about Marriage

Updated: Jan 1


5 Myths about Marriage

Many people have misunderstandings and false expectations about marriage. Here are five myths about marriage that can lead to problems in your relationship if not addressed. Basic CBT skills can help rescript these beliefs and set you on course for a happier, better-connected relationship.


1. Your spouse will meet all your emotional needs.

You will still have needs to be met by friends and family, as well as pursuing your own hobbies and interests. One person is unable to meet all of your needs. If you have the expectation for your spouse to be your everything, you are setting both you and your spouse up for failure. That is a LOT of pressure to put on a person. There is nothing wrong with getting needs met by other family members, friends, and doing things on your own. The key is to find healthy boundaries and balance. It can also help to understand love languages so you and your spouse can give and receive love in meaningful ways.


2. You will always feel love towards your spouse.

Feelings in marriage come and go. When you don’t feel it, choose your spouse every day. The feelings will come back with time. Your emotions are there to be warning signs when things are not right. Sometimes this lack of passion is due to a dry spell, or it could be telling you to invest more time and energy into your relationship to rekindle the flame. Feelings can't be trusted. Do not make long-term decisions about your future based on how you feel. The important thing to remember is that agape, unconditional love, is a choice and commitment you make that stands the test of time. It is quite possible to love someone even when you don't like them. (You will probably like them again soon. Don't give up!)


3. Great marriages happen when you choose the right person.

Marriage is hard work for ALL couples. Good marriages don’t just happen, they are sought after. The grass is only greener on the other side if someone is carefully tending it. Or, if it is fake! There are many people who have been through some terrible storms in their marriages but are now thriving and fulfilled. YOU can have a great marriage if you are both committed to working hard and investing in making it great.

 
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4. You will no longer feel an attraction to other people.

Humans feel attraction to other humans. It happens. When it happens, set boundaries to protect your marriage. It can also help to confide in a friend who can offer accountability. Getting married does not take away your humanity. It is also healthy to have complete transparency with your spouse - allow your spouse to look at your phone, know your friends, and see your location. Accountability can help prevent really bad choices from happening.


5. Your spouse will always be the way he or she was when you were married.

People change over time. Your body will change, your jobs may change, and your attitudes about things are likely to change. Part of marriage is adapting and changing with your spouse over time. Different phases of life call for different expectations and responsibilities. The more you learn and grow, the more you will change. This offers opportunities to fall in love again and rediscover each other.


If you find that you have believed these myths, you are not alone! Many people do. However, you don't have to stay stuck there. It takes some work to uproot problematic beliefs, but it is quite possible. The first step is to choose what your new belief will be. For example, instead of believing my husband will meet all my needs, I will tell myself that my husband will meet many of my needs. This opens the door for me to seek out people to fill in the gaps. Maybe I will make lunch dates with my girlfriends to discuss more emotional topics than what he likes to discuss. It might look like taking your sister to the chick flick instead of your man.


Let's also discuss the word always. Words like always and never are problematic in relationships. When you say someone always or never does something, it usually will end in conflict. Just changing the words a little can open the door for exceptions and improve communication. Instead, you can use words like often or rarely. Better yet, just discuss the issue at hand and not the 5,000 other times it happened. It's easier to swallow one pill at a time.


In conclusion, you can avoid discontent in your relationship by recognizing these 5 myths about marriage and making sure your expectations are realistic. When you are aware of cycles of relationships, dangers to avoid, and being intentional about nurturing your relationship, you can set yourself up for success.

 

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