7 Marriage Myths and the Truths No One Talks About

While I am home snuggling our new little baby {photos to come, we promise} I’ve asked Maggie Reyes to help out here at #staymarried once more. I just love her fresh and honest approach. I hope you do, too…

7 Marriage Myths and the Truths No One Talks About - #staymarried

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Hey #staymarried Readers! Great to be here again while Michelle is on blogternity leave. (Yes, she invited me here because I love making up words and adding a bit of silliness to my serious love of helping all of us #staymarried.)

When Michelle and I were discussing blog topics, one of my favorite suggestions she made was to discuss the modern myths of marriage.

Here are 7 Marriage Myths that rile me up and the truths that can set marriages free from mythical expectations and move them into strong relationship territory instead. The reason I get so riled up about myths is that believing them strips us of our power to do something about them.

The only way I know to conquer a myth is to acknowledge it. By bringing it into your awareness, you now have the power to do something about it.

Please think about that as you read these. If any one of them rings true for you, just notice what it brings up. Be with the feeling. Don’t try to suppress it or ignore it, just be with it. If it’s a painful feeling, put your hand on your heart and take a deep breath.

Know that we are cheering you on. And know that the feeling will pass. Read through the whole list and then come back to this sentence to check out all the resources the team at #staymarried has just for you.

The first myth comes from a fabulous book I read just before I got married, Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages by Dr. Robin Smith.

Myth 1 – Marriage magically changes people for the better.

TRUTH – The person at the altar will be the person at the breakfast table.

The only magic in marriage is the magic we put into it every day. The little kisses, happy surprises and night time cuddles that make us smile. Expect your honey to be exactly the same as before the wedding and you may save yourself mountains of disappointment.

Myth 2 – Once we are married, it will all work out.

TRUTH – Marriage is something you create every day.

Marriage will not erase your debt, make your cranky family member nicer, or get you a raise. Things work out because we work at them. Period.

Myth 3 – He loves me, so he should know what I want without me saying a word or communicating in any way.

TRUTH: No matter how much he loves you, he is not a mind reader. Neither are you. Use your words.

Michelle & Tony’s “To Love is to Listen” post is just about everything I would want to say on this topic. Finish reading this first, then read that one. Print out the pin and put it on your refrigerator. Yes, this one.

Myth 4 – Marriage will make me feel complete.

TRUTH: At best, marriage will make you more of who you are.

Marriage is a like an art studio, it’s a space to create your life. It is a relationship, not a mechanic. Marriage is not going to fix you because you are not broken.

The only person who can complete you is you. The gift in taking responsibility for your life and your choices is that you can make a different a choice at any moment and move towards love.

Myth 5 – She didn’t do x. He did y. It means he doesn’t love me. It means she doesn’t care.

TRUTH: We create meaning and we can re-create it.

If you don’t know what something means, ask. Don’t invent. Let me repeat that. If you don’t know what something means, ask. Don’t imagine terrible stories in your head, ask. Don’t make up stories about the past and the future, ask. Don’t cause yourself and your partner profound pain, ask. Got that? Good.

Myth 6 – If my wedding is perfect, my marriage will be perfect.

TRUTH: The purpose of the wedding is the marriage.

Spending 30 thousand dollars on flowers is not going to make your relationship any better; it is just going to buy you really expensive flowers. I so deeply love beautiful, soulful, joy-filled weddings, but it makes me sad when people think it must look perfect on the outside to be truly wonderful on the inside. That’s the biggest lie ever. It’s how you treat each other every day that matters. Every single day. Not one special day. Everyday.

Myth 7 – We know how to communicate, we don’t need to practice.

TRUTH – Good communication is learned by being intentional over time.

Learning to communicate clearly with empathy and practicing active listening is good for every single relationship in your life, especially your marriage. I should change this truth to say, “You think you know how to communicate, then you get married.” <insert winky face here>

Learn your spouse’s love language. Practice listening with love every day. Practice speaking with love every day. You don’t have to do it perfectly; all you have to do is practice. That’s enough. I promise.

 

Is there a modern marriage myth you have been hearing that you want to bust? Please share in the comments. Then go read “To Love is to Listen.” You can thank me later. ;-)

 

Maggie-Reyes on #staymarriedMaggie Reyes is a Life Coach, Writer + the Founder of ModernMarried.com. Her romantic-yet-practical approach to wedded bliss has been featured on Project Happily Ever After, Daybreak USA, Cristina XMRadio, The Happy Wives Club and now the #staymarried Blog. Woo-hoo! When she’s not writing, working or creating pins for her fabulous Facebook Community, you can find her cuddling with her hubby, reading a romance novel or embracing how the words “over-achiever” and “TV Junkie” can still go in the same sentence, to describe the same person. Learn how to love like a newlywed no matter how long you have been married at www.ModernMarried.com.

 

New to #staymarried? Welcome! Check out why we started this blog and my first entry to get a little background.

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Michelle

Title photograph credit: http://www.jennieandrewsphoto.com/


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7 responses

  • Great list. One of my pet peeves is the myth that “Love is all you need!” Marriage takes so much work and effort. It;s kind of surprising to me that people have bought into the myth that love conquers all. Marriage is just like any other significant relationship that you have; with so much more at stake. I have had knock down drag out fights with my best friend and my mother, two of my favorite people on earth. What do you do when that happens? You don’t just walk away. At least, not forever. Now the dynamics of every relationship are different and I’m not of the belief that divorce is all wrong, all the time. But people make this lifelong commitment expecting it to be easy or at the very least, expecting it to be easier than it is. Love #staymarried and Michelle is my shero. Congrats on the new baby!

  • A myth I see perpetuated all the time (especially in church circles) is that pre-marriage purity will lead to automatically blissful sex lives. I’m not disputing the value of purity at all, but I would submit that the truth is sex is a communication/expression of love that must be practiced, explored, cultivated, discussed, revised….it’s an expression of marriage, and we learn marriage / create our marriage by doing.

  • Totally agree with both comments. Myths like these get me all riled up because of the suffering caused when people believe them and think they are true. They start looking for what’s wrong with themselves or their partner just because things aren’t like this mythical magical experience we have built up in our minds. So gratetful to Tony and Michelle for the moving the conversation about marriage forward in such a deep, authentic and soulful way. And so proud to be a guest during this beautiful baby time! XO

  • Knowing me, my husband send me your blog, knowing I would love it. We have been married for a little over a year and I always keep talking about having high standards for our marriage. I want us to work on it constantly… luckily my husband is my balance ;-) But… marriages crash left and right and i want us to work hard to keep it good, to grow and be healthy. I love having found this. I’ll be back!

    • once upon a time, a priest was giving advice about marriage and told the reporter about the advice that he had received before his own marriage from his grand father, also a priest – they were orthodox christian priests and marriage is allowed for them – just one and only before being ordained in priesthood. The advice was this : ” Dear grandson, you should know that life has ups and downs, and quarrels arise in time between spouses, some due to serious issues and some due to minor insignificant transient misunderstandings. No one can give you a recipe on how to avoid that – it

    • I have no idea why it sent the message now, if I didn`t sent it. Anyway, to continue – Once upon a time, a priest was giving advice about marriage and told the reporter about the advice that he had received before his own wedding from his grand father, also a priest – they were orthodox christian priests and marriage is allowed for them – just one and only before being ordained in priesthood. The advice was this : ” Dear grandson, you should know that life has ups and downs, and quarrels arise in time between spouses, some due to serious issues and some due to minor insignificant transient misunderstandings. No one can give you a recipe on how to avoid that – it`s part of life and human beings`s nature. These disagreements will appear and when they will, the most important thing will not be to solve them immediately and completely – human beings are different and have different opinions on what they like or want to do or should do – so it is quite alright for you two to disagree from time to time, for a while. The most important will be what you will do with your relationship in the middle of all the arguing – do you allow the arguing to push you two away from each other, in resentments and bitterness of unsatisfied ego – or do you maintain a clear separation between your relationship – the wedding connection that unites you – and the transient conflict of opinions. If you do that it will be easier to not blow the conflict out of proportions, make it personal and maybe even hurt each other with harsh words thrown in the heat of the moment. On the other hand, human beings each have their own personal ego, that always gets rubbed the wrong way when in a conflict we don`t get it our way immediately. Again, that`s just the human nature. So also, the 2 of you will step on each other`s ego when each of you will hold on to his or her opinion and not just give up on their point of view. So, in this case, do you take the scratch to the ego to the conjugal bed, thru the night and into the next day or do you shake it away from the 2 of you before going to sleep? Because the conflicts taken over the night to the conjugal bed have the destructive capacity to grow overnight like Jake`s magical been plant. Not so spectacularly, in a more insidious way, but they do grow. So , the final advice was that no matter how upset they might be at some point with each other, no matter how heated might have been the conflict during the day, to never go to bed and to sleep without having shacked away the bitterness and the grudge by kissing each other goodnight, from the most sincere of their hearts. Because to hold the other(say B) for real and to kiss them from the heart, a real effort is needed from one(say A)`s heart and mind to bring B back close to A`s love and care, while defeating their own ego. Because of this ego – “I did this much, the other one only did that little” – many times, when we have a conflict, we prefer to just postpone the moment of a real reconnecting until we are more in the mood to give something of ourselves to the other one. So the advice was to never hold our selves back when it comes to giving our love just because our ego was not satisfied our way. Never take to bed and over night the disagreements and the ego conflicts that will arise between you two, because, allowed to survive the night, they will grow out of proportions and increase the distance between you. It will most probably be an inconspicuous process, you will most likely not be able to see the actual distance after just one conflict of opinions and egos that was not immediately solved; you will think “there, you see, we`re still closely united, just like before, no harm done!”. But the memory of the fact will remain and work in the background. Maybe I understood so complexly what that priest said and I am explaining it in such detail because I have had to suffer the consequences of such a mistake – I did not do it to someone else; it has been done to me – so I know first hand what an inconspicuous and long and deeply destructive process this is. It is painful to see the other person holding them selves back and not honor the relationship and the commitement to it and to you just for the sake of holding on to their ego. And in time it dissolves connections. Relationships are like bridges, and each of the 2 in the relationship has to properly build and maintain their end of the bridge and together they both have to do the long term maintenance work to repair the inevitable wear and tear or the active damage done to the bridge by whomever or whatever. Preferring one`s own ego over restoring the connection not only means a sloppy maintenance work, it also means to actively throw grenades against the other one`s end of the bridge. A strong big end of bridge, made of solid rock, like the bridges of the antiquity, won`t go down because of one or ten grenades, but if the grenades keep coming, it will crumble one day. The reason why I talked so much about this one advice is because everything in the world – any kind of relationships – friendship, business, love, … – is made and unmade, connected and disconnected by pride. Pride is what moves us and makes us take the decisions we take when love is not a factor in the equation. When love comes in, it tempers down the pride. Pride kills love and love kills pride. Just like light kills darkness. If you analyze the bottom reason why relationships fail, at the very bottom you will find pride – the dark pride. As in “I did all this much, the other one only did that little. And I don`t want to not care about that. I choose to care more about that than about how we love each other”. By the way, love kills pride, as in chases it away, but for that to happen, you have to open the window – take the active step of kissing the other one goodnight from the truest of your heart. If you don`t open the window, then love and pride keep chasing each other through the room like two crazy parrots. And love is not immortal – it endures a lot, but in the fight with pride, if not properly supported, it gets overwhelmed by the increasingly accumulating pride(by not having opened the window enough) – so love dies, pride survives. Love does not solve the problems in a relationship – it does not by itself open the window – that one is the duty of the 2 partners. Love is just the sweet reward that 2 people get for having successfully built that bridge and for doing a good thorough maintenance job. Love does not build the bridge, it just embellishes it. Well, I guess with that I covered two other myths: “Love never dies” – if not properly taken care of, it can be as fragile than a premature newly born – and ” Love will solve all your problems. If you failed in the relationship, it was because love was weak” – it is not love`s duty to fight people`s battles and solve their problems; it is people`s duty to solve their own problems and love will be the reward for having successfully done that.

  • Loved these! I’m glad that someone “debunked” these myths! People will sometimes go along with them, even though they are senseless! :/

    Here’s a myth I personally despise regarding relationship (somewhat): No matter who you marry, if it’s a male, he cannot possibly be 100% monogamous/faithful to you. Why? Because at the very least he’ll be committing ‘visual adultery.’ This may in fact be true for many men out there, but I think most of us forget that not all men are uncontrollable sex monsters who drool at every female the way a coyote does a dead carcass. I mean really?! Can we not give men a little credit, here? They aren’t *that* bad, and sometimes, some of them aren’t like that at all! IT IS possible to have a male spouse love you to the point of being faithful and monogamous in every way. It has been said like this “I only have eyes for you,” and I’ve heard couples describe things like feeling as if the opposite sex no longer exists when they’ve found their soul-mate. No, it doesn’t have to be total monogamy if a couple does not want that, but I don’t like that most folks want to tear down other people’s possibility to having that kind of relationship. Ya know? I think it is a myth that women will have to “put up with” that type of thing no matter what. It’s not one of those things you simply either deal with or stay lonely for your entire life.


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