6 Myths About Marriage – Busted!
Marriage. Perhaps the most poorly understood social interaction known to humankind. To those who haven’t taken the plunge, there’s no way a married person could properly explain to you exactly what those dizzying heights and bottomless lows feel like. It’s one of those things which you have to go through yourself to truly understand. Still, we’re not afraid to give it the old college try and do our best to offer a sense of what it’s like to live under the rules of this most sacred of contracts.
Here are 6 marriage myths every guy and gal should know
1. There’s no arguing in a happy marriage
Unless you both have endless prescriptions for happy pills, expect that there will be marital discord along the way. That’s not a bad thing. It’s the way humans work out differences. The trick lies not in doing everything possible to avoid an argument but rather in the ability for both parties to fight in a fair and respectful fashion. Screaming, shouting, threatening, and punching holes in the wall are not advised, though an occasional enthusiastic voice-raising isn’t out of the question. Keep this in mind. An argument can be a great way to work out opposing views when done right.
2. You’ll always feel madly in love
Excuse us while we catch our breath after a long fit of laughter. Sorry, babycakes, but that first six months of matrimonial bliss is lived under the hallucinogenic effect of “new.” We, humans, tend to elevate the good and forget the bad when something novel and intriguing comes along. Trust us. An entire marriage lived in the frantic state of falling in love would kill you. It’s okay to get settled and comfortable, have different interests, and need some alone time now and then. What results is a deeper sense of comfort and satisfaction, and that’s a good thing.
3. Kids come first – period
Obviously, you need to love, care, and nurture children along the road to becoming healthy, productive adults, but don’t neglect your marriage along the way. In most cases, there was a marriage before there were kids, and (hopefully) there will be a marriage long after the kids are grown and gone. Don’t forget to take time during the child-rearing years to spend alone time with your spouse. While it’s not always easy to find such opportunities amongst the rug rat duties, it might be the most important thing you do to ensure that happily ever after stays that way.
4. Marriage = work
Come on. If being married is exactly like getting up and going to a job, you’re doing something wrong. That isn’t to say that staying married doesn’t require effort. It most certainly does. It’s probably the most serious, long-lasting (once again, hopefully) commitment you’ll make in your life, so if you have problems sticking with stuff when rough seas arise, think long and hard before saying, “I do.” Sometimes marriage is easy and sometimes it’s hard, but it shouldn’t be work.
5. Marriage is about equal effort
Another way to say this is that you shouldn’t go into a marriage with the expectation that it’s a 50/50 proposition. It’s not. A better frame of mind for long-term success is that it’s 100/100. If you get hung up on the idea that each partner should exert equal effort all the time, you’re bound to become frustrated and angry. There may be a balance for a time, but don’t expect that to last long. Sometimes you give more and take less, and sometimes the tables are reversed. If you actually meant those vows you gave, you should do so with a mindset of self-sacrifice. If you care about the person, it should be no problem.
6. The boredom of marriage
Marriage might look boring from the outside looking in. While it’s true that you and your betrothed perhaps no longer choose to hit all the hot night spots and trendy restaurants every night, and you’ll likely have to spend more time thinking about exciting stuff like grocery shopping and health insurance, but the only boredom to be found is in your head. Maybe you’re a boring person. When a good marriage is dialed in properly, there’s plenty of excitement to be found in spending time with a person you’ve spent so much time with and know better than anyone else on earth.
The bottom line
A lot of people are doing plenty wrong when it comes to marriage. That doesn’t indicate a problem with the institution. Marriage is something that won’t keep itself together. It’ll fall to pieces so fast you get hit by shrapnel if you’re not careful. But with proper care and feeding, it can be the most spectacular thing you ever do.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.