Thursday, October 29, 2015

15 Myths About Marriage

  Ah yes, marriage, one of life's many ventures. Something to be held sacred and respected. Marriage is a widely practiced tradition even now in our ever changing century. Girls begin dreaming about their wedding day from the moment they learn the meaning of marriage, ultimately spending our teens through many heartbreaks just to find "the one."
  Maybe you have found "the one" whether you are in your early twenties or late fifties, you've been looking forward to your now fast approaching wedding day for years. You've heard it all by now, grandmas giving you advice about how they dealt with your stubborn grandfather, your mom telling you she will always be there for you no matter how grown up you get and even your girlfriends offer a few whispers of advice.
  Sometimes though what works for other people will not work for you, that being the case many myths arise- in other words what sounds like to be good advice for marriage but really ends up being the cause of marital rift-raft. While many may mean well, the times are ever changing. I could say I've "been there done that", so I know what I'm talking about but, really you never get done doing marriage, it never becomes a past tense, even with divorce because you still learn from it. So with that in mind here are 15 myths about marriage I decided to debunk:

MYTH: If You Are Already Living Together, Marriage Will Change Nothing
FACT: Marriage will change everything! Just being able to call your partner your spouse will deepen the appreciation and strengthen the bond between the two of you. It sounds crazy that a piece of paper, two rings and one word could change so much but I promise you its not. That's why many shy away from it, adding the word married to your relationship status adds a whole new level of commitment to your life. Marriage isn't just something you can easily walk away from, you can't just walk away unscathed, eat chocolate and watch Casablanca and get over each other! No you have to go through the courts, name changes, financial separation, and even your family dynamics become rattled especially if you have children. However, if you live well together now, chances are that married life together will be more likely to succeed.

MYTH: Married Sex Is B.O.R.I.N.G. After The Honeymoon Phase
FACT: Ok either your sex life is great now or perhaps non existent. Marriage has nothing to do with how your sex life functions, so stop blaming it on an eight letter word. If you are sexually active with your partner before marriage than this advice is for you; either your sex life is fantastic now and will increase with marriage as long as you keep putting in the same effort (See Myth 7) or your sex life is unheard of and you are unsatisfied- the in-satisfaction will not be fixed by getting married (See Myth 4) so fix it before you say "I Do" because, it is an important part of the marital bond.

MYTH: Marriage Will Make Him Change
FACT: No it won't. Simple as that, men or women are not to be easily swayed and usually have no intentions of changing their ways or habits whether they annoy you or not, that's just the person they are. If you are not happy with your partner now and you feel getting married will make them change and suddenly become compatible with you, you are highly mistaken. Evaluate your interests, communication and relationship before taking the next big step; it could save you both some heartache.

MYTH: Marriage Fixes Everything
FACT: Marriage is not a band aid to be used for your life. Its silly to even begin to consider using marriage to fix the problems in your life- it does not make bad situations better in fact it could make them worse. If you and your partner are already miserable with your life, job, car, friends, ect., imagine combining both of your misery together because, that is exactly what you are accomplishing by using marriage to attempt to make your life better. You need to be happy and fully satisfied with life before even considering a ring.

MYTH: You Will Be Less Lonely
FACT: Being single can be lonely no doubt but, finding yourself in a lonely marriage is much more painful. Being single and lonely is one thing, you can meet someone and fall in love in an instant. However, finding yourself in an empty, lonely marriage is much more depressing knowing you are in a life long commitment with someone that doesn't provide you with companionship as they should.

MYTH: It Makes You Happy
FACT: Going back to marriage doesn't fix everything, if you are not happy single, chances are you won't be any happier married. Marriage doesn't make you happy, only you makes you happy. While marriage can bring you companionship and great joy it can also bring you anger and frustration. Getting married doesn't just automatically flip a happy switch and a light comes on. No, once you make it back from the honey moon and have to return back to work Monday morning, reality sets in. Your spouse is not responsible for your happiness so you should enter into marriage with not low or high handed but reasonable expectations.

MYTH: Marriage Is The Finish Line, There Is No Need For Anymore Effort On Your Part
FACT: To reach the point of deciding to get married, you hopefully expereinced a happy healthy relationship with its normal ups and downs. Marriage is not a finish line though, once you attain it doesn't mean you have conquered life, you don't get any brownie points for saying "I Do." All too often the healthy habits a couple had in their relationship cease after marriage. Why stop calling to see how her day went? Why stop rubbing his back when he's had a long day? Why stop your cuddled sleepy talk before bed? Taking on the idea that you "put a ring on it" and there's not much else to do is a dangerous mentality and will likely end in disaster.

MYTH: Marriage Is Work
FACT: Unless you consider sex, talking to your spouse, taking vacation together or having a candlelit dinner work, then marriage does not require a lot of work, it requires attention. At times you or your partner will need one another's full undivided attention. Sometimes just sitting down for five or ten minutes talking about one another's days is all it takes, other times it just takes a a quiet cuddle on the couch while watching TV, nothing laborious about that.

MYTH: Your Spouse Is Your Best Friend
FACT: While I do believe your spouse should be your closest most intimate friend I do not believe in forcing them into the category of "best friend," it doesn't work that way, believe me. By trying to push your spouse into the "best friend" zone you are simply trying to mold them into acting and thinking like a best friend does, which is not the way a marriage should function. Keep your best friends your best friends and put your spouse in a friendship category all in its own because, no one should be able to match up to their level of friendship with you.

MYTH: The Most Important Choice You'll Ever Make Is Choosing Your Marriage Partner
FACT: Choosing your spouse is an extremely important decision; however, learning to choose your spouse everyday after the wedding is even more so. There are so many scenarios that will arise that will present you with choosing your spouse or not, its really that simple. For example, choosing to scroll through on your phone versus talking with your spouse after work; flirting with the opposite sex when your spouse is not with you, or maybe even choosing to work later hours. While those seem harmless, marriages don't fall apart because one mate makes a big compromise, no they fall apart because of a million small ones. Sort of like a windshield. A semi truck throws a tiny rock and puts a ping in your windshield; however,if you do not have it filled, overtime it will continue to crack across the entirety of the windshield until it shatters or becomes unsafe for driving.

MYTH: The Goal In A Perfect Marriage Is To Agree On Everything And Never Fight
FACT: I'm not saying go out of your way to fight but as a reality check: agreeing on everything and never fighting does not makeup a perfect marriage. Every couple faces the same struggles, arguments over money, sex, children, sharing responsibilities and even what to do for date night. Thinking that you are the only couple going through these hardships could cause you to think something is wrong with your marriage- but its normal, I promise. You and your spouse while you may share similar interests and hobbies you are two different people, you have different thoughts, feelings and views on subjects. If you two always agree on everything, someone is lying, one of the two of you is going along with what the other says to avoid confrontation. While avoiding unnecessary fighting is good, giving up yourself as an individual and your personal opinions just simply doesn't work and leads you down a miserable path of co-dependency and the ultimate loss of respect for your opinion by your spouse.

MYTH: You Will Lose Your Personal Life
FACT: While going out every night to the bar or club may cease, that is of course unless you and your spouse choose to go together, you shouldn't have to give up your personal life or pursuits. This also brings me to the idea that you and your spouse have to do everything together because you don't. For example, I enjoy the peace and quiet riding my horse alone, my current partner enjoys the peace and quiet hunting alone, I have girls night, he has guy time, I stay home while he has a drink after work, he stays home while I go shopping, and more often than not we hunt together, go out for a drink together, go shopping and so on because, we prefer the other's company. Its okay to want your space every now and then. You should not have to give up your personal pursuits unless they conflict with marriage not your partner but marriage- which is the obvious. You wouldn't want your spouse staying out late everynight all night partying, so why would you make it a point to be gone with your friends every single night before they even make it home? You wouldn't you married your partner to spend life together not apart. Just don't smother one another in the process.

MYTH: Marriage Is 50/50
FACT: This is about the biggest lie I've ever been told, maybe it was unintentional but regardless its untrue. Marriage is hardly ever 50/50, you are putting two imperfect people together, its impossible to equally give and take when you have two different people struggling with their own imperfections and flaws. Marriage instead is sometimes 70/30, 10/90, 60/40 or even 0/100. My point is one mate at times will need to be the "rock" that stays steadfast in the marriage while the other deals with whatever trial or tribulation life throws at them. Perhaps your mother died, you're not in a state to give 50 percent to your mate, that's where they step up and support you. Or perhaps your spouse lost their job, while dealing with feelings of inadequacy you may be left with the responsibility of supporting the relationship. This being said, it never needs to become habit on either side, each of you needs to bounce back, it should never be clear after five years that only one person has done all the taking and the other has done all the giving.

MYTH: Your In-Laws (Or Your Own Parents) Are Enemies
FACT: Believing that your spouse's parents are your enemies from the start will very likely result in clashing that lasts the entirety of the marriage. While some in-laws truly do butt in where they don't belong, its only because couples allow them to. Marriage partners should never play off of that clash either. For example, if you're spouse is doing something you don't like, you shouldn't run off to your own parents and tell them anything to sway them to take your side on the matter, what goes on in your marriage or any other relationship is yours and your partner's business only. Telling your in-laws only incites resentment. You need to know that your in-laws love your spouse just like you do, you should build off of that love. Its better to have a healthy relationship with your in-laws than to have a negative one. Also you should never allow your spouse to convince you that your own parents (which would be their in-laws) are your enemies too. I've "been there, done that", it causes resentment in your spouse and destroys family relationships that can take years to heal.

MYTH: Never Go To Bed Angry
FACT: Oh I love this one! Never go to bed angry they say, always kiss and makeup. Well if you ever find yourself in the biggest argument of your marriage whether it be about money or painting the kitchen or whatever else, you will find yourselves running in circles on the subject and simply put sometimes its just impossible to reach a point of agreement. Both of you are roweled up, likely upset and your stubbornness is at a peak. Sometimes its just better to decide to walk away and revisit the next day after you both have had a good night's rest and time to think. When tension isn't so high and has had time to cool off, one mate may come to the conclusion that they were simply being unreasonable, or not, but you will never reach an agreement or compromise with flared tempers. So go to bed angry but wake up to a new day. There's no reason to waste your life being angry at someone you love so much.

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