Five things to stop believing about marriage


Myths about marriage abound, but not all of them are harmless. Here are the top five that the experts advise people to stop believing

 Don’t go to bed angry 

The traditional belief that a couple should never go to bed angry is, to put it polite words, misleading. Any real couple knows that this is often impossible and has the potential to foster more anger and resentment. In an interview with The Huffington Post, family therapist Amanda Deverich argues that this myth is actually very dangerous.

“Never going to bed angry could elevate a fight and reduce the ability for a couple to resolve the issue – and it could be particularly harmful when couples have a ‘pursue and withdraw’ dynamic .

Deverich describes the ‘pursue and withdraw’ dynamic as a situation where one partner is trying to get the argument resolved (the pursuer) while the other completely disconnects (the withdrawer) because he or she is emotionally drained. It’s specifically in this kind of case that a couple should be okay with going to bed with the fight unresolved as both parties can sleep on it and reengage and continue the conversation rationally the next day.

A relationship will never survive an affair

According to Deverich, this is a belief usually expressed by those who have never experienced infidelity or are too ashamed to admit that they have.

“Clinging to the myth is poisonous. Forgiveness and relationship repair is a long, difficult process but it can result in a marriage that is even better than before,” she says. Obviously the perpetrator of the infidelity would have to show remorse for the betrayal for the repair to take place.

 It’s time to get married because of how long we’ve been together

If the core reason you’re getting married is because of the number of months or years you’ve been with your partner, you might be about to make the biggest mistake of your life. The only reasons why a couple should get married are love and an unquestionable compatibility.

In his book entitled Stories Of My Youth: A Collection of Stories and Thoughts for My Children David B McKinney shares a piece of advice he gave a friend who felt pressured to get married because of how long she had been with her partner:

Friend: “We have been together for so many years that it seems marriage is the next logical step.”

McKinney: “If you love him, marry him. If you don’t, then don’t.”

 Traditional gender roles are still applicable today

The danger of maintaining traditional gender roles for the sake of it and not because they work for you as a couple lies in how this will limit you as individuals and as a couple.

“Some men are more natural parents, better cooks or more emotionally aware than their other gendered partners. Some women are better at earning and managing money, fixing things around the house or laying down mulch,” Deverich says.

In essence, it’s about identifying each others’ strengths – outside of constructed gender roles –  which will in turn maximise each person’s contribution to the relationship rather than strain it.

After we’re married, things will change

This is possibly one of the biggest myths out there. Holding onto the notion that marriage will change “everything” and resolve all your relationship troubles will leave you bitterly disappointed. This is not to say that your partner can’t change his or her annoying’ habits, but blindly believing that marriage is a solve-all is problematic.

A general rule of thumb, according to eHarmony Advice is to know and accept that “any habit, tendency or addiction that your love has before your wedding day will probably get worse after you’re married. It will get worse, or just annoy you more. Either way, the time to see change is before you say, ‘I do’.”

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