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Mirages of Marriage

Myths about marriage are so imbedded into our belief system that it can be difficult to know what's true from what's not. Myths have a tendency to play with our insecurities and ring our emotional bells. Nowhere is that more true than the subject of marriage. We want to be happily married, but can we? When it comes to marriage, who doesn't want to live out the fantasy in which our every wish and desire is met? Regardless of your relationship choices, it's tough to avoid the bombardment of myths.

  • Myth: Everybody is supposed to get married.

    Reality: Sure, that sounds like a great plan. It's right up there with everyone is supposed to have children.

  • Myth: Marriage will straighten your partner out.

    Reality: How many people have stepped into this booby trap? If you have concerns about your partner prior to marriage, chances are those same concerns will still be there once you're married. Ask yourself, “Do I want to get married to this person or do I just want to get married?”

  • Myth: Children will make your marriage closer.

    Reality: Whoever started this rumor was obviously single and has never had a six-year-old vomiting in his or her bed at three in the morning. The truth is that a marriage ought to be strong prior to the arrival of children.

  • Myth: The only difference between marriage and living together is a “piece of paper.”

    Reality: That's not what the research shows. In fact, research shows that not only do married couples live longer than unmarried couples, but they are also healthier, more fulfilled, and have more money in the bank.

  • Myth: In a good marriage, couples never go to bed angry.

    Reality: This one's a classic, straight out of an I Love Lucy episode. As if you could robotically control your feelings at the stroke of midnight with the expectation of getting a good night's rest.

  • Myth: In a strong marriage, couples never fight (especially in front of the c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n).

    Reality: When a couple says that they never argue, you have to wonder if they're living under the same roof. When it comes to children, worry less about the fact that you argue and more about how you argue. Keep in mind that your children are watching how you resolve disagreements. If they never see you resolve a disagreement, how will they learn?

  • Myth: Single people have better sex lives than married people.

    Reality: You may be surprised to hear that married couples report greater satisfaction in their sex lives than single folks.

  • Myth: In a great marriage, couples do everything together.

    Reality: Be serious. You're both individuals, not twins connected at the hip. There is nothing wrong with couples having separate interests and activities. Pursuing your own interests can invigorate a marriage.

  • Myth: A great marriage means that you ought to vent all your feelings toward your spouse.

    Reality: Just because you are married doesn't mean that you can blurt out stinging barbs and your partner is supposed to accept it. Some verbal attacks can't be taken back. More than a few marriages have been damaged because someone can't get past a severe tongue-lashing.

  • Myth: Marriage means that you will never be lonely again.

    Reality: There are many lonely people both in and out of marriage. You are responsible for making yourself happy, not your partner.



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