10 Marriage Myths Debunked

There is a lot of information both online and in print about marriage. Some of it quite good, and some downright bad. We have all had floaty romantic notions, beliefs and opinions that upon closer examination were way off base. There are still some common myths that don't seem to go away. And, if you rely on any of these myths to strengthen your marriage, you will be disappointed.

Let's take a look at some common marriage myths and the reality of each one: 

Myth 1: Love is all you need

So, love is all you need to have a successful marriage...really?? In truth, love is an extremely important in your marriage. You absolutely need it, but, it will not make you good communicators, problem solvers, breadwinners, parenting experts and so on. To have a successful marriage, your relationship needs much more!

Myth 2: Your spouse should fill all of your needs

If you believe that your spouse should fill all of your needs, you will be disappointed. Your spouse can fill many of your needs, but it is impossible for any one person to fill ALL of your needs. If this is your expectation, it is unfair and unreasonable.

Myth 3: Having a baby can save a troubled marriage

The decision to have a baby should be made with the best intentions under the most ideal circumstances. You need financial and relational stability. A baby will only add to the stress in an already troubled marriage. A baby is also likely to lessen the amount of quality time alone with your spouse. It will also decrease spontaneous sex in your marriage.

Myth 4: You can change your spouse

You can't change your spouse. The only person you can truly change is yourself. You are in a relationship with your spouse which can help to change him in an indirect way. In other words, your behavior will have an effect on his. Like Einstein said, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  

Myth 5: It only takes one of you to save your marriage

Regardless of what or who created problems in your marriage, it will take both of you being willing to face and to talk about the difficult issues in order to save your marriage. There is only so much you can do on your own if your spouse refuses to work on the marriage or make any changes. It is ideal if you both come together to work on it as a team. 

Myth 6: Living together before you get married prevents divorce

Living together before you get married does not guarantee a long lasting marriage. Cohabitation will not necessarily give the two of you an easy road ahead in your marriage. There are some studies that show that cohabitation prior to marriage is actually worse for the longevity of your relationship. 

Myth 7: A successful marriage is a matter of luck

Couples who have long lasting marriages have a foundation of friendship and both are fully committed to each other. They continuously grow and nurture their marriage. Meeting your spouse might have been luck, but making the marriage work is a conscious effort!

Myth 8: Don't go to be angry

Sometimes, getting a good night's sleep is more important than trying to finish an argument when you are both exhausted. Set an appointment within the next 24 hours to finish the fight. Be sure to tell your spouse that this is the plan!

Myth 9: The longer you are married, the closer you will become with your spouse

Connection and closeness is also a matter of nurturing your relationship. If couples did not spend quality time together in the pre-empty nest years they may find they become like roommates. More and more couples who have been married 30 or more years are getting divorced (a.k.a., the "Gray Divorce")

Myth 10: You must spend all your free time together

Having time alone is an important aspect of who you are as an emotionally healthy individual. You should have lots of activities you do together and several you do on your own or with friends. 

*Article updated by Marni Feuerman