Marriage Mythbusters: The Truth About Saying ‘I Do’
Marriage means different things to different people, but love, security and commitment tend to be key factors in the decision to tie the knot. Arranging the wedding, while stressful, is a pretty straightforward process – it’s what happens after the honeymoon that can bemuse us. What are the unwritten ‘Marriage Rules’ that help you gauge whether or not you’re ‘doing it right’?
The answer is, there are none. The institution of marriage, while based on fundamental principles of mutual love and support, is an ever-evolving concept that is defined by each individual couple. So, let’s dispel some common marriage misconceptions and uncover the truth about taking that big step with your partner.
“Sex Will Become Boring” (Or Non-Existent)
A couple’s sex life is completely unique to them. We tend to assume that every one else is having more of it than us no matter what our relationship status. The truth is, marriage does not necessarily doom you to a life of monotonous sex that eventually only happens on special occasions, if at all. In fact, statistics show that many married couples have better sex lives than when they were single.
“Getting Married Will Make Your Spouse Commit”
For those who have struggled with their partner’s commitment issues, it can be easy to assume that a proposal is an indication that they are ready to settle down. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sporting a ring on your finger does not automatically mean a commitment-phobic partner has finally overcome their fears. Ultimately, people will not change for another person, only for themselves.
“Married Couples Don’t Keep Secrets From Each Other”
A common myth is that married couples tell each other EVERYTHING. This may be the case for some marriages and that’s great, if that’s what you’re into, but you are not required to tell your spouse all of your secrets. Honesty in general is an important ingredient in any relationship, but it’s okay to keep something for yourself. In fact, a little mystery can help you maintain a sense of autonomy which in turn contributes to healthy relationships. You may be part of a couple, but you are still an individual.
“Marriage Will Fix Things”
It’s a mistake lots of people make, getting hitched in the hope that it will fix things between you and your partner, but marriage will not heal an already broken relationship. For most couples – whether it’s annoying habits, bad tempers or troubles in the bedroom – marriage accentuates the cracks and if you aren’t a strong pair it could simply mean a lot of hard work on the horizon.
“Your Husband Will Be Your Best Friend”
Some people do end up marrying their best friends, which is a wonderful notion, but others do not and that is okay too. Your best friend could be someone you’ve known since school, a parent, a sibling, or a special person who has recently come into your life. Your spouse may be someone you love, who you work well with and who satisfies your needs as a husband/wife, but is not what you would call a ‘best friend’. All relationships are unique in their own way and a spouse does not necessarily have to share a certain type of bond with you for it to be a successful marriage.
“Romance Will Go Out The Window”
If you are due to be married, you may have looming fears of forgotten Valentine’s Days and spontaneous candlelit dinners becoming a thing of the past. While it’s true for any relationship that people can become complacent when it comes to showing how much you care about someone, many couples find that married life makes them even more romantic in their gestures.
“Marriage Won’t Change Much, It’s Just A Piece Of Paper”
While it may be the start of a great new adventure, getting wed will still mean big changes to the dynamics of a relationship. Of course, these changes are entirely dependent on the couple, but if you believe marriage is simply a matter of signing on the dotted line, you could be in for a surprise.
“Marriage Is The Ultimate Relationship Goal”
No one should ever feel as though getting married is the end goal in a relationship. The truth is, not every one will choose to tie the knot and for those who do it can be the start of a whole new side to their partnership.
“Family And Friends Can Advise You On Your Marriage” (Especially If They Are Also Married)
It’s natural to turn to friends, family or other couples for marriage advice, and it’s important to have a support network as well as people you can vent to. However, just because someone knows you well or is also married, it doesn’t mean they know what’s best for your marriage. Listen to advice, accept support, but always go with your gut.
“Good Marriages Require Hard Work”
A very common myth is that successful marriages require hard graft. The fact is, many couples naturally embrace the journey despite its challenges and enjoy fulfilling, long-lasting marriages. Only you can determine what making it official will do for your relationship – rules are made to be broken!
By Abby Williams, Excalibur Press