We all have expectations of what marriage should be like. The more closely our expectations and reality match the more satisfied we tend to be in life. However, the more misaligned the two are the greater the likelihood that problems will arise in a relationship.
The following are a list of common myths people tend to believe are true about marital relationships.
1. If you and you’re partner don’t share a majority of things in common than your relationship is doomed.
It is unrealistic to expect your partner to share all the same likes and dislikes as you. It is okay for you both to have interests outside of each other’s.
2. We should be spending most of our time together.
At least one partner in a majority of the couples I see believes this. I have to remind them that it is important for the relationship and your own mental health to do things independently of one another. Again you and your partner don’t share all of the same interests so take time to enjoy the things that you like doing while your partner does things they enjoy.
3. My partner should just know. If I have to tell them or ask, then it isn’t meaningful and means they don’t love and know me.
It is unrealistic to believe that our partners should be able to read our minds when we can’t read theirs. It is important here to realize that you have to communicate your needs to them in order to expect for them to be met.
4. Things will be better when we have a baby.
Research shows that marital satisfaction tends to decline after the first child is born. This is because having a baby is stressful, exhausting, time consuming, financially draining and really highlights weaknesses in communication skills. If the marriage is already in decay prior to conception, a baby will only make it harder.
5. We should be able to resolve all of our problems.
According to Gottman- a leading researcher in marriage, 69% of all couples conflicts are perpetual, meaning they will continue to fight about them. The goal with perpetual problems is not necessarily to resolve these conflicts, but work on managing them by continuing to dialogue about them.