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7 Common Marriage Myths ... And How To Avoid Them

From a very young age, many of us assume that we will eventually get married. Many of us also fall victim to assumptions about marriage that simply aren't true. As you prepare for your big day, take a second to step back and evaluate some of these common myths of marriage so you can make sure to avoid them!

1. We'll be happier when we're married ... it's called marital "bliss", right?
This is a common trap many young couples fall into. Planning a wedding can be stressful and take a toll on the bride and the groom. When this happens, many couples hold on to the beautiful idea of "marriage," convincing themselves that they will automatically be happy once they achieve this idyllic goal. 

In reality, the two people who are planning the wedding will be the same two people who share a house together after they get married. While planning a wedding may seem stressful, you will likely encounter several other stressful events throughout your lives, such as financial issues or important parenting decisions. Take the opportunity of planning your wedding to learn how to work through stressful situations now, so you'll be better (and more realistically) prepared to handle them after you're married.

2. Having children with strengthen our relationship ... let's get busy!
Couples fall victim to this myth when they convince themselves that sharing a huge experience will automatically bring them closer together. While it's true that sharing certain experiences can act as a bonding ritual, you should never rely on it to do so.

Parenting, for all its rewards, comes with lots of frustrations, major decisions, and general exhaustion. While there may never be a truly "perfect time" to have kids, couples should try to make sure they are as solid as possible before embarking on such a huge adventure.

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3. Marriage requires a lot of work.
This is a tricky one. Marriage should not require a lot of work, but it does require a lot of time and attention. There's a difference. If you're not even married yet and already bracing yourself for a lifetime of hard work to keep your relationship going, you might need to reevaluate your choice of partner.

Rather than "work," a strong marriage requires couples to dedicate time and attention to  their partner and the institution of marriage in general. Take the time to reconnect with your partner after work, whether that means going for a walk or sitting down over dinner to tell the other person about your day. These simple acts can work wonders for reminding you and your partner that your marriage means something to both of you. Plus, getting into the habit of taking time for one another on a daily basis will make it easier to deal with any difficult situations that might arise.

4. We're perfect together ... we never argue, so marriage will be a breeze.
Of course you want to find that amazing person who seems like your ideal match, but be careful how you define the word "perfect." Even the two people who are best-suited for each other will likely  argue at some point. Conflict is completely normal for everyone who spends a significant amount of time together. Your marriage is not ending just because you have a serious argument. You simply need to take the time to communicate your feelings openly and honestly, and be sure to treat your partner with respect while he/she does the same.

On the flip side, you may want to be wary if you and your partner never argue. It's easy to get wrapped up in the idea that you're so perfect for each other, you never disagree on anything. While you may not have experienced a disagreement yet, over a lifetime of marriage, you most certainly will. Since no two people are exactly the same, the odds of you truly never disagreeing are slim to none. Make sure you're both capable of being honest and communicating your true feelings effectively.

5. He'll do all the "man" stuff ... and I'll take care of the "girl" stuff.
Beware of limiting yourselves to the traditional gender stereotypes that surround marriages. Don't assume that, as the woman, you will be expected to take care of all the cooking and your husband will automatically know it's his job to mow the yard.

The strongest marriages are often the ones where both people involved are comfortable performing any task that needs to be done. There's nothing wrong with your husband usually taking care of the yard work, but you should be willing to pick up the slack if he has a particularly busy week at work. Remember that you're on the same team, working together for the same goal.

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6. Once I'm married, dating will be a thing of the past (thank God).
This one sounds weird at first, but take the time to think about what it means. When you imagine a typical day in the life of a married couple, what does it look like? How does that image compare to how you picture a day in the life of a couple that has only been together for two months? What is the major difference between the two?

Most of us assume that once we're married, we have established the fact that we want to be with our partner and no longer need to woo the other person. In reality, the legality of marriage has little impact on our romantic relationships. Make it a point to remind your partner how much you care about them. These gestures do not have to be big. A nice dinner out, a little gift for no particular reason, or a quick shoulder rub can work wonders in the long run. 

7. Financially, life will be easier  once we are married.
There are many reasons why two people are financially stronger when they are married, but this doesn't happen automatically. The number one reason for divorce is financial conflict. Financially, you can (and should be) be better off with two incomes contributing to the household, but this is only true if you share common goals, control spending, and are 100% open an honest about money at all times.

If you have secret debts, feel the need to fib about the cost of something you purchase, or anything that bothers you financially right now about your fiancee's habits, you need to come clean before you get married.  There are few things that can destroy trust faster in a marriage than money surprises.

What other marriage myths have you heard? Or what's some great marriage advice that you would offer to newlyweds for a lifetime of happiness in their relationship?

~ The Team

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