On Valentine’s Day, my husband and I celebrated six years of marriage which got me thinking about some things I can share about marriage as homage. Myths about marriage came to mind. Some things are shared time and again, to the point where people wonder if the pretty rose coloured marriages we see on social media are even possible.
Marriage is an institution as old as time and men. It’s evolved over centuries, but much of the general structure remains intact. Anything this old, is bound to pick up fabricated ‘lints’ we now recognize as myths about marriage, and they feed into the beliefs and psyche of people today; much like the telephone game.
Where Marriage Myths Come From
If you can imagine too, some of the strongest, loudest opinions on marriage come from people who have never been married themselves. Equally loud are people who are jaded in some way, from broken marriages and the worst ones, people who half-ass(ed) their own marriage from beginning to end, knowing full well they did not want to participate in a partnership fully. (Come for me if you’d like, but you all know it’s true).
Rarely, are the honest opinions of people who are happily married shared as loudly. So, it’s not surprising that the real tea on the good stuff gets lost in translation. In fact, when happy couples share the good stuff, they are often labelled as bragging, being hype or setting themselves up for a great fall due to a lack of humility.
Apparently, humility requires you to be silent about the good things in your life.
The Landscape for Companionship Has Changed
The fact of the matter is, for more of us young people, marriage isn’t appealing. Whether is that depends on the individual’s personal desires, character traits or the fear that it will end badly, the reasons are numerous. Some people, use the experiences of others they’ve witnessed to stamp their own destinies before giving it a chance for themselves. Others believe myths or simply fear human nature and ending up on the wrong side of the success versus failure rate.
We (people) need all the help we can get. my philosophy is that we can’t all make our own mistakes, and sometimes a heads up can go a far way. So, here are four things that are straight up myths about marriage that are just not true.
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Myths About Marriage
1. Love is Enough
Well, that’s a load of crock, isn’t it?
Did I burst your bubble? That’s okay. You’re here for the real tea, remember? You can love each other to the moon and back. However, without other pillars supporting the foundation of the union, that love will take you nowhere fast. I’m not talking about material things. I’m talking about things like compatibility, respect, mutual direction and proper, effective communication.
Sure, love is one of the core pillars of marriage, but it cannot stand alone in the face of disrespect, incompatibility, selfishness and so on.
As a matter of fact, people build solid, happy marriages, on every other foundation without the inclusion of passionate love. I am not advocating for a loveless marriage, you understand. I am just saying, you can build a marriage on love alone as much as your can build one on sex alone, which is not at all.
2. Marriage Equals Constantly Arguing
I’m not saying you will both be so constantly happy that you’ll fart glitter and rainbows, but not all marriages are full of constant bickering. It’s true that all married couples disagree and argue from time to time, but you don’t need to worry that your life will be wrought with arguments no matter how healthy your marriage is.
So long as when you do argue you strive to hear each other and actually resolve the conflict, after a good few years of being together, you come to learn that every difference of opinion or way of doing things doesn’t warrant a mention.
So long as both parties practice respect, most disagreements can be settled with a chat, rather than arguing.
3. Neglecting Spouse is Okay If It’s ‘Because of the Kids’
Neglecting your spouse and marriage because the kids are more important when they enter a marriage is a bad, bad perspective to have. Neglect in marriage is neglect whether it’s due to marriage, children, finances or other factors. There are seasons to life, and yes, your children will require more of your attention during certain seasons, but this cannot be a lifestyle practice.
I know many mothers who will disagree with me, saying ‘my man can leave me but my kids won’t, but this is a hill I am willing to die on. Children are a by-product of marriage, and if you feel the need to disregard your spouse to tend them for all of eighteen years, it’s a recipe to the manifestation of ‘my spouse can leave’.
Even worse, it’s incorrect. Your children can and should leave you. The very concept of parenting is to prepare children to lead lives responsibly and successfully without you. The bond between parents and children is strong and will carry well into adulthood, but investing in your children with the expectation that they will stay with you as adults’ is dysfunctional.
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4. Marriage Destroys Your Sex Life
Boy, I have to be honest here. Your girl worried bout this dead sex business. Happily, I have learned that this is not a given feature of marriage at all. Sure, we aren’t going at it like we were at 21, but there is plenty enough of it to inspire healthy sexual intimacy. From my experience, (and the healthy conversations my married friends and kekeke it up about), any lack of frequency is more about being whole tired adults with responsibilities, rather than a lack of desire and you can speak freely within your community on the topic, it’s easy to see that it is not an uncommon thing. Whew!
If anything, the longer the years of marital bliss, the more comfortable sex become. Consequently, the only thing I need to prove to my husband is ‘say him nuh more than me‘! (Translation: He isn’t going to outperform me.) And after a decade there is nothing to prove and security is a catalyst for the removal of inhibitions.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe these myths about marriage? What about your own marriage? Let’s talk in the comments.
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