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Friday, December 15, 2006

Myths about marriage

From marriage.about.com.

Myths Such as these Can Hurt Your Marriage
We think that many myths that surround marriage give couples unrealistic expectations. Disappointment is sure to come for people who are looking for the Cinderella-like happily-ever-after storybook marriage year after year.

If you watch late night TV, enjoy classic movies, listen to love songs, or read romantic novels, then you may have an image of marriage that never, ever was.

Do you remember or have you watched Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet, Bewitched, I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Donna Reed Show, Lassie, and Cinderella?

Think about the fact that nearly all of these households were the traditional family of mom, dad, and kids. They didn't seem to have any real problems either because there are no story lines about prior marriages, step-children, physical abuse, infidelities, drinking problems, drugs, dropping out of school, political discussions, civil disobedience, unemployment, severe economic problems, and threats or even thoughts of divorce.
The father was the breadwinner and the mother made the bread. Until All in the Family came along, plots seemed to focus on white lies, mischief, and misunderstandings.

These shows made us believe that life was wonderful, that all of our needs could be met by our spouse, children were the icing on the cake, marriage would solve all of our problems, and we would live happily ever after.

# MYTH: Loneliness Myth that marriage will end our loneliness.
REALITY: Many married people are still very lonely.

# MYTH: Fulfillment Fallacy which makes us believe that being married makes us complete human beings.
REALITY: A couple complements one another, not completes one another.

# MYTH: Marriage Is for Everyone.
REALITY: There are a lot of unmarried people who are extremely happy.

# MYTH: Monogamy Myth makes a couple believe that they are the only ones who are dealing with infidelity or that it only happens to bad or weak people.
REALITY: It is a societal issue that needs to be openly addressed so that monogamy becomes more attainable for more people.

# MYTH: Romance will always be alive in a good marriage.
REALITY: Nearly all relationships experience peaks and valleys. The everyday problems and challenges of married life can often cloud over romantic feelings. This is when making the decision to love is important.

# MYTH: Marriage makes people happy.
REALITY: We can't expect our spouse to be our one source of happiness. Our personal happiness must come from within ourselves. Marriage can complement our own individual happiness but it can't be the primary source.

# MYTH: We won't have major problems if we truly love one another.
REALITY: A good marriage doesn't just happen. It takes nurturing and work.

# MYTH: My spouse should know my needs without my saying anything.
REALITY: Just because we're married doesn't mean we can read minds. We have to tell our spouses what our needs are.

# MYTH: Conflict means a lack of love.
REALITY: Conflict happens in every marriage. Fighting fair and for the relationship, and not just to "win" is healthy in a marriage.

We believe a marriage needs love, support, tolerance, communication, realistic expectations, caring, nurturing, and a sense of humor to be successful. Many of the more recent television shows like Mad About You, Home Improvement, To Have and To Hold, The Cosby Show, Dharma & Greg, and Everybody Loves Raymond reflect these values and show that marriages can survive conflict, disappointment, and problems.

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