February 5, 2008

The Seven Lies of Marriage

LIE #1: All you need is love.

The reality is that marital bliss is a myth.As long as we raise our children, especially girls,to believe that marriage is the solution to life's problems and essential for personal happiness,we will continue to have many couples marrying with little appreciation for the true difficulties and complexities of married life.We were made to belief that romantic love is sufficient to create marital bliss leaving couples unskilled in developing and unprepared to manage sustained intimate relationships.As wonderful as love is,it doesn't conquer all alone and certainly won't prevent or solve your marital problems.

Lie #2: I talk all the time,my spouse just doesn't listen

We live in an era that encourages us to be open about our feelings but doesn't teach us how to differentiate between helpful and harmful feelings.Our mothers advise us to "tell it like it is" and be honest,so our partners will know how we really feel and what we really need but the truth is that brutal honesty too often encourages brutality more than honesty.Spouses use their version of the truth to bludgeon their partners into submission.

Lie #3: People don't really change

Many of us believe thatour spouses can't change all that much or that nothing in a marriage can change unless both partners change.These incorrect and pessimistic beliefs sabotage efforts to improve the marriage.The truth is that most people go about trying to change their relationships in unproductive ways,get frustrated by the results and then claim that the result proves that people don't change and many of us are so fearful of real change that we run for the escape hatch rather than commit to the hard work involved in getting what we say we want.And even if one partner is adamantly set against change,there's a lot the other partner can do to foster change in the marriage anyway.

Lie #4: When you marry, you create your own family legacy

When we become husbands, wives and parents,the models we saw and leftover conflicts we experienced within our families of origin emerge from our psyches and take over our intimate relationships.In this highly mobile society,we tend to live farther from our parents.Paradoxically,their influence may be greater than ever because they're not around,we're less likely to be aware of how we unthinkingly act in line or in opposition to the way they raised us.Its shocking to find out that our family seriously influences us if we consciously chosen to behave differently from them. Spouses who don't appreciate the power their original families exert on their values and styles tend to have particularly tenacious problems in their marriages.

Lie #5: Egalitarian marriage is easier than traditional marriage

In this modern days,we expect that chores will be split,family responsibilities should be divided fairly and decision-making power will be shared.The husband respects his wife's work and shares in family life,never insisting on being in control based on financial earnings or gender.Equality in theory is wonderful;in reality,spouses in trouble often are conflicted over gender role expectations and responsibilities.Men tend to feel unappreciated for what they do well,for working hard away from home and for any chores they agree to do in the house.Likewise,women who work away from the home and then return to care for their households and children often feel equally unappreciated for their extra work.The confusion over gender-role expectations,the mutual feeling of insufficient appreciation and the unresolved resentment this fosters between spouses are killing many marriages.

Lie #6: Children solidify a marriage

It's very, very difficult to admit that the children you love so much can drive a wedge into your life as a couple, especially if one of the reasons you got married in the first place was to have a family. However, the reality is that in a world where married partners already work too hard and don't spend enough time with each other, the addition of children to your life usually eats up the remaining physical and emotional energy you had for each other.The trust is:If you want to preserve your marriage,your children cannot always come first.As counterintuitive as it may sound,in your marriage,your spouse must come first,not only for your sake but also so that your children can grow up within an intact family.

Lie #7: The sexual revolution has made great sex easier than ever.

Yes,sex is everywhere and information about how to have it is more readily available than ever,why aren't we having more fun in our bed? It's because the two of us are never really alone there;those ubiquitous images of everyone else having great sex have paradoxically made it more difficult for you to relax and have a satisfying sex life.They make you feel that you or your partner can never measure up,that there's someone out there who's more attractive to you or will be more attracted by you and that you are missing out because everyone else is having more fun than you are.They make you believe that the natural evolution of a relationship,from the dazzling fireworks of infatuation and early courtship to the steadier,calmer flame of a mature partnership,represents loss of pleasure and acceptance of the mundane


ababoypart2 said...

Cant argue with any of the lies..Nice post as always

Serge said...

Ha! I am glad I stumbled on your blog - here's some reading which can inspire one's thinking... Thanks for giving it time to write all these thoughts, pretty helpful in the hard task of brooding over the vicissitudes of connubial life : )