Saturday, February 14, 2015

Debunking the Marital Myths**

In honor of Valentine's Day I thought I would share a blog I wrote for a guest post at A Selfless Love this past fall. I figured today would be a good day to share some myths regarding love and marriage.

I recently watched a new movie called “They Came Together”. I wanted to see it because Amy Poehler stars in it and I think she is the best (think Parks and RecreationBaby Mamma) The whole movie is a parody of every rom com out there. (think When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, Wedding Crashers) It mocks every chic flic that makes you think love happens because of “fate”, that when you have sex you naturally break all your vases and knock over all your books, and that New York City is the third party in your relationship. It was really funny. However I kept waiting for it to get real. But it never did. It continued on it’s parody the whole way through. I mean who doesn’t want a happily ever after, fairy tale type ending? I don’t want my entire relationship to be a cliché, alarmingly-happy, fake slap-stick-humor-type situation nor do I want it to be sad, realistic and dry. I think I want it to be exactly what it is which is beautiful and chaotic and ridiculous and surprising and life changing.

I have been married for just 18 months now. I am certainly no expert but I will share the myths we have encountered. I am so happy I took the risk to begin the adventure of marriage even with the misconceptions!

1.   We Will Be Rich
This is a myth my husband and I both bought into. I think we thought having two incomes would make us so much richer. WRONG. I didn’t stop to think about two phone bills or perhaps that both our cars should have insurance. I didn’t realize that he would want to blow all our money on food and I would want to blow it all on clothes.

2.   Being One Means Being The Same
Just because we are one does not mean we are the same. We still have different likes and dislikes. We are still individuals who are hopefully working towards being differentiated. It is okay that we experience God differently, that we clean differently and that we communicate differently.

3.   Where I Am Weak My Spouse Is Strong
My husband and I mistakenly had the notion that whatever chore we didn’t like doing, the other would probably love. For example, I hate taking out the trash and doing dishes. Scott loathes doing his laundry. Guess what we discovered according to our research findings? We both don’t like any of these chores. It’s okay. We don’t have to like them.

4.   We Will Memorize The Kama Sutra
We didn’t.

5.   All Decisions Are Easy
We had no idea that we would take an hour trying to pick out which movie to watch or that it would take us longer to decide on what to eat than the time spent actually eating.

6.   Every Night Is Date Night
This isn’t true. Just because we got married does not mean we retired from life as we know it. We still go to work and we still hang out with our friends and have obligations and commitments. We have learned we have to be intentional about pursing each other and it’s important to us to put a date night down on the calendar. I assume once we have kids we will have to become way more strategic!

7.   You Stop Caring
My husband and I care about each other more every day. I don’t know how this is possible but I’m so happy it is. With every passing day we become more securely attached to one another.

8.   My Spouse Knows All My Needs And Wants Because He Is An Undercover Psychic.
Neat thought. Not accurate.

9.   You Stop Falling In Love

My husband and I continue to fall in love with each other moment by moment, day by day, week by week and month by month. We love each other so much and I assume will continue to fall more madly in love with each other for the rest of our lives. This does not mean we don’t work at our marriage. It does not mean we just “let it happen” and hope for a mystical feeling to carry us away on a magical carpet ride into happily ever after. Every day we work at creating happily ever after. Our happily ever after doesn’t just appear in an out-of-control way. Rather we invest in it, we help it grow, and we are intentional with the way we nurture this stunning gift.

What about you? Did you have any misconceptions about how marriage would be before you said your vows?

** the above myths are taken from personal experience as well as from my clinical studies in Marriage and Family Therapy. This does not cover all the myths nor am I suggesting this was the reader’s experience verbatim

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