Before any man or woman dives into the mysterious unknown we call marriage, the great aunts at the bridal shower and the know it all buddies from high school will spit out lists upon lists of what seems to be great advice and daunting warnings. When it comes to marriage, don’t believe everything you hear. From turning the Utah Ute devotee into a true blue cougar to the eternal doom of post-marriage sex life, there are heaps of marriage myths. People try to idealize marriage by saying things like, “Never go to bed angry,” “You should marry your best friend,” or “An argument will only lead to therapy.” These things can make it difficult for newly wed couples to face reality after the “I do’s.”
Well, here is the good news. Marriage is actually better than any of the romantic myths solicited by those with and without experience.
Myth #1: It’s all downhill after the honeymoon.
We have all been to those really great Utah weddings where the music makes you sway, the food is actually pretty decent, and you can practically feel the love radiating from the newly wed couple. It’s like a fairy tale, really. But the real journey is what happens the day after the wedding and the days, weeks, months, and years after that. If a couple goes into a marriage believing that the wedding day is the peak of all affection, they are setting themselves up for a big shock. Decide together that each partner will work to make each year that passes better than the last.
Myth #2: Having children will improve your marriage.
We all really want to believe this is true, especially if both marriage partners are eager to procreate. In reality, the journey and struggles of raising another human being together will either make or break a marriage. Fortunately, if a couple is on the same page, or at least willing to compromise on a parenting style, then explosive diapers and minimal sleep really can bring a couple closer. Keep in mind that it is not the actual bundle of joy, but the experience of parenting together that will bring you closer.
Myth #3: Marriage therapy is for the bad marriages.
There are people that think the term “therapy” is only for those that are in desperate need of help. The truth is, even happy couples could use some therapy. Marriage therapy can help a married or even a soon-to-be married couple work through issues before they get blown out of proportion. In a therapy session couples learn relationship skills that they might have never considered before. Resolving conflict in a healthy manner, making sure your needs are known, and being assertive without being offensive are all skills that ensure a successful marriage. Marriage therapy has become a taboo term, but the couples that are willing to work on their marriage from the day of their first dance are the couples that have a chance for a real-life storybook ending.
Waiting too long to seek marriage therapy puts the odds against you. To improve your marriage, consider the counsel of a marriage therapist. There are many licensed and experienced marriage therapists in Utah that can help you prepare for or improve your marriage. Don’t let your Great Aunt Sally fill your head with unrealistic expectations of what your marriage should be like.