Recently on Twitter, there was a tweet that got a LOT of attention from married people.
READ IT HERE:
Oh man! The comment section on this tweet was LIT UP with married people who wanted to dispel the myths about marriage that lead to unrealistic expectations like the one above.
I’ve decided that I HAVE to speak on it.
Like I discussed in my About Me, when I write, I ask myself what I would want my sister, friends and cousins to know about life ahead.
Well, a big transition still ahead for most of them is marriage.
With a wave of them getting engaged or planning on marriage, I just have to share my thoughts on some of these false myths about marriage that are floating around and share the harsh realities of what it means to find “the one”.
I’m no expert on marriage (AT ALL!!) but I’ve learned a lot over the course of my first few years.
In fact, I believe that my advice might be extra useful for those who just entering marriage because I still have a very fresh recollection life before marriage, my expectations about marriage, our first year of marriage and how we struggled to get our expectations to fit reality.
Disclaimer: There is some tough love coming up ahead!
I wish everything can be lighthearted but these things have to be said.
Look for the “reality” at the end of each of the myths about marriage.
5 MYTHS ABOUT MARRIAGE &
FINDING “THE ONE”
MARRIAGE MYTH #1:
When it comes to finding the one,
“Follow Your Heart”.
Contrary to popular belief, your heart is NOT always right.
Oftentimes, when people say follow your heart, they mean follow your emotions.
The problem is that your emotions are affected by your mood, your circumstances, your past, your relationships – a whole lot of things that can change and/or be manipulated. Emotions & feelings often present themselves as being fact, even though they are not.
When you choose to abandon wisdom and sound judgment to only follow your heart into a relationship that isn’t consistent with your values, your wellness and/or your goals, you may find yourself in a bad situation once the clouds of passion have lifted.
I would also like to add that romantic desire isn’t the only emotion that can lead you astray.
Fear (of the future, of being alone), Sadness, Pity – these are all emotional states that can lead you to make poor decisions about marriage.
Instead of following your heart alone, make sure that wisdom and logic have checked into the situation.
To find wisdom, ask questions! Read, Seek and listen to advice from those more experienced and successful than yourself, ask God and consider actions more important than words.
You need to use your head. Not just your heart.
“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you”
MARRIAGE MYTH #2:
When you find the one, you won’t have to change anything about yourself.
He/she will love you for you.
The first reality check is that: when you find the right one, YOU. WILL. CHANGE.
Period & full stop.
You will change to accommodate your partners needs and wants. You will change to accommodate your new status and life. You will need to change undesirable habits and toxic mindsets that are not conducive to your married life.
The harsh truth is that refusing to change when you get married is self-centered. The idea that you won’t have to change at all means that you think you are perfect or you think that your needs and wants are more important than your spouse’s – this should never be the case.
The second reality check is that: Despite their love for you, your wife or husband won’t always like how you are acting or what you are doing and that’s normal.
The journey to growth is bumpy and it isn’t always straightforward.
The beauty of the marriage bond is that it stays by your side and extends you love even when you are on the rollercoaster that is self growth.
It won’t be sudden or all at once but gradual change and evolution is normal and dare I say, desired!
MARRIAGE MYTH #3:
If they love me, they’ll change to make me happy.
Notice that in the second myth about marriage, I say that YOU will have to change…YOURSELF.
If you’re marrying someone with the intention of changing something about them that you know you can’t deal with, you may be headed for a lot of disappointment.
Don’t expect the self-proclaimed lazy person that hates work to wake up ambitious the day after they say “I do”. Don’t brush it off when someone says they don’t want kids thinking you can convince them to have kids later on.
It is impossible to change someone else.
Even if you hold them hostage and force them to do things, you can’t go into anyone’s brain and force them to change the way they think!
Think about it, it’s not even easy for us to change OUR OWN habits and mindsets.
It’s true that people can, over time, change their own mind or their priorities, however, be ready to live with and love your partner as they are.
MARRIAGE MYTH #4:
As long as you find the right one, everything else will be easy.
No matter how awesome your spouse is or how awesome you are, cultivating a good marriage isn’t easy or effortless…for anyone!
This is the myth about marriage that married people came out to dispel in response to that tweet.
Think about it- you and your partner are two different people with different upbringings, insecurities, needs, opinions and ways of living. It takes work to reconcile those 2 melodies and make them into a harmony.
Like everything worth having, you can expect to invest time and effort into improving and maintaining your marriage.
The work involved isn’t just living together and passively learning things about your partner either. You have to actively communicate and learn. What makes them happy, what beliefs did they grow up with? What baggage do they carry? What expectations about marriage do they have? Etc etc.
Take classes, listen to marriage enrichment. Laugh together (maybe read these funny quotes about marriage).
EXPECT to have conflicts.
The mark of a good relationship is how you resolve conflict not whether you have them or not.
MARRIAGE MYTH #5:
At the end of the day, walk away from anything that doesn’t serve you
Brace yourself, harsh realities coming through, are you ready are you ready??
1. You are not always right
2. You are not always the most important focus of a situation
While those realities sound harsh, they are important in understanding that leaving every situation that doesn’t cater to you is a weak and self-centered way of approaching a relationship.
I am NOT talking about the relationships that are abusive or detrimental to your core beliefs and values or the people that refuse to love, support and nurture you.
What I am talking about are the situations that challenge you, expose the weaker aspects of your character and make you uncomfortable.
When those situations arise, don’t leave…WORK!
Work on yourself and GROW.
That is what life and successful relationships are about.
There will be disagreements and conversations that won’t be pleasing to you or go the way you want. That doesn’t mean you automatically leave. That means you learn conflict resolution.
There will be times when you don’t get what you want how you want. Those are the moments when you learn perseverance and learn to be solution oriented.
A good relationship isn’t there to spoil you rotten, a good relationship will grow you.
And the reality is that sometimes we grow under situations that we don’t particularly like.
Don’t miss my newlywed marriage advice which shares 6 must-know marriage lessons that I learned in 2 years of marriage.
Also, don’t forget to subscribe and share this post!