By: Emily Conley
What comes to mind when you hear the words “cultural myths”? Do you think of Zeus, or Hercules from ancient Greece? Maybe you think of the fable of a young George Washington claiming, “I cannot tell a lie”? Whether it’s your quirky uncle’s survival tips or something you saw on the latest episode of A&E’s MythBusters, you probably didn’t think about the “perfectly compatible soul mate that will never ever change, nor ever attempt to change me, and together we’ll live happily ever after.”
Ah, but yes, that Cinderella-fueled, ABC’s The Bachelor-soaked cultural notion is one of the most dangerous mythologies about marriage for both single and married folks alike. That’s why, in honor of National Marriage Week USA, we want to help expose some of the myths that are burdening people with unrealistic expectations and an overly negative view of marriage. And while there too many myths which our culture has slowly embraced to name them all, here are some of our favorites:
Myth : Most married couples are unhappy and miserable.
Truth: Social science shows that married people are happier, healthier, and have better relationships than couples of any other status.
Myth: My soul mate spouse will be perfectly compatible with me, won’t try to change me, and will complete me and make me happy.
Truth: There is almost no one out there like that to marry. Marriage works only when you recognize it is based upon selflessness, not your own self-fulfillment: a choice and a promise to put another flawed human being ahead of your own wants and desires.
Myth: If it’s the right person, love should come easy and marriage shouldn’t be hard.
Truth: Any successful marriage, like anything else worthwhile in life, is hard and takes work.
Myth: Sex with only one person for the rest of your life is boring and unfulfilling.
Truth: Studies show that married people are actually more likely to be happier with their sex lives.
Myth: We’ve grown apart as spouses - we’ll be happier if we move on with our lives separately.
Truth: 86% of marriages report they are no longer unhappy 5 years later when the couple chose to stay together and not divorce (excluding instances of domestic violence and abuse).
Want more? Watch a great talk given on this subject by Tim & Kathy Keller, co-authors of “The Meaning of Marriage”:
Have you believed any of these myths? What myths would you add to this short list? Leave a comment below and let us know.
This post is the third in a series celebrating National Marriage Week. Here's the rest:
1. 5 Reasons Marriage is Your Future
2. Marriage Isn't Just Your Story, It's THE Story
3. 5 Myths Crushing Marriage
4. This Valentine's Day: Is Our Heart In the Right Place?