16 Marriage Myths You Should Never Believe If You Want Your Relationship To Last

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Marriage Myths That Newlyweds Should Never Believe If They Want A Healthy Relationship
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Congratulations! You’re married now and the world is awaiting your relationship’s identity and influence.

Welcome to the world of helpful and unhelpful solicited and unsolicited marriage advice.

Even before the honeymoon, most newlyweds have probably heard a lot about what married life is like from others who are also married. And those who are divorced or never married have probably been "coaching" you through your marriage and how to avoid mistakes, as well.

RELATED: 7 Truths About Marriage You Must Face If You Want Your Relationship To Last

They say love and a great support system are what every good marriage needs. However, to paraphrase William Shakespeare, everything that glitters ain’t gold.

The wisdom passed your way may seem to come from a good place and have your marriage’s greatest intentions at heart, but not all of it will be applicable or strengthen your marriage.

If you are concerned about getting the love you want at this point and you believe that one of you may be hurting the marriage, you may need to think twice before you end up unintentionally sabotaging your relationship.

Here are 16 myths and traps about marriage that you, as newlyweds, need to avoid.

1. You can and will have passionate and romantic sex whenever you like

This belief is largely untrue because your partner and you may have very different ideas of what a healthy sex life is. And just because you’re married doesn’t mean you’re entitled to some legal right to sleep with them even when they may not have the desire.

Establish what works for both of you before assuming this is true.

2. The first year of marriage should be the easiest year

This is almost laughable when I hear it. Marriage is one of the most significant commitments a person can make that requires the least amount of research, training, and qualifications to enter.

It’s not the easiest year. It’s the year you learn how much you both don’t know about marriage.

3. As long as you love each other, your marriage will be fine

Love is a key ingredient for marriage, and no healthy relationship could last without it.

However, people who love each other still divorce. Shared faith, respect for differences, and shared purpose and vision are especially important as well.

4. The first year of marriage is too early for counseling

Marriage counseling doesn’t come with a disclaimer indicating it is only useful after some arbitrary number of years.

The first year is actually the best year of marriage for counseling. To borrow the mantra from the cancer community, early detection of problems saves marriages.

5. Your spouse should know how to love you

This is certainly one way of looking at love. However, there is no standard definition of love. And there’s no way for your partner to know how to love you if they haven’t been taught what that would look like for you.

In many cases, it’s possible they may even struggle with learning to love themselves as well.

6. Your idea of marriage is better than your spouse's 

Most partners believe they have the best knowledge about marriage partly due to their family’s success in relationships, reading the 5 Love Languages, or because of their faith alone. But none of these guarantee the relationship will be successful.

When "my idea" turns into "our idea", the relationship has limitless potential.

7. You should love your partner the way you want to be loved 

If I received a dollar for every time I heard someone say some version of this, I’d have enough money to run for President!

At the very least, it’s good that you are showing them some love. However, it’s great if you love them the way they want to be loved. They feel the love much better when it is designed with them in mind instead of you in mind.

8. Kids make marriage more difficult

If kids make marriage more difficult, then money is the reason people are happy. In other words, one has nothing to do with the other.

At most, kids help illuminate the preexisting weaknesses of the marriage. And they eventually become the "mirror" through which you view your own emotions and behaviors.

9. You shouldn’t have to say "I love you" if your spouse already knows

This belief has harmed quite a few relationships and says more about you than your spouse.

In fact, it says you’re only willing to love in a way that is comfortable and convenient for you to their detriment. If they need to hear it, this relationship is depending upon you saying it.

10. If this relationship fails, it only affects you and your partner, no one else

Hopefully, neither of you are thinking of ending the marriage at this time. However, consider this: great communities consist of great families. And great families consist of happy and emotionally healthy couples.

If you don’t believe your marriage is much bigger than the two of you, then you won’t believe the impact it will have on the world around you.

RELATED: 2 Myths About Marriage That Can Seriously Doom Your Relationship

11. A trial separation is a good way to get you back on track

Trial separations are never a remedy for a healthy relationship. At most, they are an expensive and poorly planned "time-out" for an emotionally exhausted couple. Most times, they can result in marital boundaries being overwhelmingly stretched while expectations atrophy.

Consequently, a trial separation will drive an even bigger wedge between you all.

12. You don’t need to know your partner’s past; you just need to know about them now and their future

This isn’t the most prevalent myth, but it’s been shared enough to make the list. A person’s past relationships with parents, siblings, lovers, etc. are important.

Also important is knowing their past legal issues, credit history, mental health issues, and traumas. In many cases, this is the "fine print" that gets overlooked before saying, "I do."

13. Marriage is the same as dating except now you're legally together

Dating is to marriage what teenage is to adulthood. Like being a teenager, dating consists of many shortcomings that are excused because it’s cute and you didn’t know any better.

But, as soon as you become an adult, the expectations are significantly higher, and you’re expected to think and behave accordingly. Marriage is more responsible living with a shared purpose and vision to serve more than just you and your spouse.

14. Marriage sucks

Short, simple, and wrong. Not even a little bit wrong either. Healthy marriages consist of partners with healthy emotions. Unhealthy marriages suck when one or both partners are emotionally unhealthy.

This is an easy statement to make when you are still learning what marriage is and isn’t or when you discover that you or your spouse are emotionally unhealthy and unwilling to invest in the marriage.

15. Marriage is 50/50

This is a bit of a tricky one. But here’s a better way to look at this. You are 50 percent responsible for the success and failure of the marriage as is your spouse. However, you both still have to give 100 percent commitment to the relationship for your halves to combine and equal a whole relationship.

So marriage is 100/100 and in doing so, you both represent your full halves of a healthy and successful relationship.

16. Long-term dating gets you better prepared for marriage 

People can and often will date with unhealthy ideas of loving, respecting, appreciating, and supporting each other. And doing this long-term will usually result in an unhealthy relationship.

In addition to the willingness to be taught by your spouse how they need to be loved, respected, appreciated, and supported, other key factors that will prepare you for marriage include: faith, self-awareness, healthy communication skills, healthy boundaries, emotional intelligence, and well-defined values.

This is in no way an attempt to convince you that all marriage advice and wisdom provided to you is a myth. That’s not true at all. But, consider that every marriage is as unique as a fingerprint and heartbeat.

Therefore, what worked and didn’t work for others may not ring true for you and your spouse. All advice should be vetted with your spouse where you both determine if it is healthy for your relationship. It’s the unvetted advice that becomes unhealthy beliefs that strain your new marriage.

RELATED: 4 Marriage Myths That Cause Divorce

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Dr. Eric Williams is a relationship expert in private practice in Fayetteville, NC. He specializes in counseling couples of all backgrounds empowering them to define their collaborative purpose and vision. Follow him on Instagram @purpose_n_hope_dealer, Twitter @ericcfs, and Facebook @ericwilliamsphd for daily tips to enhance your relationship.

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