People often have misconceptions about what it takes to maintain a strong marriage. Movies and fairy tales portray marriage as a relationship between two people where love conquers all. And while love is one of the foundations to a good marriage, it takes more than that to avoid problems, stress and arguments. Communication, work and dedication also serve vital roles in a relationship, which may get left out of the Hollywood stories on marriage, but it’s something that couples counselors are quick to focus on during sessions with married couples. Here are some common myths that many have about marriage.
Marriage Should Be Free of Stress and Problems
Two people in love and sharing their life together should be able to easily move beyond their problems. And since you’re done with dating, you’re life will be stress free. But long-term relationships produce new sources of stress that some couples aren’t anticipating. Unfortunately, even the most healthiest of relationships can have problems that are hard or even impossible to solve. Sometimes its best to accept that you will have ongoing problems and focus your energy on issues that you can solve.
Having Things in Common is the Key to a Strong Marriage
Sometimes people confuse having things in common with having good communication. Just because you both love to water ski or go to movies or cook Italian food doesn’t mean that you’re communicating with each other while participating in these activities. Sometimes couples can disagree on major things, like money, raising kids or housework, and still have a strong relationship because they are able to work together through communications, despite their differences.
I’ll Make Things Better By Fixing My Spouse
If you believe that you must change your spouse before you can be happy, then you risk sinking time, effort and energy into what will probably be a lost cause. It’s much better to focus that energy on yourself and finding ways to make you happy that don’t rely on your spouse. Accepting your spouse for who they are, while seeking your own personal happiness, is key to setting reasonable expectations for your relationship.
Sex Will Lose Steam in a Marriage
After years of marriage, sex will inevitably become routine, boring and less frequent. While this can be common in a relationship, it doesn’t have to be. Just like with other parts of your relationship, satisfying physical intimacy is not something that will just happen. It takes effort, communication and dedication to keep your sex life sizzling in a marriage. But the work will be well worth it, as a satisfying sex life is an important part of any successful long-term relationship.
You Should Always Feel In Love with your Spouse
Sometimes couples believe that their love for each other will sustain their marriage and serve as a problem-solving force when things are going bad. Sometimes a spouse will expect that love means your partner should know how you think and feel about things, even before you talk about it. But you should not expect those strong feelings of love to last forever and its not wise to rely on feelings of love to solve your relationship problems. What’s important is to remain committed and stay connected to your spouse through communication and spending time together.
If you’re having problems with your spouse or partner, couples counseling can serve as a great venue to open communication and learn about how you can improve your marriage or relationship. The D’Arienzo Psychological Group offers comprehensive couples counseling for residents of North Florida and beyond.