My husband and I have been married for ten years and we have been together for about 20 years, because we started dating when I was 13 and he was 14. Yes, really!
We have four beautiful children together and we have learned a lot about marriage through watching our parents and learning/growing together.
We found that we hear a lot of lies about marriage, lies that we tell ourselves and that we let ourselves believe …
1. “Your spouse needs to do more for you and in return you will do more for him.”
It doesn’t work that way. It is a give and give relationship. You give with your whole heart … they give with their whole heart. You make it work together.
2. “We were married too young.”
I know many couples who were happily married from a young age. My great-grandmother was 14 and was married to her husband until the day that they died. My friend and her husband were married young, and after only knowing each other for 35 days. In the end, you have to realize that you knew what you were doing at the time was right and believe it with your heart … and find that feeling again (more advice in #7).
3. “I do more than he does.”
This one drives me a bit crazy. For a week, just a week, try NOT to compare what you do to what he does. How much you do to how much he does. How tired you are to how tired he is. Just stop comparing. It will get you nowhere. Instead, switch it out with empathy, sympathy and understanding and I’m sure you will get that in return. You’ll never know until you try, right?
4. “I never have to try to look nice or do nice things once you are married …” (and it’s not why you think)
Ok … if they admit it or not, we all want to see our significant other making an effort to look nice for us. It’s not about what you are wearing or what you are doing … it’s about the fact that you WANT to make an effort for them. You WANT to make dinner for him. You WANT to leave him a little card on the kitchen table. You WANT to clean the house and have it looking nice when he comes home … it’s just about showing them that you still care what they think.
5. “You don’t need time, alone, as a couple.”
You do. You need time with just your significant other. Now you don’t have to go on fancy dates or even leave the house. I have done many posts on dates without leaving the house. It’s just about having quality time with one another. Even a simple stroll outside while a friend watches your kids works. (Ask a friend to swing by for 30 minutes while the kids are asleep, then do the same for her a week later)
6. “Fighting is what married people do.”
This just isn’t so. I have heard SO many people saying “Once you are married, the fighting begins,” or “They’re fighting now … just wait until they are married.” Yes, arguments happen, but don’t let it become the norm.
7. “I’ll stay happy in my marriage forever and we’ll never have rough patches.”
Yes, we want to be happy in our marriages … we never plan on the hard times.
8. “My marriage can’t be fixed.”
I challenge you to try to fix your marriage before giving up. You should read the book “The Five Love Languages.” It is just the most amazing book and I think that everyone should read it multiple times during their marriage. YOU NEED TO READ IT OUT-LOUD, TOGETHER! It goes hand in hand with praying together. You hear the phrase “A couple that prays together, stays together.”
9. “Having a baby will help our relationship.”
Bringing a baby INTO a loving, respectful relationship is amazing. Growing your family to SAVE a marriage is not. You have to work on your marriage first (try the advice given in #7) and bring a child into it after it is secure, strong and stable.
10. “My spouse is the problem.”
This is not a one-way street. Take a look at yourself and see how you can do more for your relationship. Reflect on your marriage and hold yourself accountable when you can. Be supportive of one another and talk about a solution and work towards finding it.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Your Modern Family. It has been republished here with permission.