A good marriage should be built on honesty, right? So why do we keep telling so many lies? Here are five widespread marriage lies we need to stop telling ourselves (and everybody else):
The person you married should stay the person you married. I hear this one all of the time and every time it sounds equally as ridiculous. How many of us are exactly the same person that we were five, ten, fifteen years ago? My hobbies, my style, my perspective on life””all of those things have shifted and changed between the time we met in our early 20s and now because we’re human beings, and that doesn’t change because we’re married. Nothing remains forever unchanged, except for maybe Twinkies, and then you have to wonder what’s in them.
This is just me. Accept me for who I am. Okay this one is true, to an extent. We do have to take the good with the bad and we can’t spend all of our time trying to change our spouse’s behavior. But we also can’t take advantage of that acceptance by using “take me as I am” as an excuse for every poor behavior. Saying “I know I’m wrong, but I’ll never try to do better” is selfish and childish. Adults try to do better when they know better, and while we acknowledge our flaws, we should still be striving to do our best.
I could never cheat. It’s easy to look at the constant barrage affairs in the media, point our fingers in disgust and say, “That could never be me.” Yet while we should regard infidelity with disdain, because it’s wrong, we get into trouble when we start thinking that we are immune to making the same kind of bad decisions. It takes a real loser to walk down the aisle thinking that he or she is going to cheat within the next couple of years. For the most part, I think affairs happen when people think that they are somehow incapable of committing that kind of sin, and don’t guard their hearts, minds, and activities accordingly. Instead of saying “I would never,” we need to understand that as humans we are vulnerable to temptation, will be tempted, and have the right safeguards in place to make sure we remain faithful to our spouses.
I’ll always love you as much as I do today. Sometimes we’re as blissfully happy as we were on our wedding day, a lot of times we’re happier, sometimes we’re really annoyed with each other, every now and again I want to run screaming into the night yelling “What have I done!” That loving feeling is just that. A feeling. Just like happiness, anger, and indigestion, feelings can change by the moment, and please believe that less than loving can be among those.
There’s a secret to a happy marriage. Now it’s quite possible that I’m wrong on this one. Maybe there’s a secret that I just haven’t been let in on yet. Otherwise though, looking for the secret to marriage is like looking for the secret to weight loss, which is, at the end of the day, work at it (If there were a secret miracle weight loss pill, Oprah obviously can’t afford it so why do you think you can buy one for $29.99?). Similarly with marriage, there’s no shortcut, no magic bliss button, just working until you get it right. Which, when we stop lying to ourselves and looking for secrets, becomes a lot easier.
Do you agree with this list? Do you have any marriage lies to add?
Get more tips to keep your marriage hot even when you’re short on time at Making Love in the Microwave.