What do come to your mind when you think of marriage? Look at the TV and you will see what most of our society thinks of it. On one channel you have one man dating thirty women at the same time to find his one-and-only love.
On the next channel, you have a man and woman meeting each other for the first time at the altar after being matched based on a survey. The next channel may have a woman with an astronomical budget looking for a dress that will make her feel like a princess/mermaid/model for the day.
And of course, you have the shows where dramatic circumstances lead them to find their soulmate and they live happily ever after in sitcom syndication.
With all of the wild examples of marriage that are being flashed in front of our faces every day, we have developed some pretty crazy thoughts about what was once a sacred union. I would like to clear some of them up, so here are our eight most irrational thoughts about marriage.
1. And they lived happily ever after
Somewhere between Prince Charming and Meredith and Derek, we bought into the lie that once we say, ‘I Do,’ our lives will be smooth sailing. I am sorry to say, that is just not true. Life will happen inevitably and you will have to weather storms together. Go into marriage with that knowledge and you will be much less shocked when it happens to you.
2. Marriage is 50/50
No. Just no. Marriage is not something that you go into giving it all of a measly fifty percent of your effort! You have got to give it 100% to make it work. Do you want your spouse to call it in when it comes to you? I did not think so, so do not do that to him. Wake up every day and commit to giving it your all, you will both benefit from it.
3. It is all sunshine and roses
Whoever said that healthy couples never fight are delusional. You have brought two people with two different backgrounds and two sets of luggage into one household. You are going to disagree. There will be times that conversations get heated and someone may have to walk away to cool down.
That is perfectly fine and perfectly normal. Just commit to coming back together to work it out. Try to not let the sun go down on your anger, otherwise, your troubles will just carry into the next day.
4. You will always be in love
Here is the problem with that thought. Being ‘in love’ is a feeling full of butterflies and blushed cheeks. It is wonderful and magical and hopefully, you will always feel that way when you see your spouse. But more than likely, there will come a day when you do not feel that way.
Maybe you have hit one of those hard times that we mentioned. Maybe he has done something that is not loveable. Commit to loving him, anyway. That kind of love is a verb, honey. It is something you to choose to do even when those puppy-love feelings are on a hiatus. But you want to know something great? Those feelings will come back if you stick to showing the action of love day in and day out.
5. The grass is greener on the other side
Thanks to Facebook and other forms of social media, we get a constant stream of people’s highlight reel. We see their anniversaries or the brag-worthy moments that they share with the world. We see the posed pictures full of smiles and sunsets. But when was the last time you saw their real life?
The point is, do not compare your reality to their digital romance reel. You do not know what happened before or after that picture was taken. And you do not know the fight they gave to make it to their next anniversary. Keep your eyes on your own marriage and be thankful for what you have. Chances are, there was once a day you could only wish for it.
6. Counseling is for the crazies
Somehow counseling has gotten a bad rap and I think that is crap (Yep, that rhymed). So many couples would benefit from an hour once a month with a counselor but they are too prideful to schedule it. Do you drive your car for years without getting an oil change?
Do you let your house slip into decay or do you perform routine maintenance? Your marriage is no different! Take the initiative and sit down with a counselor and just talk some issues through. You have no idea how much this could change your marriage for the better.
7. You are too young/old/broke to get married
This drive me bonkers! There is no perfect age to get married if so I would tell you and the whole world. There is also no perfect checking account balance or career placement or anything else for that matter.
Marriage is an adjustment no matter when you choose to enter into it, and no amount of money or trips around the sun will change that. It’s about commitment, keep that in mind and you will be just fine.
8. Marriage does not last
This is the absolute most irrational thought about marriage. I get it, though. Somewhere around fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. But guess what? That means about fifty percent of them make it. Marriage can be a lifelong union that only gets better with time, but you have to choose to stick it out.
Accept that there will be hard times and there will be days when you do not like the other person, but choose to love them anyway and you will get to the end of your life having lived a dream that most were never able to.
For better or worse, in sickness or health, ‘til death do you part. Marriage truly can be a beautiful thing, just keep in mind that it is not about the dress or the cake and there is no perfect person. If you can do that, I believe you will find your happily ever after, after all.