There are many relationship myths that have been floating around for decades. Many couples often feed into the myths and it can bring forth troubles into the relationship. Sometimes even taking relationship advice from a friend who believes in these myths can spell trouble. Every relationship isn’t perfect and goes through its own set of challenges as the relationship naturally progresses. Below is a list of the top 10 relationship myths you should know before getting married and why you shouldn’t buy into them.
1. The Honeymoon Phase Might Be a Myth
While it’s commonly believed that the honeymoon phase in a relationship fizzles out, there’s proof it’s more based on myth than reality. Researchers have found that couples are at their happiest after their first year of marriage. Newlyweds have even reported feeling less happy than couples who have been married longer. This is thought to be because of a “wedding hangover”, or a sadness that happens once the wedding is over and married life begins.
2. Opposites Last Longer Than Those Who Are Similar
A popular saying goes “Opposites attract…” and that is mostly true that people do tend to seek out others and are attracted to those that differ from them initially. Evidence shows that similarity in values, ideas, and lifestyles hold a relationship together for the long term. In the beginning stages, fascination between opposites generally is what keeps the relationship going but once that fades away, the relationship tends to break down. Those that share similarities also share that feeling of fascination and over time that fades, but they still maintain a comforting feeling and companionship because of the shared interests.
3. Couples Should Live Together Before Getting Married
Most still hold onto the belief that living together before getting married will prepare them and that the relationship will be stronger or last longer. This has proven to have the opposite effect through the “cohabitation effect”. Most couples that live together before getting engaged are more likely to end up divorced. Those who are engaged and live together prior to getting married don’t experience the same negative effects as those who are not engaged before living together. It’s believed that couples that decide to get married after living together, do so out of comfortability or because they have been in the relationship for a while. While this cohabitation effect doesn’t affect all couples, it does favor those that make the commitment first.
4. Good Relationships Don’t Experience Arguments
Arguments are bound to happen regardless if you are opposites or are similar in nature. What matters is not if the couple is having an argument but how they are arguing. There are ways to argue that can be determinantal even if the topic is something small. Arguing productively means avoiding escalation and can result in resolutions, ways to handle similar situations in the future, and problem-solving. Over time, good relationships should experience less arguing provided the couple is working on their problem-solving skills.
5. If You Are Happy in Your Relationship, You Don’t Need to Hang Out with Anyone Else
In a normal, healthy relationship this is just not the norm. Couples who are co-dependent on each other might see this differently and believe they need to not interact with others. This also goes for partners who are abusive too. Some abusive partners will alienate or try to control who their partner sees as a way to keep the other to themselves. In healthy relationships, couples are free to explore their hobbies both together and separate as well as hang out with their own set of friends.
6. Couples Counseling is For Failing Marriages
While it’s true that most couples seek out couples counseling when things are on the verge of failure, it doesn’t mean that seeing a therapist before things go wrong is a bad thing. Couples counseling while everything is going well will only help things continue to go in a positive direction. This can range from working on problem-solving techniques, giving love and relationship advice, and help with adjusting to everyday life together.
7. Having a Child Will Ruin Wedded Bliss
Previous research has shown that the hardest time a couple goes through is after the birth of their first child. This research is flawed in that they didn’t follow up with the transition a couple goes through when they have a child. They only looked at the stages of life couples were in and compared them to other stages. When researchers actually took a look at the transition phase, they found that most couples felt their relationships with each other had improved. The strongest predictor of happiness after a child was born dealt with the household chores division. Women were reportedly more satisfied when the division of household chores was equal.
8. Relationships Don’t Require Work
Many people feel as though relationships should just ebb and flow naturally and if the relationship is meant to be then it will just work out on its own. This is simply an unrealistic expectation and is one of the most common relationship myths. Relationships take a lot of work even with the most compatible couples. Merging your own values, wants, needs, ideas, and desires with another person aren’t always easy, especially because these can change over time for both partners. Since we are constantly changing and growing as people, it’s only natural that our relationships will grow and change too. Seeing a couple’s counselor can give love and relationship advice to help you adjust to the changes that arise in a relationship.
9. Healthy Couples Have X Amount of Sex Per Month/Week/Day or Don’t Have Sex Once Married
Most couples report that the reason for sexual dissatisfaction is because of flawed expectations. If you are thinking sex should be 3 times a week but you are only having sex once, you might think there are problems in the relationship when there aren’t any. The amount of sex each couple has depends on so many different circumstances. This can range from the sex drive of each person, the opportunity to have sex, stress, work, sickness, and so on. Married couples report having more sex and better sex than unmarried or single counterparts. They also enjoy it more on an emotional and physical level too. Oftentimes, people will reach out to friends seeking relationship advice. This can be helpful but can also be hurtful. It’s best to reach out to your partner directly and have a discussion with them.
10. Never Go to Bed Angry
This is a popular old-fashioned saying that many still live by today in all relationships. When couples face conflict, it can sometimes lead to a point where it cannot be resolved right away. It’s unrealistic to expect some conflicts to be resolved right away in the midst of life. Sometimes work, children or the potential for escalation is there and it’s best if the argument is set aside for a cooldown. The important thing is to be sure to decide to continue the discussion or argument at a later time. This can help each partner with taking some time to think and then come back together when things have calmed and become a productive argument or discussion versus rushing to solve it.