Lies About Married Life
The multiplicity of lies many single people believe have terrible effects on their life as a single person. Some of these beliefs not only affect their singleness but later on affect their marriage as well. But, today I want to deal specifically with lies singles believe about what married life will be like.
If you ever want to get married and stay married for life, kill these lies now. Otherwise, believing these lies might kill your marriage later.
Lie: After We Get Married
They Will Change
Let’s start with this huge lie. After we get married they will:
- grow up
- lose their bad habits
- be more responsible
- love me more
- stop belittling me
- respect me more
- go to church with me more
- realize how lucky they are to have me
- stop trying to change me
- (insert your own wish/pipe dream here)
The truth? Who they are now is a pretty good indicator of who they will be after you get married. And, how they act now is pretty much how they will act after you get married. In fact, the sad truth is that in most cases the behaviors you don’t like get even worse after you get married. If they act unloving or disrespectful in their life as a single, they will probably do more of the same or worse in married life.
Marriage and Change
You are thinking that after you get married the reality of being a married person will help them straighten up. Meanwhile, they are thinking that once they get married they can finally relax and be who they really are because now they are married and no longer have to impress you.
The bottom line is that they may indeed change after you get married, but it might be for the worse instead of for the better. This could simply be irritating behaviors, but it could also be dangerous, reckless, or abusive behaviors. So, the best thing to do is to make sure of what kind of person someone is before you get too close or start thinking about marriage.
The worst thing you can do is get too close too quickly and get physically involved, then try to figure out if they are the kind of person you should marry. Once you are involved your rose-colored glasses are in place and you lose all objectivity. That’s when you start telling yourself lies about married life changing them.
Lie: After We Get Married
My Spouse Will Meet All My Needs
Okay, lie number two. After you get married your spouse will meet all your needs for:
- emotional support
- financial security
- (fill in your unmet need/unrealistic demand here)
The truth? Not only is that unrealistic but it is actually impossible for two people, no matter how much they love each other, to meet all of each other’s needs and fulfill all of each other’s desires. Most of us love our spouses dearly and will do all we can for them. But, we are only human. There are limits to what we can do for each other. But there are no limits on what we can expect from each other. So, you can see the inherent problem there.
That is one of the reasons I always stress the importance of thriving as a single person first. Going into a marriage needy sets your up for a dysfunctional marriage. Going into a marriage with all kinds of unrealistic expectations leads to disappointment. And, each of you having your own list of things you expect the other to do for you, sets you up for a life of frustration with marriage and with each other.
Marriage and Needs
Marriage is not about getting your needs met. Rather, it is about serving each other. It is about loving each other unconditionally with the understanding that you will each mess up at times and that neither of you is capable of meeting all of the others’ needs.
Some needs, such as emotional support, are a load that you should distribute among family, friends, and your spouse. Some needs, such as sex, can only be legitimately met by your spouse. In that case, it is up to you to make sure that your expectations are realistic and in line with your potential spouse’s expectations, desires, and capabilities.
Lie: After We Get Married
We’ll Figure It Out
This is the last lie I will deal with today: after we get married we’ll just figure it out. We are taught by society that love conquers all. If you find that special someone it all just works out. When you combine that with the lack of teaching and training most people receive about marriage it is easy to see why so many marriages struggle.
The truth? Premarital counseling is a really good thing and the more aspects of life you talk through before you get married the better your marriage will be. Why leave something as important as marriage to chance? With all that is at stake, should you really just try to “wing it”?
Talk It out
Before you get married you should have a series of honest discussions with your fiancé. Since money, sex, and child-rearing are the biggest three things that drive couples apart, start there. Discuss every conceivable aspect of those three things.
Good marriages stem from intimacy. Intimacy comes from knowing each other – well intimately. So, don’t hold anything back. How do you prioritize what you do with your money? Are there any sexual positions, activities, or fantasies that you expect to or expect not to participate in? How do your family and friends raise their children? Were you both raised the same way?
Then, once you have thoroughly talked through those things, move on to everything else you can possibly imagine. What are your expectations regarding:
- gender roles
- division of housework
- food/eating out/cooking
- work schedules
- sleeping and waking schedules
I could go on and on. Seriously, the more things you talk about openly and honestly, the better you get to know each other. And the better you know each other, the more you are prepared for married life.
What Worked For Me
Before I remarried, my fiancé and I went through premarital counseling. We also used a book called 100 Answer to 100 Questions You Should Ask Before You Say I Do * to help us think through and talk about a large range of subjects. The time we spent talking through those things was precious and helped draw us together. As a result, we went into married life with realistic expectations and have had minimal disappointments.
*Affiliate Link – Please purchase through this link to help support this blog.
Lies vs Truths
Lie: They will change all those things I don’t like after we get married.
Truth: They probably will change – for the worse.
Lie: My spouse will meet all my needs.
Truth: It is impossible for your spouse to meet all your needs and it is impossible for you to meet all of your spouse’s needs.
Lie: We’ll figure it all out after we get married.
Truth: If you want a good marriage, start planning for it now and learn to talk about difficult subjects with anyone you might be seriously interested in.
Stop believing lies.
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