Here are three of the most popular myths about marriage:
1. I’ll never feel lonely again
2. If we have good sex, we’ll have a good marriage
3. My spouse should make me happy
We assume that securing a life partner will ‘cure’ us of feeling lonely (and a host of other painful emotions). But as humans, we’re endowed with the ability to experience ALL EMOTIONS from time to time throughout our lives. It’s normal to feel painful emotions (including loneliness) from time to time, whether or not we’re partnered up.
Great sex is awesome and might imply that the rest of the ways to connect with our partner will also be good. However, good sex is very different from the skills needed for a good marriage: the ability to express and receive love in several ways, the tools to communicate effectively, and the desire and effort to resolve differences in a healthy way.
We’re sold the idea that if we choose the right spouse, he or she will complete us/fulfill what’s been missing/make us feel happy. In reality, it’s our job to get our own needs met, to find our own happiness and purpose, and to be able to meet life on life’s terms. It is not our partner’s job to fill our lives or to make us feel good.
I hope this new perspective normalizes why your own marriage hasn’t been meeting these popular myths – your marriage isn’t supposed to be! Instead, having a spouse can be a unique and wonderful intimate relationship to add to an already full and fulfilling life.
If these myths are causing issues in your marriage, we can help you to set realistic expectations for your partner. Please feel free to contact us at 908-246-3074, or email us at GetSupport@CouplesTherapyCenterOfNJ.com to schedule an appointment.