There are six common marriage myths I've encountered. These myths are true for the vast majority of all romantic relationships, whether married or cohabitating, gay or straight, young or old. Avoid falling into these traps if you want to have a healthy and happy long term relationship.
1. The Myth of Change. Women (or the more feminine partner regardless of sex) tend to believe that they can change their partner. Men are highly unlikely to change in any significant way during their adult lives. There are rare cases when a man will undergo a spiritual transformation and change dramatically, but that’s not the norm. Women, if there’s something in your partner you don’t like and want him to change, either figure out how to deal with it or find someone else. Trying to change another person is a fool’s game, even if it’s in their best interest.
2. The Myth of Staying the Same. Men (or the more masculine partner) believe their partner will always be the sexy, attractive, attentive woman she was when you first started dating. Trust me, she won’t. She behaved in that way because she was trying to catch you. Once you’re caught, she will return to her normal behavior. That may be sexy, attractive and attentive, but not to the degree expressed during courting. You need to decide what you like about her; if it’s just the exterior, that’s not enough to sustain a long term relationship.
3. The Myth of "And the Two Become One". We expect that when we marry someone, we will do everything together, go everywhere together, begin to read each others minds, and eventually begin to look alike. This is the most dangerous of all the myths to the health of a long term relationship. You must maintain separate identities. When you lose yourself in a relationship, it is the beginning of the end. It may take years or even decades to realize it, but one day one or both of you will wake up and realize you’re absolutely miserable. Keep your friends, spend time with them on a regular basis, and maintain different interests from your partner.
4. The Happily Ever After Myth. We have been fed a story that when you find the love of your life (after searching through hill and dale for seven long years and slaying the dragon) you will live happily ever after. Sorry, but it doesn’t work like that. People are messy, with all our emotions and insecurities, personality quirks and habits. When you put two of us together for any length of time beyond the honeymoon phase, life gets messy. Even with the love of your life, there will be disagreements, misunderstandings, and challenging times.
5. The Love at First Sight Myth. Your eyes meet from across the room and your vision tunnels so that you can only see each other. You’re vaguely aware of fireworks going off around you as you move closer. Love at first sight. Yes, it happens. But when it does, it’s more about two souls connecting to share important life lessons. Important life lessons come as challenges and difficulties, compliments of your beloved. It is love, but it’s not that utopian fairy tail we’ve been fed.
6. The Myth of the Soul Mate. So often women asking me when and how they can meet their soul mate. They say it as if there is one perfect person for them somewhere out there. It’s not true. We all have more than one soul mate. Soul mates are members of our soul family. We incarnate at the same time to help each other learn the lessons we came here to learn. Soul mates can be romantic partners, but not all are. You can have more than one romantic relationship with a soul mate; each will have agreed to help you with a specific challenge. One might teach you to respect yourself, perhaps by disrespecting you until you say, “no more!” Another might remind you that you are worthy, or safe. Each one will help to lead you home to the deep love in your heart.