2 Myths About Marriage That Can Seriously Doom Your Relationship

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2 Myths About Marriage That Can SERIOUSLY Doom Your Relationship

This preventative "medicine" can make it last forever.

It’s happened again. A potential client scheduled an initial appointment but before I could even talk to him about his marriage challenges, he called and canceled. He and his wife decided to separate.

It’s just crazy. Getting marriage advice should be the first thing you do, not the last. Somehow, seeing a specialist or going to marriage counseling makes sense for everything but your relationship.

Most people don’t think twice about going to a doctor if their foot hurts or they’ve been coughing for weeks. But marriage? The average time from a problem being identified to getting help is 6 years — that's pretty much like coughing non-stop for years.

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It would drive you, and everyone else around you, crazy. Why do you think a challenge in your marriage is any different? How much time and energy is wasted ignoring a problem — or, worse, silently seething about it? You go to the doctor to stop the pain or to discover if there is something more serious happening. A marriage specialist can do the same thing for you.

It’s better to catch something at the pre-cancerous stage instead of waiting until you’re diagnosed at Stage 4. The treatment is easier, faster, more effective, and a lot less expensive and painful. Here are two major myths about marriage that can prevent people from seeking help and support early on:

1. People think relationships should be natural.

Running is considered natural, too, but I don’t think anyone looks twice at Usain Bolt having a coach to identify strengths and address challenges to ensure that he’s the fastest man in the world. No one thinks he’s crazy or that he should be able to analyze his performance on his own. Most people would wonder what he’s thinking if he didn’t have a coach.

If you played sports or music or danced, you had a coach or a teacher. Why? So you could learn the right technique and to improve under their guidance. So why not with your marriage? What could be more important?

2. People think their love is always going to be easy.

That's just not the case. Marriage, much like soccer, has rules. Kids can get together and kick the ball around but they’re not playing the game. Without someone to explain the rules and how to work as a team, they won’t get any better.

RELATED: 5 Signs You Need Couples Therapy Way More Than You Think You Do

People don’t see the need to get this information in the beginning of their relationships. They’re in love and have no problem spending all their time together in blissful agreement. What they don’t realize is that this is the effect of the chemical phenylethylamine, which is released by the brain when you fall in love.

But it comes with an expiration date. This chemical wears off after about four years and then you’re left facing life’s challenges with your normal brain and way of looking at the world. If you and your partner haven’t learned good relationship skills by then, your marriage is at risk for failure.

Every couple faces some challenge in one or more of these areas: money, intimacy, in-laws, children, household management, work/home balance, and individual/couple balance. Knowing how to negotiate through these challenges can make or break your marriage.

Because there are two of you, it’s often easier to put the blame on your partner when you can’t reach an agreement. You are unable to see your own contribution because you can’t see yourself objectively.

If you're a runner, you may think you’re getting off the blocks brilliantly, when your approach is actually costing you the race. Your coach will explain that to you, so you can fix it. 

In your relationship, you can’t hear your partner’s suggestions to do it differently and they can’t hear yours — because you’re both too emotionally involved. A marriage counselor can analyze your situation, identify where things are going off track, and provide suggestions for improvement without stirring up blame, guilt, or defensiveness. Their only goal is to help you succeed at the marriage game.

If you’ve ever taken a lesson from a golf pro to improve your swing, hired a personal trainer or nutritionist to help you get healthier, or sought out a mentor to help you advance in your job, you have made an investment in yourself. Doesn’t your marriage deserve the same?

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Lesli Doares is a therapist, coach, and the founder of foundationscoachingnc.com, a practical alternative for couple's worldwide looking to improve their marriage without traditional therapy.