6 Myths People Believe When They Get Married That Set Them Up For Failure

An experienced therapist shares examples of times when traditional marriage advice is very wrong.

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Marriage is often considered the most sacred union two people can achieve together. But is your marriage subscribing to socially-accepted falsities?

The perception of what marriage is and how to make it work has evolved greatly over the years. A "successful" marriage in the mid-20th century was certainly defined differently than it is now. 

In fact, the biggest difference between then and now is that there are as many definitions of a "successful" marriage today as there are married couples. No one can define it for you. Only you and your partner know what works best for you.


Still, many traditional misconceptions about marriage linger. Below, you'll find a few of them to guard against as you and your partner shape your life together.

RELATED: 16 Marriage Myths You Should Never Believe If You Want Your Relationship To Last


Six myths people believe when they get married that can cause big problems later

1. Marriage is about compromise

Compromise is lose-lose decision-making. If I want to live in California and you want to live in Massachusetts, we'll both be unhappy in Kansas.

Instead, aim for win-win solutions. For example, live permanently in one of the two states and plan annual, long vacations to the other. Make both places feel like "home," with family friends, traditions, and favorite activities associated with each.

If you don't already know what might work for you, learn how to find them. Start with a conversation with your significant other. Ask one another what they want out of the relationship and your life together.

2. Someone is right and someone is wrong

That's an assumption that can sink your marriage ship. Instead, always assume that you both are intelligent people. That's part of why you chose each other.


So, look for what's right in all your partner tells you. Put that together with your perspective and you'll both head for greater wisdom.

RELATED: 5 Hard Truths About Being In A Traditional Marriage, As Told By A Divorce Coach

3. Don't go to bed mad

Actually, it's better to go to bed mad than to stay up late fighting that gets worse and worse the more fatigued you both become. If you're heading for a disagreement, stop talking. Hit the pillows instead to get a good night's sleep. The problem will still be there in the morning, but with rest, it's easier to talk calmly and find solutions. 

4. Old relationships inevitably get boring

Old relationships stay appealing and fun if a couple keeps finding appealing and fun activities to do, both together and alone. If you each keep your lives interesting, you'll find each other interesting, as well.


RELATED: 10 Relationship Experts Reveal The 'Best' Marriage Advice That's Actually Incredibly Dangerous

5. Your love is gone if seeing each other no longer sets off sparks

Love involves the perpetual discovery of new ways to enjoy intimate time together, even if, as it naturally happens, familiarity and age make initial arousal feelings gradually diminish. Really good marriage mates learn how to get the kindling lit so their sexual fires continue to flame.

6. If it's a good match, the partnership should just flow naturally

No way. Partnering takes skills and patience. Folks with smooth-flowing relationships have learned how to talk cooperatively, make decisions together collaboratively, clean up after upsets that enable them both to learn from their mistakes, send each other lots of positivity and interact with consistent goodwill and only the rarest of irritation. 


RELATED: 12 Golden Rules For A Happy Marriage

Harvard-educated psychologist and marriage counselor Susan Heitler, Ph.D. teaches couples skills for relationship success. Her book "The Power of Two: Secrets to a Strong and Loving Marriage" teaches the how-tos of having healthy partnerships in full detail

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