3 Unforgivable Lies That Destroy Marriages

These lies unglue your bond.

Last updated on May 23, 2024

Unforgivable lies that destroy marriage Drazen Zigic | Shutterstock

It's a lie that marriage is easy. The work can indeed be worthwhile — as fairy tale princesses and princes always knew.

Here are 3 unforgivable lies that destroy marriages:

1. Your true love will fulfill you

Sound familiar? It should. It is just one of the big marriage-destroying lies promoted by advertising, movies, and fake love stories. Other lies perpetuated include the idea your partner is there to make you happy and will always comfort you when you're sad and heal you when you're hurt.


Sadly, the more you need love, the more hurt you've been, and the more unfulfilled you are, the more you buy into the lie that it is your partner's job to keep you happy. This lie can kill your marriage. Of course, many more lies can creep into a marriage and cause damage. The lies we tell ourselves, the lies we tell because of shame, and the lies that hide basic betrayals that make rebuilding trust feel impossible.

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2. Your partner's job is to keep you happy

The best marriages are created by two people who can truly know themselves and each other. Remember fairy tales? Happy endings come after the beautiful princess has endured cruelty, falsity, and hard work. She has remained strong in her goodness, bravery, and desire for love. The prince has worked to overcome obstacles as well. Relationship experts have come up with different theories and therapies that tell us humans are pretty good at falling in love with people who bring up hidden hurts. Of course, not on purpose. Sayings like "You can't heal what you can't feel" suggest that we unconsciously choose someone who will evoke past pain. And, just as your partner unintentionally uncovers your hidden wounds, you're going to uncover theirs.

Couple argue after lie destroys their marriage Ekateryna Zubal via Shutterstock

3. Love is perfect, and you'll always feel "in love"

Have you ever been with someone nice to everyone else and fallen in love with you, too? What happens if they hurt you? You try to tell them you're hurt, and they say you're accusing them of doing something wrong. Being nice is how they've gotten on in the world, how they've succeeded — everyone else thinks they're great — and here you are, telling them they are not good enough. You protest that's not what you're telling them, and they get angry. You get more hurt, and angry because they're not listening, and if you're not careful, what started as a pinprick becomes a volcano. But we've lied to and convinced ourselves our love should be perfect, so this comes as a total shock.


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Here's how can you fight our culture's basic love lies:

1. Know that no emotions are bad

In any full life, you will feel them all. Become capable of feeling without blaming. This is crucial to building and experiencing good relationships. Being angry doesn't mean that someone has wronged you. You'll have a better chance of getting to the bottom of things if you can stand your anger long enough to calm down and know what happened.

2. Become capable of feeling without acting

Feeling desire and excitement about someone other than your spouse doesn't mean you have to be physically intimate with them. You may decide to, but you'll be better off if you hold the charge and excitement enough to decide if it's worth the betrayal. And make no mistake, this is a betrayal no matter how open your relationship is. Feelings are like the weather — there's a whole spectrum of them, and some are hard to take. Becoming more capable of knowing and handling the spectrum sets you up for attracting a good mate and building strong love.


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3. Remember that lies to ourselves destroy marriages

Sarah, a beautiful 22-year-old, fell in love with Peter's adoration of her. She tried to ignore that she didn't feel as much for him, and the attention she got from men helped her avoid facing her insecurities. She never admitted how much she craved that attention. Three years into their marriage, she had an affair. They patched things up, but six months later, she repeated the mistake. After a third fling, they divorced, which is where they were headed before they even reached the altar.

Gage was ashamed of having been a drug addict. By the time he met Li, he only smoked occasionally. He said he couldn't tell Li because she was against using substances of any kind, even medication, to alter moods. If Gage was really over smoking pot, he probably would have told Li about it in one of the many conversations they had about their pasts. When he started smoking again under stress, and when I found out, she insisted that he'd never been who she thought he was, and he insisted that she was trying to control him.

Reportedly Johnny Cash's marriage to June Carter survived an infidelity with her sister. A betrayal that big is likely to be outed. Once it's known, it can erode a couple's belief in their specialness to each other and destroy any boundary of safety they've built. Sadly, few of us learn how to ride out our strong feelings. Often that's our job in our adult love relationships. How will you bring truth, honesty, and bravery into your marriage?


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Carol Freund, LCSW, practices holistic counseling and psychotherapy. Carol loves working with people to get their desires for love and their lives more in sync with each other.