Marriage is rewarded with gifts, tax breaks, and shared health insurance. The pooling of resources makes it easier to rent a nicer apartment, buy a house, and even travel.
Directly and indirectly, we are told marriage will make you happy, but will it?
A happy marriage does a lot for health, wealth, and personal fulfillment. One study from 2010 found that marriage is as stabilizing as earning over $100,000 a year and the health equivalent of quitting smoking, but an unhappy marriage undoes all that and then some.
Sometimes you have to take off the rose-colored glasses and really understand the common things that you would normally think are all you need when you are married are really not. Marriage is so much more.
Here are five marriage myths that can challenge even the most promising marriages:
1. Love is all you need.
While it’s certainly a prerequisite, it won’t get you much farther than the altar. Communication, shared values, tolerance, realistic expectations, commitment, and kindness are just a few necessary requirements for a good marriage.
We all wish love was all you need to have a happy and successful marriage, but we all know that’s not the case.
So, before you say “I do,” really have those hard conversations that need to happen so you are on the same page. It will keep you from being blindsided later on after the honeymoon.
2. You complete each other.
Complementing each other is definitely a benefit of a good relationship, but expecting another person to make up for your shortcomings is an unrealistic expectation. And you cannot fix your partner, so you have to love them for who they are and accept their past.
You are who you are and no one can change you or your partner.
3. You share everything.
Sharing may be caring, but sharing everything is unrealistic, too. What will be shared and what will be kept separate is different for every couple. Telling yourself otherwise just creates another problem.
4. Babies bring you closer.
Babies definitely make parents forever entwined, but several studies show that the birth of a first child often pushes people apart. I’d say the worst loneliness is one felt in a relationship because it contradicts everything we expect to feel.
Having a baby can make your relationship tense and frustrating, especially if you aren’t getting enough sleep.
5. Everything will fall into place with Mr. or Mrs. Right.
How often have you heard of people breaking up because “it shouldn’t be so hard”? While there may be some truth to that, expecting a relationship to run on autopilot if it’s right removes all responsibility from the only two people who can make it work.
Macy Cate Williams is the Senior Editor for Popsugar Shop. Follow her on Instagram for more.
This article was originally published at Popsugar Love. Reprinted with permission from the author.