10 Myths About Marriage Vows that a Couple Should Avoid
Marriage Vows: How Your Nuptials Actually Create Marriage Myths
Vowing to spend the rest of your lives together is a wonderful promise, but what do your marriage vows actually mean?
There are many thoughts and misconceptions about what it means to be husband and wife. Many young couples may have the misguided thought that tying the knot means that any problems that are in their relationship will vanish before their eyes or that issues of poor communication or infidelity will disappear now that they've made their love official.
The truth is, no matter how long you've been together or whether or not you're married, couples will always have something new to learn about managing a successful relationship.
Whether you have just exchanged marriage vows or still have a couple of months before you walk down the aisle, don't get sucked in by these 10 marriage myths.
1. Marriage will change things.
Many couples believe that once they get married, whatever disagreements and differences they have will magically disappear.
This, unfortunately, isn't the truth.
While you may experience a temporary honeymoon period of affection and love toward one another, the truth is that any problems you were having before you got married will still be waiting for you once you become an officially recognized couple.
2. Sex is a given.
Sex is an important part of your marriage. It's a way for you and your spouse to develop a deep emotional and physical bond. It strengthens your relationship against infidelity and boosts bonds of trust. But being married doesn't automatically mean that you get sex whenever you want.
You must show respect for your spouse's desires. Take care of them inside and outside the bedroom and they'll be more likely to desire physical intimacy with you.
3. Only unhappy couples fight.
Traditional Cherokee Native American wedding blessings end with the beautiful note that, "With all the forces of the universe you created, we pray for harmony as we grow forever young together."
Harmony isn't always going to be in the cards for you and your spouse. Yes, even the happiest of lovers will still find a reason to argue on occasion.
Combat the negative association with arguments by viewing such disagreements as an opportunity to practice partnership, cooperation, and to compromise with one another.
4. For Richer or Poorer
"I (NAME) take you, (NAME), to be my (HUSBAND/WIFE) to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer."
These Protestant marriage vows suggest that being together under financial strain is easy to do when, in fact, studies show that not only is money one of the most salient and repetitive arguments between partners, but low-income families are more likely to be affected by mental health disorders and severe stress.
In order to prevent this marriage myth from hurting your relationship, be sure to talk about budgeting, saving, and spending before you get married—not after!
5. I have the right to privacy.
Secrecy is the enemy of marriage. Of course, there are always little things that you probably shouldn't say out loud. For example, when your wife asks you if she looks overweight in her dress, your answer should probably be "You look beautiful!" no matter what you really think.
But there is a level of transparency you must have in marriage in order to make your partnership a success. Be open and honest with one another and do not keep secrets, hidden money, passwords, or conversations.
6. Sickness—it’ll never happen to me!
You've likely heard the marriage vows to love each other in sickness and in health, but most couples don't anticipate falling sick anytime soon.
The truth is that time and unforeseen occurrences can befall us all. If your spouse ends up chronically ill or disabled, remember the power behind your marriage vows.
It will not be easy to care for someone who needs constant help, but with an understanding heart and open communication, you and your partner will get through your troubled times.
7. You’ll agree on everything.
If you and your spouse have radical disagreements about such things as religion, politics, or the desire to start a family, it would be unwise to go into your marriage believing that these opinions will suddenly change.
No, you won’t always agree on everything. Even the big things in life. But true happiness comes from open communication with your spouse. You may not always agree on things, but it is how you handle those disagreements that will truly define your success as a couple.
8. Happiness is guaranteed.
Traditional Hindu marriage vows state, "Let us take the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust."
This is an absolutely beautiful sentiment, but it is empty if the couple saying it doesn't put forth the effort to make it happen.
Mutual love and trust are not created through words but through action and behavior.
Build trust by living up to your word, building emotional intimacy, and putting a value on your partnership.
9. Communication is natural.
Actually, for many couples—it isn’t! Just because you’re now married doesn’t mean that you will always know how to talk to each other.
Studies show that communication is positively related to sexual satisfaction and relationship quality.
Practice healthy communication by having monthly “marriage check-ins” where you can talk to one another, judgment-free, about what’s going on in your marriage. The good and bad! Use “I” statements to convey how you feel without attacking your partner and listen respectfully when your spouse speaks to you.
10. You'll never cheat.
In Baptist marriage vows, both partners agree to love each other, "forsaking all others," and to "remain true to each other" as long as they both shall live.
This is something that most couples want to achieve—fidelity.
But people are imperfect, and sometimes they do things that deeply hurt the people they love the most.
There is no pain that cuts quite as sharply as infidelity. Having an emotional or physical affair with someone outside of your marriage is the ultimate betrayal and the damaged trust along the way can take years to repair.
Being married does not protect your relationship from the potential for cheating, but you can help prevent cheating from happening by placing a high priority on date night and the quality time you spend together as a couple.
Marriage vows are a wonderful part of the wedding tradition. Just remember that it takes more than saying these lovely words out loud for them to come true.
Couples must come together and put time, effort, love, and energy into making their relationship a true success. They can do this by communicating openly and spending quality time together regularly.