When we operate out of false assumptions, we are setting ourselves up for failure. According to the Huffington post, marriage is one of the oldest social, economic, religious, and legal institutions in the world. With that being said, there is so shortage of opinions or myths as it relates to the subject. This type of unconventional wisdom can often contribute to unrealistic expectations some may have as it relates to marriage as well. We wanted to take a moment to address some of the myths we have come across that were totally a contradiction to the reality of a committed relationship.
NEVER GO TO BED ANGRY
Never go to bed angry is common advice given to couples. Even in the good book, the Bible advices us not to let the sun go down on our anger. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should go to bed angry, trust me it happens. Research indicates that about two thirds of recurring issues in relationships are never solved because of personality differences. When couples argue, sometimes their conversations get really intense. There are times when situations that occurs may cause anger. By being angry, there is an increased heart rate, cortisol in the bloodstream, perspiring, etc. this makes it impossible for anyone to have a rational discussion. The best thing in those instances is for the conversation to end until both parties have calmed down and can have a rational conversation. Depending on the person, sometimes, people just need to sleep on it. Forcing someone to talk about something they are not ready to speak about rationally is unfair. It puts unnecessary pressure on the relationship and everyone deserves a proper night rest. In the event where the sun is going down in the midst of intense fellowship, strive to be the bigger person. I know it’s easy to be petty and give the silent treatment. At the least, say I love you and good night, even if you can’t solve the issue before the night ends. If your mate chooses to stay angry, allow them space to do so.
I can remember a particular time that Luther and I had a disagreement about a job change before we went to bed. He really wasn’t up for hearing my opinion on it, and the conversation was getting intense because he wasn’t hearing me out. In most cases, I would have forced my opinion in the situation but I was too tired to argue. I just simply said, ”okay fine, I love you and goodnight”. I’m usually the one in the relationship that cannot sleep with unresolved issues. That night, I made a choice to just pray about it and let it go. I went to sleep and woke up the next day. I wanted to try to pick up from where I left off and have an attitude. Instead, I shifted my mind and started my day with prayer. I got up and made a conscious decision to let it go. We talked that morning and went on about our day like nothing ever happened. This is rare because sometimes, I cannot let things go and feel there should be a need to talk. Instead, I used actions instead of my words. Luther took the job position without hearing my thoughts. A lot of things happened that I predicted with the change in jobs as it related to the flow of our family. I heard my peace and handled it even when it was discouraging. It was 4 months later before he was open to hearing my thoughts about his job change and how it affected myself and the kids. This time when we held the conversation, we were both able to be rational. He was open to my thoughts, and believe it or not, we both felt the same way and sat down and discussed. Going forward we handled the situation knowing it was probably just going to be temporary in our lives.
HAVING KIDS BRINGS COUPLES CLOSER
Children do not bring couples closer! Actually, in some instances, they cause more confusion. Moving from couple to family is a big deal. Yes, we marvel romance around with our bundles of joy in in the beginning stages. Of course, we enjoy the moments of their first steps, first words, graduation from kindergarten and all of the many milestones of parenting. However, changing diapers, making bottles, going to school programs, sports events and dealing with discipline can be really exhausting. Not to mention, if the pregnancy is unplanned, there are additional stress factors added to this major life change for the both of you. Whether the babies are planned or unplanned, children create opportunity for team work and a legacy, but they do not bring togetherness between you and your partner.
Neither one of our children were planned. For two young adults working, going to school full time, it was extremely difficult. There were many times when both babies put a strain on our romance. Date nights became necessary and paying a baby sitter had to become a regular part of our budget just to get enough time to connect with each other. When our children got older, they sometimes tried to play us against each other so as to get what they want. Communication is essential in these instances. When parenting in order to bring a sense of unity, double checking and confirming with each other as the adults in the house is imperative. Even though communication is imperative, there’s a needs to maintain a good balance. When children come along, a great deal of the couple’s conversation becomes about the children. Sharing their strides and watching them grow is so rewarding and gratifying. It is an honor to be a parent, however, that does not bring togetherness in a union.
HAPPY COUPLES DON’T ARGUE
That’s not true! We do. Happy couples do argue, but more or less like a brother and sister, but not Ike and Tina Turner. When you are in a negative space in your marriage, there is a possibility that arguments can last longer than needed. When you are happy, you are able to offset arguments with fun and laughter. We tend to go back and forth a lot in our marriage. We converse and don’t agree on many things. There have been times when conversations have gotten more escalated than necessary. The truth is, you can become rather passionate in trying to get your partner to understand your thoughts on a subject. And guess what? Sometimes, they never will. What we have learned is that couples that avoid conflicts have a very peaceful existence. On the flip side, they end up leading parallel lives that cause a disconnection from each other. It’s always good to know which battles are worth picking and which are not. It’s good to have an open communication. Early in my marriage, I used to think that something was odd with my husband and I because we always are disagreeing and debating. Then as time went on, I realized that most of the couples that ”did not argue” ”always agreed” had the biggest, and largest blow ups. Some of them were so extreme, they were beyond repair. This is why it is extremely important to not compare. Just know, couples may quarrel, and be happy with being together.
IF THEY LOVE ME THEY WILL CHANGE
Don’t get your hopes up. Yes, marriage will certainly change you. It will also stretch you and grow you. That’s the beauty of being loved for better or for worse. However, no matter how many demands we make, a person will only change if they want to. There is nothing wrong with accountability, but we are who the ones that flaws. If there happens to be an area that your partner should work on, of course hold them accountable. Instead of worrying about what your partner needs to change, focus on what you need to change instead. In a relationship, it takes two people to change. Unless there is abuse or chronic infidelity, all changes in the relationship will require some give and take from both people. Change is inevitable. It’s going to happen. Allow your partner to make the necessary changes to be the best version of themselves. It’s okay to make suggestions but don’t put high expectations on a person to change and make you happy. We have to remember that all humans, (even our companions), deserve to be loved and respected, for who they are, and where they are.
YOUR SPOUSE SHOULD BE YOUR BEST FRIEND
Marrying your best friend is the ultimate goal. A common sentiment that flies around in the air. I would be minimizing my husband’s role in my life by calling him my best friend. ‘Analogous” but not the same. Strive to be best friends and you may be aiming too low. Important foundation but…..SPECIAL AND SACRED is the difference between a husband and a wife. Why would you get married aiming for shorter than the maximum level of togetherness? My husband is great! He is a great friend, he protects me, has my back, provides things for myself I sometimes didn't even know I needed until he exposed me to it. My mate educates me, enlightens me, discovers parts of my soul and spirit without limitation, loves me with very minimal conditions, we get intimate on deep levels I could go on and on. To declare he is my best friend would be falling into the common clichés. My spouse is one of the most important people in my life, and so instead of equating him to just being my best friend, I have learned to give him a category of his own. HUSBAND. The truth is when we call our mates our best friends, we hold them at a high regard to do things that your best friends do. I believe your friends serve one purpose and your spouse serves another. However, if a person does not have many friends to begin with, it is quite possible for a spouse to be given to best friend title. Friendship is a must in a marriage. It’s just as imperative as love and forgiveness. Best friends outside of your mate, can be outlets to your relationship needs. Best friends that do everything together can also create monotony. I don’t knock anyone, and again the blog is called Be Your OWN relationship goals. I will be honest that our relationships is stronger because my husband is NOT my best friend. Once I ditched the expectation of the cliches, things began to be smoother for me. I can’t expect him to want to hear about topics like make-up, shopping, and all of the girly things my best-friends and I talk about. I am sure that if I shared, he would respectfully listen. This could also be because I have some great best friends that I have known just as long as my husband. They've been around just as long as he has. To be honest when we had break ups while dating, they were still there by my side. Our marriage has great purpose and connectivity. We are joined in love by our souls. It doesn’t get any better than having a husband or wife. Now, I realize my perspective just may not fall in line with the popular vote. It's quite contrary. This could be because I do have some pretty great best friends. But guess what? I've only got ONE husband. He is a great husband and MY BEST HUSBAND. To me there is just nothing greater than that.