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“It’s a prison”: 7 Misconceptions about Marriage

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i think i love my wifeBy Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

Conversations about love, relationships and marriage can get very interesting, whether they are in person, between friends or on talk shows or on social media. Sometimes people will allow one negative experience or overly romanticized images to color their perspective, while others will draw conclusions based on limited or no experience.

Here are 7 common misconceptions about marriage:

1. It’s a prison – We often hear jokes about people calling their spouse the “old ball and chain” or single people saying married people are on “lock down”. While there are people who go into marriage with unresolved emotional issues and end up suffocating their partners, it is not normal, or healthy to feel like you’re in prison when you are married. If you feel like you’re in prison, then you need to have a conversation with your spouse and establish a different pattern of behavior that allows each spouse to feel free and enjoy the relationship.

2. People pretend to be happy – A wise couple knows that if they are going through a rough patch (which all couples do), when they step out of the privacy of their bedroom, those issues need to be shelved for later. Many people make the mistake of thinking that couples who exercise the wise choice and maturity of keeping their disagreements behind closed doors are being “fake happy” when they are actually miserable.

3. It will make you happy – Miserable, single people who get married generally turn into miserable married people. Marriage won’t make you happy if you have not realized that happiness is an internal process and seeking it externally will only make you more unhappy.

4. It will make you miserable – Just like marriage can’t really make you happy, it can’t make you miserable either. There are extreme cases where being in a relationship with a very dysfunctional person (or being a dysfunctional person) can seem like marriage is making you miserable but it’s not the marriage; it’s the dysfunction.

5. You have to sweep problems under the rug – It’s a good idea to learn to pick your battles and let the little things go but that is not the same as sweeping problems under the rug. Pretending like you don’t have a problem when you clearly have one typically makes it worse. Couples who are deeply committed to making their marriage enjoyable and long lasting know that problems need to be put on the table and discussed. If there is no resolution, it is wise to get counseling from a trusted professional or someone (or another couple) that will help bring about a resolution.

6. It’s about love – It goes without saying that two people who are married must love one another but many people focus too much on the feeling rather than recognizing that it is much, much more. Loving another person is in your thoughts, words and actions. Sometimes the feeling deepens and at other times it will seem to disappear and that is why the marriage can’t just be about the feeling.

7. You can “change your mind” – Marriage is forever and the whole point of making a commitment is that you don’t get to change your mind. Unless there are some extenuating circumstances, any problems that arise must be resolved without breaking the commitment or ending the marriage.

At the end f the day, marriage is what you make it. If you give your spouse the love and nurturing that they need and keep the lines of communication open, you’re off to a good start. A healthy dose of affection and intimacy will also go a long way! *wink
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What other misconception about marriage have you heard of?

Nomalanga is a Life Balance Expert. Her speaking and coaching programs help busy women who struggle to balance Marriage, Motherhood and Money-Making™.  Nomalanga is an experienced instructor, author and avid blogger.

To find out how you can book Nomalanga to present at  your next conference or event, click here.