3 “Truths” about Marriage Your Mother & Therapist Never Told You

May and June are two of the most popular wedding months. The weather is beautiful and the winter doldrums are a distant memory. While planning for their weddings, many couples get caught up in the nitty gritty details and obsess over the silliest things – like the color of the ribbon on the wedding program. But if we are being totally honest about it, does anybody really care? I think we all know the answer!

Below are 3 simple “truths” about marriage that every bride and groom must focus on and remember if you want to live “happily ever after.”

  1. Truth #1: You are NOT changing HIM (or HER). Many couples get married with the false belief that once they are married they will change their spouse into whom they want them to be – not who they are. As we use to say in Brooklyn, NY – forggetabotit! Seriously, this is not going to happening. Going into your marriage with this false expectation will merely leave you disappointed – at best, and furious, frustrated and resentful – at worse.
  2. Truth #2:You will go to bed angry at each other. Do NOT believe all the baloney out there, espoused by the so-called “relationship experts” who insist you should never go to bed angry with your spouse. This is just a totally unrealistic expectation and you would do yourself a huge favor to unshackle yourself from this myth. Marriage is hard work and conflict occurs in the healthiest relationships. Why? It is impossible to join two lives together, raise kids, hold down jobs, pay bills – and add any other life stressors you want to the mix – and not have disagreements. Sure, it doesn’t serve you well to sweat the small stuff, but differing opinions regarding finances, discipline, etc. can amount to a huge divide in your lifestyle, and emotions may run high when discussing these highly charged topics. Therefore, you will go to bed angry at each other. The key is to keep that angry feeling compartmentalized to the specific issue at hand and not allow it to permeate your overall feeling(s) for your spouse. You may vehemently dislike his/her attitude towards perhaps saving money, but that doesn’t mean you have to vehemently dislike him/her.
  3. Truth #3:You will say things to each that you swore you would never say to each other. As mentioned in truth #2, marriage is hard work. Two people enter a marriage coming from two very different families, even if the couple is of the same ethnic, religious and socio-economic background. No two families are the same! Since our family-of-origin is our template for how a family functions (or dys-functions!) a couple brings different personal realities into a marriage, leading to inevitable strain and stress – the very conditions under which we do and say things we don’t really mean. Not that this excuses our behavior; I’m only trying to explain it! The key here is to be quick to forgive, assuming the statements and behaviors are not egregious.

We are all starry-eyed as we walk down the aisle, (and this is normal) but don’t be blinded by unrealistic expectations from your marriage or your partner!

Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,

Dr. Patty Ann


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