5 Beliefs You Think Help Your Marriage (But Really Don’t)

5 Beliefs You Think Help Your Marriage (But Really Don’t)

When you get married, everyone gives you relationship advice. And after you get married, you learn some pretty good things along the way. You learn them from friends, relatives, magazines, TV and other places some things to help make a good relationship. And you accept some of these things as cold, hard truths that will definitely help your relationship. The only problem is, some of the actually don’t. In fact, some of them are actually harmful to your marriage. Here are five things that you think are helping your relationship but actually aren’t.

5 Things That Are Harming Your Relationship:

1) “Happy Wife, Happy Life”.  Everyone’s heard the saying “Happy Wife, Happy Life”. The principal behind it is that if the wife is happy this will make the relationship happy – and when the relationship is happy, then both spouses will be happy. But this is very damaging to your relationship. This puts the focus on one spouse in the relationship. It also perpetuates an erroneous belief that women are the backbone of relationships and men’s roles are mainly to woo and romance their wives. This is unhealthy for your marriage because it puts undue stress on both partners to fulfill erroneous roles that aren’t very satisfactory.
Solution: Instead of focusing on the wife, focus on both of you together as a couple. If either of you are not feeling happy, bring it up to your spouse as a request for them to help you in the relationship. This allows both of you to get your needs met and opens the lines of communication. It gives both partners an equal voice in the direction of the relationship and ensures that both partners’ needs are being met
2) Sex is Not Important In Your Marriage. This one is well-intended advice. It means to not put too much emphasis on sex in a relationship because there are times when sex won’t happen and you need to still be able to love each other, anyway. But too many spouses take this to mean that sex is not important at all in a marriage. This is harmful in many ways. First, humans are sexual creatures. And denying your spouse sexual expression denies them a very basic human need. Second, sex is a great way to show affection, connection, and unique expression in your marriage.

Solution: Recognize that sex actually is important to a marriage. Try to meet your spouses’ sexual needs and sexual requests. Make it a form of communication in your marriage. If there are problems between the sheets, there are problems in the marriage.

3) Never Go To Bed Angry. This one’s pretty bad. It assumes that there are solutions to every problem and that you can put a deadline on your spouse to come up with a solution. But couples who try to create deadlines to solutions usually end up with pretty bad solutions.

Solution: Don’t impose deadlines on solutions. Take your time and make sure you and your spouse are both being heard and validated. Create solutions only after both of you feel like you’re interests are being considered. That’s when the really good solutions happen.

4) Thinking Your Spouse Comes First. A recent article stated that Marriage Isn’t For You – it’s for your spouse, to make them happy. It’s a romantic idea to put your spouse first and everything else will fall into place but it’s not actually true. From what I know, there are no magic buttons in the universe to “make” your spouse happy. And there’s not another magic button that somehow makes the rest of your life fall into place just because your spouse is happy. Happiness is a personal responsibility.

Solution: Recognize the need for balance in a relationship. Do some sincere soul searching and recognize times when you’re taking too much and when you’re giving too much. Give yourself permission to make requests to your partner about how they can help the relationship and be willing to sincerely listen to your spouse when they make requests to you.

5) Thinking Your Children Come First. Children are important. There’s no question about that. But too many spouses think that if they put their children first, they’re being a good parent. The reality is that by putting your children first, you’re necessarily putting your spouse second (or lower). Sure, your spouse is an adult and can care for themselves but putting your spouse second to your children is actually damaging your relationship. It’s damaging because in order to be a good parent, you have to be able to show your children what a good relationship looks like. And if you’re not being a good spouse, you’re not being a good parent. And they’ll grow up thinking that the distance they see between their parents is normal – even healthy.

Solution: Put your spouse first. This doesn’t mean you have to treat your children like chopped liver. Your children are important. And they can still be important, as well as giving them all the time and attention they need, even though you’re putting your spouse first. Remember, you were a spouse before you were a parent. And as an adult, you need to have a healthy adult relationship with your spouse regardless of how important your children are.

3 Responses to 5 Beliefs You Think Help Your Marriage (But Really Don’t)

  1. Hi Aaron! Great points – love this "Give yourself permission to make requests to your partner about how they can help the relationship and be willing to sincerely listen to your spouse when they make requests to you." That is such a key to soooooo many things!

    I think the balance of the happy wife is remember it goes both ways – if something is wrong in my hubby's universe, nothing is right in my world. Which is just the echo of balance you mentioned.

    Thanks for modeling to the world what healthy marriages can be like!


  2. Coming from a broken marriage I agree with all your views on these "tips" – If you find happiness for yourself those around you will be happy. Its that simple. I think rushing into marriage is a big mistake!!

  3. Thanks Maggie,

    Too often we hear our spouse give us demands. And when we hear them like demands we get irritated or annoyed by them. But when we hear them as requests we take it a lot better than if we hear them as a demand. And when we give our spouse a request, they take it a lot better than when we give them a demand. And when they meet our requests (not our demands) it makes us feel so much closer to each other.

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