LIE 1: ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
Marital bliss is a myth. The type of unconditional love that one has for their own children, doesn't and shouldn't exist between marital partners. We live in a culture that stresses a preoccupation with personal happiness above all and a belief that marriage is the solution to life's problems and essential for personal happiness. This type of thinking leaves people unskilled in developing and managing intimate relationships and couples who have little appreciation for the true difficulties and complexities of married life.
LIE 2: I TALK ALL THE TIME; MY SPOUSE JUST DOESN'T LISTEN
Most of us talk ourselves to death but we actually communicate very poorly. We are encouraged to be open about our feelings but very few of us know how to speak or listen effectively. Relationship experts advise us to tell it like it is and be brutally honest to our partners but the truth is that brutal honesty often encourages brutality more than honesty. Spouses use their version of the truth to bludgeon their partners into submission.
LIE 3: PEOPLE DON'T REALLY CHANGE
Many today believe that deep down, people can't change much or that nothing in a marriage can change unless both partners change. These incorrect and pessimistic beliefs sabotage efforts to improve the marriage. Most people go about trying to change their relationships in unproductive ways, get frustrated by the results and then claim that this outcome proves that people don't change, but even if one partner is adamantly set against change, there's a lot the other partner can do.
LIE 4: WHEN YOU MARRY, YOU CREATE YOUR OWN FAMILY LEGACY
You may live far away from your family of origin, but now that you have your own family, their grip on you is tighter than ever. When we become husbands, wivesand parents, the models and issues we saw within our families of origin emerge and take over our relationships. Our grandparents were likely to live close to their parents (if not in the same house), see each other often and stay personally involved in each other's lives. Today, in our highly mobile society, we tend to live farther from our parents. Paradoxically, their influence may be greater than ever. Spouses who don't appreciate the power their original families exert on their values and styles tend to face problems in their marriages.
LIE 5: EGALITARIAN MARRIAGE IS EASIER THAN TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE
In the newer, egalitarian model of marriage, the expectation is that while not every chore will be split halfway, family responsibilities should be divided fairly, and decisionmaking power will be shared. The husband in this model respects his wife's work and shares in family life, never insisting on being in control based on financial earnings or gender. Equality in theory is wonderful; in reality, but spouses in trouble often are conflicted over gender role expectations and responsibilities.
LIE 6: CHILDREN SOLIDIFY A MARRIAGE
Let's speak the unspeakable: Children are an enormous threat to your marriage. It's very, very difficult to admit that the children you love so much can drive a wedge into your life as a couple. However,the reality is that in a world where spouses already work too hard and don't spend enough time with each other, the addition of children usually eats up the remaining physical and emotional energy you had for each other. Even when you love your children fiercely, even when you think you are prepared for the tremendous dislocation they would cause, children can tear your marriage down to its bedrock.