7 misconceptions that can hurt your marriage

Live Your Best Life

By Linda R. Harkcom,
Certified Comprehensive Coach and Certified Personal Coach Trainer™

Anyone who is or has been married knows that it is not all hearts and flowers. Instead marriage is about two people that love one another, committing to walking hand in hand through the journey that is life. On that journey they will experience many wonderful things but they will also face many challenges that they will have to rely on each other to get through. Many people have misconceptions about marriage should be like or how their partner should or shouldn’t act. These misconceptions can be dangerous to the health of the marriage. Here are just a few:

1) After the wedding we will live happily ever after.
When two people fall in love and decide they want to get married, the focus is usually on where to get married, who to invite to the wedding, where to live, ect. Often little thought goes into where will we be 5, 10, 20 years down the road and how are we going to get there. The focus is all on the hearts, flowers and happily ever afters. But marriage is not a fantasy it is real life and just like real life there are ups and downs, good times and bad and it is how the couple face these challenges that determines if the marriage will stay strong.

2) I don’t have goosbumps so I must not be in love.
Many people are very disappointed when the wedding is over and a few months or even a few years have gone by and the newness and excitement have worn off. They start to question whether or not they made a mistake and some even miss the excitement of a new relationship so much they begin to look outside of their marriage for what they feel they are missing.

What often they fail to notice is that what has taken the place of your heart racing when the phone rings and excitement and anticipation of seeing your spouse is replaced by something deeper and more meaningful. Just as we grow and change, love grows and changes as well. As love grows deeper and more meaningful, it is less about sex and excitement and more about being there for each other in good times and bad. Knowing that you have someone that will be there for you no matter what.

3) If he/she loves me they should know what I want and need.
This can be a biggie because it fosters non-communication. We have been conditioned by what I call romantic media (TV shows, movies, books, etc.) to believe that “If he really loved me he would know what I want.” This has resulted in innumerable fights for many couples, married and dating alike. One spouse feels the other should “know” what they need, want or want them to do, because if you really love someone or know someone you should know what they are thinking and feeling, right? WRONG! Unless you married a psychic it doesn’t happen that way. Couple this with the fact that men and women not only think differently but they was perceive things differently and you have a recipe for disaster.

4) I’ll be able to change him/her after we are married.
How many times have you heard someone say this? I knew a man who loved to hunt, still does to the point where it almost borders on obsession. He was engaged to a woman that knew about his passion but said “That is ok once we are married I will change him.” Well they married, a month later he went on a hunting trip, like he always did, and the next month she filed for divorce. My point is you have to love and accept the person for who they are, if you can not do that then don’t commit to spending the rest of your life with them. Now I’m not saying that people do not change, they do. But they change because they want to not because someone tries to force them.

5) Men and Women Communicate the same.
This is a common misconception. Men and women do not communicate the same and we do not process information the same way either. I never really got this until tow things happened. First I read Men Are From Mars And Women Are From Venus. Second, a good friend of mine gave my then boyfriend (now husband) and I her tickets to go see Defending The Caveman, which is showing in Pittsburgh in October. Both taught me that what I mean when I say something is not always the way my husband interprets it when he hears it and visa versa. I’ll give you an example that has become a running joke between my husband and myself. If we are going out for the evening after I get ready to go, sometimes I will ask him, “Do I look ok?” Now all you women reading this know that I want to hear, “Yes, darling. You look beautiful.” But what I get is, “You look fine.” UGH! Now to a man, it means pretty much the same thing as what I wanted to hear. To a woman it means, “You look like you jumped out of bed, through on clothes and ran a comb through your hair. If you really want to go out looking like that, ok.” Can you see this difference?

6) Having a child or another child will fix our marriage.
We all know someone or have heard of someone that has done this one and did it work? No. Raising children is hard work, rewarding but hard work and if a marriage is having trouble under everyday stresses adding a child to the mix just makes things even more stressful.

7) We have a happy marriage now so we’ll have one 10 years from now.
Many people think that just because their marriage is good today, it will be in the future, so they do not need to do anything but sit back and enjoy the ride. We all grow and change. That is the main reason we are here is to learn and grow into more enlightened beings. Well many 20, 30 and even 40 year marriages end because the couple did not grow together. He did his thing, she did her thing, they didn’t do much together unless it involved the kids. The kids grow up and move out and boom, there they are with nothing in common and they don’t even know each other any more. This happens more than many people realize. Don’t let this happen to you. Make a concerted effort to check in with each other on a regular basis and make sure you are both on the same page. Find some common interests outside of the children and most of all let each other know how much you appreciate each other.


Linda Harkcom offers one on one coaching, in person or via phone. She is also available for speaking engaements and offers private classes for groups of 5 or more. To register for a class or for more information please call 724-433-0444 or e-mail her at Linda@successcoachingservices.com.

Linda Harkcom is a Certified Comprehensive Coach and she is also a Certified Personal Coach Trainer, one of only 10 people in the world with this certification. She is a success coach who works with women and men seeking to bring balance, direction, and success into their lives. Linda has almost 30 years of marketing and public relations experience and has run her own marketing company, The Hark.com Marketing Company, for the past 20 years. She has combined her expertise in business, motherhood and marriage with specialized training from the Coach Institute to offer individual and group coaching sessions in which clients learn how to unlock their own possibilities and live a successful and balanced life. To schedule a free Conditional Consultation or to suggest a topic you would like Linda to write about contact her at 724-433-0444 or e-mail her at Linda@SuccessCoachingServices.com

What is Life Coaching?
Professional Life coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients activate the possibilities in their personal and professional lives. Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives by helping the client change success inhibiting beliefs, patterns, actions, etc. into ones that will make a positive change in their life.

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