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CHRISTIAN FOUNDATIONS FOR MARRIAGE

by DearestChristian - For christian singles moving on to marriage  

Expections of Marriage Part 1

INTRODUCTION

Many, if not most expectations for marriage are based on idealized myths. If realities within a relationship do not match the myth, one or both partners may think they have made a terrible mistake. These unrealistic expectations may be shaped by our parents and friends, education and media, church and culture. When they are not met, marriage loses its glow.


I. COMMON MYTHS ABOUT MARRIAGE

Five of the most common myths about marriage that causes unrealistic expectations are:

MYTH 1: Marriage will make me happy

REALITY: A marriage partner does not have the power or the ability to make another person happy. A person's sense of happiness must come from deep inside himself. Relationship in marriage has the potential of complementing individual happiness and well-being, but it cannot be the primary source.

God must be the source of ourjoy.The hope that "a spouse will always make me happy" is impossible to fulfill. "And they both lived happily ever after" is therefore, unrealistic and nothing more than dreams that will be unfulfilled.

MYTH 2: If we really love each other, everything else will fall into place

REALITY: This is a passive and irresponsible approach to marriage. Marriage needs constant nurturing. It is a dynamic relationship rather than a static one. Because of individual, societal and environment changes, marriage is always in a state of flux. Constant sensitivity to one another's needs and adapting to relational changes are necessary to keep the love alive. Work and painful choices are necessary components of a healthy marital relationship.

MYTH 3: A good marriage will always be romantic

REALITY: Virtually all relationship go through peak experience and valley experience. Sometimes, the realities of married life will cloud over romantic feelings. Every couple falls in love; every couple falls out of love. Just because the feelings of love are not always present, it does not necessarily mean a lack of love. Love is more a choice than a feeling.

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MYTH 4: My partner should know my needs

REALITY: "Finally I have someone who will meet my needs." This myth grows out of a self-centred preoccupation with what seems best for me. Marriage is not viewed as a we-relationship but as a me-arrangement designed to meet my needs.

Regardless of a spouse's intelligence or personal strengths, she does not have the ability to read her partner's mind. Needs for security, affection, emotional support, encouragement, or physical assistance must be verbalized in clear language, sometimes repeatedly. If the need is something the spouse can realistically provide, she must first know the need exists.

MYTH 5: Conflict means a lack of love

REALITY: Conflict is inevitable, but it doesn't have to be damaging to the marriage relationship. Partners have different viewpoints and different feelings based on their background and previous experiences.. Those differences do not mean that one partner is right and the other is wrong; it just means that they are not alike in their thoughts and feelings.

Conflict, when dealt with appropriately, can be healthy for a relationship when new ideas and new ways of looking at things are introduced to each partner and to the relationship. There will always be choice and commitment to be made in a marriage relationship.


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