5 Outdated Expectations About Marriage We Need to Get Real About

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Marriage is a societal institution that has evolved over time, and with it, many outdated and antiquated expectations have emerged. Here are some examples of such expectations and suggestions for couples to be more realistic as they enter a long-term legal agreement like marriage.

Gender roles:

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Historically, there were rigid expectations for gender roles within a marriage, with men being the breadwinners and women taking care of the household. Today, it is important for couples to have open discussions about their expectations, aspirations, and how they can support each other’s personal and professional goals. Recognizing that gender roles can be flexible and that each partner can contribute in their own unique way is crucial.

Divorce taboo:

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In the past, divorce was highly stigmatized, and couples were expected to stay together regardless of their happiness or compatibility. Couples should be realistic about the possibility of facing challenges in their marriage and understand that divorce can be a valid option if their relationship becomes unhealthy or unsustainable. Open communication, seeking therapy if needed, and being willing to work on the relationship are important, but acknowledging that divorce is sometimes the best course of action is also crucial for individual well-being.

Unconditional love:

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The idea of unconditional love, where partners love each other no matter what, is an unrealistic expectation. It is important for couples to understand that love requires effort, compromise, and sometimes even setting boundaries. Recognizing that love can evolve and change over time, and that it is essential to actively nurture and maintain a loving relationship, is vital for long-term success.

Sole source of happiness:

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Expecting one’s spouse to be the sole source of happiness and fulfillment is a burden that can strain a relationship. Couples should strive for personal growth and have individual interests and hobbies outside the marriage. It is essential to maintain a sense of self and rely on a broader support system for happiness and fulfillment, while still nurturing the relationship with one’s spouse.

Fairytale romance:

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Society often perpetuates the idea that marriage should be a fairytale romance filled with constant passion and excitement. While there will be moments of romance and joy, the reality of long-term relationships includes mundane routines, disagreements, and challenges. It is important for couples to have realistic expectations about the ups and downs of married life and understand that maintaining a strong relationship requires effort, commitment, and sometimes even professional help.

Get Real About Marriage

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To be more realistic as they enter a long-term legal agreement like marriage, couples should openly discuss their expectations, values, and goals. They should be willing to adapt and grow together, communicate effectively, and seek help when needed. Pre-marital counseling or couples therapy can also be beneficial in addressing potential issues and providing tools for a healthy and successful marriage.

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