Myths About Preparing for Marriage
The high divorce rate in the United Sates and the resulting concern with marrying the right person makes selecting someone to marry an especially important contemporary issue. You may struggle with finding the right person to marry, feeling competent as a future spouse, or feeling confident that a relationship will work. This is partly due to the magnitude of the decision, the increasingly high expectations we have of marriage (for example, "My spouse should simultaneously be my lover, my best friend, and my counselor"), and the fact that if you do not choose carefully, the marriage could end in divorce.
MYTHS: WHAT ARE THEY?
A significant cause of your struggle with the decision may be your belief in myths about selecting a mate and preparing for marriage. Myths are widely held beliefs that are not true. That is, there is no scientific evidence to support them, yet many people believe them.
To assess your belief in the myths about preparing for marriage, rate how much you agree or disagree with each of the statements in Exhibit 1.1.
For each of the myths you agreed with, think of your reasoning in support of the myth. For example, who taught you this myth? What evidence do you have that this myth is true? False? Your belief-in-myths score is high if you agreed or strongly agreed with five or more of the myths. If you agreed or strongly agreed with three or four myths, your score is moderate. Agreeing with two or fewer is a low myth score. The more myths you marked "Uncertain" to "Strongly Disagree," the better your understanding of the true nature of selecting someone to marry and preparing for marriage.
Myths such as these are dangerous because they may lead you to be too critical or not critical enough-of yourself, your partner, your relationship, or your decision about marriage. They may also lead you to seek the wrong kind of person to marry. They may set up irrational expectations, such as "choosing someone to marry is easy." They may fool you into believing that you and your spouse will live happily ever after-regardless of your incompatibilities.
The most disturbing myth is the one that says, "We know practically nothing about the factors that predict a happy marriage." This book was written to debunk the whole set of myths but especially this one, and educate you about the premarital predictors of marriage satisfaction based on over half a century of research.
DEBUNKING THE MYTHS:
Let's go into more detail on these eleven myths about preparing for marriage. We'll see why each myth is false and provide an alternative, more realistic belief for each myth. I believe that if you can rid yourself of your belief in these myths and start thinking more realistically about preparing for marriage, you will have taken the first step toward a more satisfying, healthier, and ultimately easier experience in preparing for marriage. The first two...