DISCLAIMER: It’s almost a year that I’ve been married: so trust me, I’m an expert on lies about marriage. (:
But let me tell you, marriage is not at all what people make it out to be and in this piece, I will break it down for you- all the lies about marriage.
1. Marriage is a compromise.
Umm, no not really. Compromise, by its very definition, means that you lose out on something to meet someone somewhere in the middle. But marriage is not compromise. It is respect. Respect towards understanding what the other person wants and needs and vice versa. And when the two people in it respect each other, that’s not a compromise. It is something else, something more beautiful- it is trust as you make that leap of faith towards each other.
2. Happy couples don’t argue.
Now this is the one that makes me laugh out loud. It’s a complete lie when couples say they don’t fight because they’re so happy or in love. More likely, they’re sweeping all their issues under the carpet. Most couples in a happy, fulfilling marriage know that fights are only natural. You argue with someone because you care and you want to find a way to work through your issues and emerge victorious, together. In fact, I personally think that arguing your issues out and understanding that it is only natural makes your relationship stronger. Why? Because you realise that is the only way you grow together, not apart.
3. The passion never dies.
Now that’s another one of the lies about marriage. Because that is not how marriages, or even life works. Some days, you are simply going through the motions. And on those days, you will feel like you’re living with a room mate and not the love of your life. And that’s okay. Life can get overwhelming at times and sometimes the joy actually comes from accomplishing the little tasks together- from the laundry to the dishes or snuggling in together in bed and binging on your favorite Netflix show. The passion is like a flame that never goes out, but it can dim and then reignite itself.
4. You become a part of each other’s families.
That is true. As you get married, you each a new set of parents, siblings and extended families. However, you also get a new family altogether- that’s just the two of you. And that’s personally I’ve struggled with as well, to understand how to set boundaries with all these new dynamics. As a couple it is important to understand what you discuss with each other’s families and what you keep to yourself. As a new family yourself, you are going to want to do things your own way that may not be in consonance with either or both of your families. It is certainly necessary to figure out what your boundaries will look like with them and how to present a united front.
5. You lose your independence.
If you come from a traditional setup in India, you know this is absolute bull. Getting married allows you to take your own decisions. You want to plan an impromptu night out? Go for it. Junking homemade dinner for well, actual junk? Be my guest. Plan the trips you want whenever, wherever. The freedom you actually get in a marriage is endless, provided you have a partner who is not threatened by your independence and self-sufficiency.
6. Women make all the sacrifices.
Yes, if you go about balancing the scales, they may never be balanced given the amount of changes a woman has to go through in her life post marriage. But that is not to say that men have it totally easy. The more I talk to my partner, engage in honest conversations I realise that men have simply not been conditioned to share what sacrifices they might have been making with their spouse. They tend to keep it to themselves, silently listening to all the ways we’ve got it bad and try to make us feel better. It is important to remember marriage is a big change for the both of you.
7. You can’t have it all.
Many people make marriage sound like an either/or situation. If you’re happy professionally, you’ll have to make adjustments on the personal front and vice versa. However, with a supportive partner marriage does not seem like a lot of work, or any work at all. You can work, play, party, unwind, stay in- or whatever else you want under the sun (or the moon!).
This is not to say that being married is a piece of cake. There are always going to be ups and downs, but that’s how life works but the highs always make you feel that the lows were simply insignificant *tiny* bumps along the road.
I’m sure there are a lot of other myths around being married and a whole lot of lies about marriage, but these were on the top of my list. Do you have some others that I missed out on? I would love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments below!
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P.S. I just released my debut novel, Meera. Check it out here.
P.P.S. Read more about me here.
Finally an article talking about real marriages without romanticising the crap out of it.