Happy Marriages DO Still Exist!
It’s no secret that fewer and fewer people these days are tying the knot. When you ask why, they might say things like, “Marriage just ties you down,” or “Half of all marriages end in divorce anyway. Why bother?” As firm believers in the power of marriage, the Divas decided it was high-time to debunk some of these common myths, because they are just that… myths!
We started by sending out a survey in our newsletter to figure out what the myths were. Then, we asked respondents to share with us how they debunk those myths on a regular basis. Let us tell you, if you ever want to have hope in the future of marriage, all you have to do is read through the hundreds of responses we received! There are so many couples out there who struggle from time-to-time in their marriage, but they work, and pray, and solve their problems hand-in-hand. It was nothing short of inspiring!
We received a huge response, and a wide variety of answers; everything from how many times a week to have sex, to their go-to resolution tactics for conflicts! There is one common denominator in all of these answers, though; one that rings true for each and every single myth. That is – you only get out what you put in. If you make your marriage a priority, and constantly seek to debunk these myths in your life together on a consistent basis, you will be living proof that happy marriages do still exist! (And let me tell you – they do!)
Myth #1: Sex stops. Well, without going into too much detail here, the Divas are here to tell you that this myth is way overdue for some serious debunking. While we are sure it rings true for some couples out there, it doesn’t have to be the norm in your life – if you don’t want it to be. Life is crazy and tiring and busy, and bodies change and get older, but if this is a priority for you, it will show. If this is reality for you now, decide on a number of times you both need to be intimate in any given time period (like a month, or a week), and make it happen; whatever that number is. There is no perfect number; only the perfect number for you. As you grow closer together in the sacredness of intimacy, your bond will be stronger than ever before. That desire and those butterflies don’t have to go anywhere if you don’t let them! For some more inspiration, be sure to check out 8 Reasons You Should Have Sex Tonight. Here is what some of our respondents had to say, too:
- We saw your blog post on The Game of Love and decided to order it. We have had so much fun with that game! We’ve owned it for about 6 months now, and it’s completely changed our lives. I’ll be honest and say that our intimate life was lacking a little before we started playing regularly… not anymore! It just goes to show that the simplest things can make the biggest difference. Taking time for quality intimacy can completely revolutionize your marriage.
- So many people think sex stops when you get married. I will be honest here and say that sex does change after you’ve been together a while. It can get boring if you don’t put any effort in, just like anything else. However, for us overall, it’s been a good change. We were so young when we married, and sex just didn’t mean to us then what it does now. We’ve been married for 30 years, and we have always enjoyed our intimate life together. Then again, we’ve always made it a priority!
- We are a bit older, but we love the bedroom games that you have on your site. We have been together almost 20 years, and we anxiously await for new ones to be released so we can try them out. Michelle’s posts are always our favorite! Young and old (like us!), spicing things up in the bedroom in a marriage is a good idea. It strengthens your bond together like nothing else does.
- If you think that your spouse looks out of this world sexy one day, be sure to tell them. It makes all of the difference, in the bedroom and out! So many people think that sex stops when you get married. For us, it’s been a thousand times better!
Myth #2: Marriage is boring and miserable. If you feel like this is true, perhaps take a good look at some of the happy couples around you. What are their lives like? How do they live every day? What do they do together? Watch and learn. Try and emulate all that they do. Find common hobbies, interests, and passions. Serve others together. Be active. Of course, marriage will be boring if you sit and watch movies all of the time, and life would be too – regardless of whether you are married or not! Here is what some of our respondents had to say:
- If you aren’t having fun in your marriage, you are doing something wrong. Find some fun activities to do together, and make them happen on a regular basis.
- We have a lot of inside jokes and fun memories together, but that’s because we went out there and made them. Anyone who thinks that marriage is boring and miserable needs to lighten up and get outside of their comfort zone.
- A lot of couples seem to think that just because they are different from each other means that they can’t have any fun together. That’s absolutely not true! My marriage would be very boring if my husband were just like me. I love to decorate and design, and he loves to fix cars; I go out there with him and learn about cars, and I teach him my design skills. Marriage is fascinating. I learn so much from my husband every, single day. That’s what marriage is all about.
Myth #3: Goodbye butterflies. You know those butterflies that you feel in your stomach whenever you see your one-and-only? They were probably pretty prevalent in the early days of the relationship, then waned over time. But, believe it or not, the butterflies and excitement don’t have to end! The best way to keep the love and excitement alive is by continuing to “date” each other, even in marriage. That is our whole mission here at The Dating Divas! Consistently having fun date nights (regardless of your age) is the best way to keep the love alive in your relationship. Recently, a friend of mine told me she was going through a divorce. She said, “Honestly, I feel like I can trace it all back to our lack of date nights. We didn’t take the time for each other that we should have. We thought we couldn’t afford it at the time. In reality, those date nights would have been a lot cheaper than our divorce lawyers that we have to pay for now.” Here is what some of our respondents had to say about the importance of keeping the spark alive through a regular date night:
- We take turns planning date night, and we like to keep it a surprise when we can. I come home from work on Friday and love seeing what my wife has planned. I have butterflies all day about it, and while spending time with her.
- A lot of people think that you can fall out of love by getting married. That is absolutely not true; you just have to put some effort in on a regular basis. There is nothing more exciting than a surprise from my husband! We put serious effort into keeping the spark alive in our relationship. But that’s the problem for a lot of couples… effort!
- We always celebrate our anniversary like another honeymoon. That has helped us so much! We get away for the weekend and focus on enjoying each other’s company. We also take turns planning surprises for that entire weekend; it really helps us bring back the spark that sometimes gets weary and dim. It takes work, though, and I think that scares a lot of people.
Myth #4: The ol’ ball & chain. Some people seem to think that marriage traps you and keeps you from doing what you want in life, and they couldn’t be more wrong. Marriage is more freeing than you can imagine. Yes, your life will change. You won’t be “foot-loose and fancy-free” anymore. But instead, you will be joyfully linked to somebody you adore. Someone to have adventures with. Someone to laugh with. A partner for your travels. A permanent date to all of your other friends’ weddings. If you go into your marriage with a “ball and chain” mentality, it will probably stay that way. We loved these responses:
- Marriage is a powerful, and freeing, union. While there is stress and there are hard moments in marriage, you have someone to share those with. To me, there is nothing limiting about that kind of companionship. If anything, marriage has brought me a peace and happiness that I could never have without it.
- I am so glad that I am married. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really hard moments. I think some people think that being married “ties them down,” but in reality, being married has set me free. It’s shown me how to love, and be loved. It’s shown me how to truly be there for someone. It’s shown me how to think beyond myself. I become a better person (and a better wife) each and every, single day. Instead of being “tied down,” I feel like I have been set free in a lot of ways.
Myth #5: Having kids together ruins your marriage, and your life. We will say that having kids is not for the faint of heart, and if your marriage is rocky, you will need to communicate and take some time to figure things out before having children. Truth be told, they are hard on a marriage, and they come with a lot of changes; changes to bodies, changes to schedules, and changes to relationships. However, although the changes might be difficult at first, (and as cliché as it sounds) there is truly nothing more rewarding than welcoming children to your home. It’s an amazing experience to see your spouse transform into a mother or father. It deepens and strengthens your love and life in a whole different way. No, children do not ruin your marriage. But, they do change it – for the better! As long as you remember to plan a weekly date night, take the time to truly connect each day (sans screens!), and make each other a priority, you will be fine. The best part? Your positive example of a strong marriage will rub off to your children, and you will inspire generations of happy, healthy marriages. Here is what our respondents had to say about children in marriage:
- We’ve been married for 10 years, and have had a few kids along the way. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s so worth it. A few years into life with kids, we realized we needed to make some serious changes to our marriage. We weren’t on the brink of divorce or anything, but we were just caught up with them and life. We put each other as a priority and started doing all of the things we knew we needed to do, on a regular basis: date night, praying together, talking and connecting each day… The difference it made was astounding. We should have been doing that all along. Here’s to many more years in a happy, prioritized marriage!
- We’ve always tried to be positive about welcoming our children to our home. It’s easy to complain about how different your life has become post-kids, but we tried to focus on all of the joy, instead. It’s a love unlike anything else, it really is, and we just try and soak it up amidst the mayhem. I will say, though, that things can turn ugly quickly if you aren’t taking the time for each other. What was once “pretty important” before kids, all of a sudden turns “incredibly important” post kids. Don’t ever stop date night!
Myth #6: Half of all marriages end in divorce anyway. While this grim statistic may have been true in our society at one point, it’s not anymore. In fact, the divorce rate has been dropping for 20 years! This New York Times article states: “About 70 percent of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th anniversary (excluding those in which a spouse died), up from about 65 percent of those that began in the 1970s and 1980s. Those who married in the 2000s are so far divorcing at even lower rates. If current trends continue, nearly two-thirds of marriages will never involve a divorce” [according to data from Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan economist]. The article also mentions that people are getting married later in life, which , in turn, creates a (generally) more stable marriage. Also, many people are choosing never get married at all, which of course affects these statistics. However, the “half of marriages end in divorce” myth still lives on. Don’t let it! Stand for the joy that marriage can bring. We loved these answers from our respondents showing how marriages today really CAN make it:
- We took divorce off the table the second we got married. This way we know we have to work through any issues that come up because we will uphold our vows. We really work at communicating, even when it’s difficult, even when we’re angry. We always come back to the issue until we have resolved it. After we have disagreements or struggles, we spend time together doing something fun and loving to remind ourselves that we truly love one another and desire a good, healthy relationship. We pray for each other, as well as our marriage, and love to get advice from those married for many years.
- So many people seem to think they can just walk away as soon as things get hard. While this is true, I don’t think enough couples really try to solve the problem. They see an easy way out, and they take it. Good communication, taking the time for each other, and not giving up go further than people realize. I’ve been a marriage counselor for many years, and I am always surprised at how simple the solutions really are most of the time.
If you take away only one thing from the article, make it be this: you only get out what you put in. With a lot of love, patience, and forgiveness, a happy marriage really can be yours!
If you loved this article, be sure to check out 10 Things Husbands Wish Wives Knew.