Myths about marriage: bliss is not always what you think it should be

Listen to Stacy Phillips talk about the changing times of marriage. As you have probably realized, the famous saying "living happily ever after" is usually only in the fairy tails, as half of marriages end in divorce. Learn the top 10 myths of marriage.

By Stacy D. Phillips, Author and Certified Family Law Specialist
Updated: September 25, 2014
Dating after Divorce

A number of years ago, people referred to a happily-ever-after picture of marriage as the "Cinderella Complex." There was much discussion from feminists such as Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug, who debunked the theory that once you find your "prince" you will run off into the sunset and be forever joyous. The 60s and 70s ushered in a whole new attitude about marriage compared to how most viewed it in the 40s and 50s.

Those attitudes keep changing, and perhaps for the better, because today people are far more realistic about how long a relationship will last or what it is they must do to have a union endure over time.

Unfortunately, as these realizations come to mind, we learn that there may be an "ever after" with one person, but it is not always "happily." That myth has finally been shattered.

You might be lucky enough to live with someone you love and respect all the days of your life, but statistics tell us at least half of those who get married split up. For some, splitting up might not mean once in a lifetime but several times.

It is easy to forgive ourselves if we find ourselves caught up a fairy tale once, but to continue to believe that marriage should remain a constant and blissful state is just plain delusional! Some people -- and I hope you are not one of them -- keep changing partners in search of the idyllic relationship in order to maintain that relationship high or to satisfy a particular relationship myth.

The following beliefs in this sixth segment of my "TopTen" lists series may seem cliché to you, but many people truly believe one or more of the ten items on my myths list. See if you have fallen into any of these belief traps:

10. We will live happily ever after.
9. I can have it all.
8. He/she will complete me.
7. He/she is my soul mate.
6. We don’t need money; we can live on love.
5. Marriage will make our relationship better.
4. We will grow together.
3. I will always love him/her.
2. Having children will strengthen our relationship.
1. His/her family/children will learn to accept me.

Stacy D. Phillips is a co-founder of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation, which specializes in high-profile family law matters. She is co-chair of the Women's Political Committee and a member of Divorce Magazine's North American Advisory Board. She can be reached at (310) 277-7117. View her firm's Divorce Magazine profile here.

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February 18, 2010

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