There are a number of marriage myths that, if you believe them, can spell the end of a marriage before it even gets off the ground. Some of those relationship myths are:
- Marriage does the makeover
- Partner is your inner voice
- Marriage is the ultimate bonding
These things are neither true nor healthy. Marriage neither is, nor should it be an excuse to try to fix your partner, or give him the ultimate makeover in your own image. If he requires that much fixing, you probably shouldn’t marry him in the first place. Your partner is neither your inner voice, nor should she complete you. Marriage is the joining of two complete people. If you are only a half a person without a partner, you should work on that before you get married.
Another myth mentioned in the linked article is that infidelity is an automatic end to a relationship. If you really believe that, then you were statistically better off staying single. That is because infidelity is not rare. It is common. According to the latest infidelity statistics:
Infidelity is becoming more common among people under 30. Many experts believe this increase in cheating is due to greater opportunity (time spent away from a spouse), as well as young people developing the habit of having multiple sexual partners before marriage.
This is not to say that infidelity is okay. This is not a value judgement at all. It is just a fact of the world. It is up to you to determine if your relationship is worth working through this problem. But it is useful to have a realistic strategy going into the relationship. The fact is infidelity is far from the worst thing that can happen in a relationship.
Addiction Can Happen to the Best of Us
Addiction is another one of those nasty little human problems that can happen to the best of us. It is also one of those issues that can end a relationship unnecessarily. Addiction is seldom a stand-alone problem. Here is what one treatment center has to say about dual diagnosis for men:
The most common psychiatric conditions that may accompany a drug or alcohol addiction include Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Eating Disorders and Schizophrenia.
Chemical addiction is not necessarily the result of weak will or moral depravity. It is a medically treatable problem that most often occurs as a symptom of other medical conditions. Ending a relationship solely on the basis of drug or alcohol addiction may be premature if reasonable avenues of medical treatment and rehab are not vigorously pursued.
Only One Kind of Man
Just as men have unrealistic expectations of the women they marry, women often enter relationships with unrealistic expectations of the kind of man they expect. Some women hope for a rescuer, or a Prince Charming, or a knight in shining armor. They expect their men to be heroes who rise above the pettiness of normal humans.
But the unwavering truth of the matter is that there is, and has only ever been one kind of man. There are no great men or bad men. There are just men whose great or bad deeds are captured in moments of time, and remembered by those most effected by those deeds. Today’s hero is tomorrow’s villain, and vice versa. The man you are currently with has all the capacity of good and ill that are present in other men. What troubles your relationship can survive is largely determined by how realistic your expectations were in the first place.
Worth Fighting For
Finally, the question of relationship survivability comes down to the answer to this question: Is your relationship worth fighting for? Is the man who has disappointed you worth redeeming? Sometimes, the answer is a solid NO. But when family, finances, and future happiness are at stake, it makes sense to fight a little harder to work through even the toughest issues life throws at you.
To be clear, it is not your job to fix another human being. But if marriage is to be for better or worse, then we have to have a plan for when the worst arrives. Plenty of relationships survive addiction. Whether or not yours can is largely up to you. There is not necessarily a wrong answer either way.