Dannenbaum Law Firm, PLLC

Dangerous myths about marriage

Some couples in Virginia might believe what could be damaging myths about marriage. For example, they might think there is a right and a wrong way to fight and that their way of fighting means their marriage is in trouble.

However, according to John Gottman, a researcher and marriage counselor, the technique called "active listening" does not tend to help couples. Among those it does help, most of them revert to old patterns of communication within a year. Married couples might also believe that it is normal for sex to suffer after marriage. However, research has shown that people in long-term marriages have sex more often than single people.

Some people may believe their personality flaws will keep them from having a happy marriage. It is not flaws, which all people have, that will damage a marriage. Instead, it is how people handle their partner's flaws that make or break a relationship. Finally, some people might think that for their marriage to be equal, they must split all chores and responsibilities 50/50. However, this is more likely to lead to resentment than equality. In a healthy marriage, spouses take turns giving more than 50 percent at different times depending on one another's needs.

Because of these types of myths or for other reasons, some couples may decide that divorce is necessary. However, even if they have been unable to resolve conflicts during marriage, they might be able to do so during the divorce process. It may be best for couples to try to negotiate a divorce agreement instead of going to litigation, and an alternative dispute resolution process like mediation may be able to help them. Mediation may help couples reach a solution that they are both happy with, unlike the more adversarial process of litigation.

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