Scott Haltzman, M.D.
Myths about marriage
What is one of the biggest myths about marriage? You know, we talked about some of the myths of marriage. One of the biggest myths is that marriage will make you happy. A lot of people will say to me, “You know Dr. Scott, if I could just get marry, then I’ll be happier“. Now here’s the reality, yeah being married on average does increase the chances that you’re gonna be happy. It increases the chances that you’re going to be healthy. It increases the chances in fact that you’re going to make lots of money.
The issue is that marriage in end up itself doesn’t make you happy. Marriage gives you place in which you can get happiness, where you can begin to grow your happiness and have it be generated and nurtured. But it doesn’t just happen accident. So being happy in marriage doesn’t happen automatically. It’s something that takes time and takes effort on your part.
Another myth in marriage is that if marriage isn’t making you happy, there’s something wrong with your marriage and you should get out. Now, look the bottom line is there is a lot in life that doesn’t make you happy. In fact, I’ve raised a couple of kids and I can tell you a lot of times they didn’t make me happy. But I wasn’t about to tell them, you know, things just don’t working out the way I thought they would. So why don’t you just go off and be raised other parents? Now, when you’re in marriage, be happy and feeling connected is great when it happens. But when it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t mean that something fatally float about your marriage. It’s just means that you need to put the skills and efforts it takes into getting it back on track.
Another myth in marriage is that men and women do things equally. That everything’s split 50/50. Look it’s just not real that this takes, expect that everything is going to be split 50/50. It’s just not possible. So what happens if somebody is doing 49% and the other person is doing 51%? You go on strike? I mean the reality is there has to be balances. There are times when one partner does just about everything to keep the marriage together and the other just seems like he or she is out of the picture. But, you know, at other times that partner kicks into gear and makes a real contribution. And often here one partner or another tell me, he is not making a single contribution to the relationship. That’s just not possible. He may not be making the contribution or she may not be making the contribution that you’re expecting, but everybody that gets up in the morning and as a married man or married woman is doing something for that marriage even if it’s not labeled that way.
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