What are the top five lies that we believe in marriage?
I have found that these lies tend to creep in whether we are Christian or not. They are natural thoughts that take root when we find ourselves dissatisfied with ourselves, our life, or our spouse. You have probably had at least a few of them already, and there’s no shame in that. The important thing is to recognize them when they come and know they are indeed lies.
You begin to overcome these when you recognize them and replace them with the truth. That’s when they become powerless in your life!
5 Lies We Believe in Marriage
1. Someone else would better understand me.
Okay, I need to ask the question. Why do you feel misunderstood? Is your spouse not listening? Are you not communicating? Or maybe it’s a little of both?
This lie reared it’s ugly head in my own marriage. It started out with me feeling neglected. It was my lack of ability to communicate my needs well and my belief that my husband should “just know” how I feel. When he didn’t, I felt misunderstood and retreated deep inside myself. I stopped trying to communicate my needs or feelings because they weren’t being understood. “Why try?” I thought. This caused me to feel lonely and unknown; overlooked and uncared for. And guess what signal that sent to him? He perceived it as, “She wants to be left alone. She needs her space. She doesn’t want me to fix it.” Do you see how this could create an undesired cycle of disconnection and distance in a marriage?
In walks the lie, someone else “gets me” better. “They just understand me,” you may think. No, my friend. If anyone else understands you better, it is because you are investing more in a different relationship. There is more communication and openness with another person. This is dangerous territory. The exact same cycle you are in with your marriage, you will be in with a marriage to ANYONE because it involves your thoughts and your triggers.
Get help. Do some self work. Work hard to recognize your triggers in conflict (one of my triggers was feeling abandoned due to childhood stuff). Typically as you work on you, your spouse follows suit. When they see your progress, it makes them want to try too.
2. They don’t appreciate what I do.
Yes, they do. Maybe they haven’t shown you that. Maybe it’s been awhile since they said, “thank you,” but it has more than likely been an oversight. Can I tell you that I’m so sorry you have felt underappreciated? I understand how painful that is.
For a long time, I felt like I was nothing more than a maid and a mother. The thoughts would creep into my head, “This is all you are good for: filling other people’s needs.” I grew bitter. And part of the reason was I had convinced myself that this lie was actually true. Maybe I really was only around because I was good at cooking food, managing bills, and taking care of kids. I became the roles I filled instead of the person I was.
This is a huge red flag that your marriage may be lacking connection. When’s the last time you went on a date? Or even ran to a coffee shop together and spent five minutes talking? Life gets so busy and things will gladly get in the way of your relationship. You must be diligent to intentionally connect. Go sit outside together and sip a drink. Take a walk. ANYTHING to begin to get past the roles you both fill and deeper into the heart of who each person is.
3. I married the wrong “one.”
Oh boy! This is a big one. Why may I ask do you feel you have married the wrong one? Because things have gotten hard? Because they don’t understand you or don’t appreciate you (see above)? There is a belief that there is “the one” and so help you if you screw up that decision!! I believe this misperception is neighbors with “the grass is greener on the other side.” Think about it. If you believe you are with the wrong one, you slowly move towards “there is better” and boom, you’re looking at the grass on the other side. It’s no wonder that most people who get involved in an affair say, “I feel like I have found my soul mate.” Statistics show that them and their soul mate split up more than 95% of the time. Turns out they weren’t the soul mate after all.
I am not talking about toxic and abusive relationships here. I would never advise someone stay in an abusive relationship. Get out and get out now. Get to safety! They ARE the wrong one (at least at this time in life) if they are abusing you.
But hard times, lonely times, disconnected times, doesn’t make them the wrong one. It is simply an indicator that there is work to be done. Don’t walk away from a life that has been built together because you aren’t seeing eye to eye. Again, get help. Start with self evaluation. It is so powerful! Get a counselor’s or pastors’ perspective. It’s so important to get outside of your own “trees” so you can see the “forest.”
4. They should complete me.
This is a close friend to #3, because what happens when you get years down the road and this person isn’t understanding you. In fact, they are completely misunderstanding you! “Wait a minute! You should complete me. Did I marry the wrong one?” (see above)
Our culture has adopted this idea that our spouse should complete us (thanks Jerry Maguire). This isn’t scriptural. The two becoming one isn’t because we “complete” each other, it’s because we complement each other. My strengths aren’t yours. And yours aren’t mine. You excel at this and I don’t. The only completing we are meant to be doing is building such a healthy marriage that it is pointing back to the beautiful perfection in Christ.
We welcome isolation when we adopt this “completion” belief. We need our spouses, yes, but we also need a deep relationship with God. And we also need a healthy relationship with friends. And also with fellow believers, and counselors, pastors, or mentors. We should always have people in front of us who are leading, people beside us walking with us, and people behind us who we are leading. The two of us “completing” each other welcomes isolation and unhealthy dependence and expectation on the other spouse.
5. I’m not happy. It’s my spouse’s fault.
Guilty as charged. But it isn’t all my fault. “Happily ever after” is shoved down our throats pretty hard.
“What do you mean you aren’t prince charming who sweeps me off to his castle of a house? Wait, you don’t want to dance with me until midnight? And your parent’s don’t automatically adore me?” I’ve been scammed!
Romance and feeling in love inundates our entertainment culture. When our relationship starts feeling a little lackluster, we begin to question, “Shouldn’t I be happy? Why aren’t they making me happy? Maybe we have fallen out of love.”
Marriage IS hard work. Feelings wax and wane. Your relationship will go through many seasons of feelings. Can I encourage you not to throw it away or give up trying because you’ve run into that season? This to shall pass. Happiness is an inside job. We simply can not put the responsibility of our happiness on another person. It’s too great a weight to bear. To live as a powerful person (which I believe we are all called to do) we must take responsibility of our emotions and self-health. If we aren’t happy, look a little deeper. It’s easy to blame someone. Instead go deeper. It usually points to something inside of us that can be fixed regardless of the other person.
I want to encourage you not to fall into the trap of believing any of these lies. If you entertain them and let them take root, it will derail your marriage (and possibly your life). Reject them and polish your communication and connection skills with your significant other. Every bit of work you put into your marriage will not only pay off for you but also for your children and their futures as well.
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