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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

16 Widespread Misconceptions About Marriage

misconceptions expectation


Idealistic Expectation: My spouse and I should agree on most things.

It was interesting to hear about the divide that occurred in some marriages over the last presidential election. People were suddenly wondering how they could be married to someone who voted for that person.

Realistic Expectation: My spouse and I will make an effort to not take disagreements personally.

It’s often easy to perceive disagreement as rejection. Yet the reality is that your idea is being rejected, not you. Disagreements about most things are only a threat to the marriage if you allow them to be.



Idealistic Expectation: My spouse and I view things the same way.

My husband and I occupy the same home. Yet I’ve only seen it from my barely-over-five-foot perspective while he sees it from quite a bit higher. Same house. Different perspectives. You and your spouse may share a bed, but you don’t share a background or experiences, both of which influence how you see things.

Realistic Expectation: My spouse and I will have different perspectives and by combining them, we can see a more complete picture.

By working together and valuing both perspectives as valid, you can build a more complete and interesting view. And remember, a different perspective isn’t a threat to your view. It’s just another way of looking at it.


Idealistic Expectation: My spouse and I will never find anyone else attractive.

Good luck trying to overturn biology.

Realistic Expectation: My spouse and I will manage our outside attractions in accordance with the agreements within the marriage.

Finding someone attractive and acting on that attraction are two very different things. Manage the one you can control.


Idealistic Expectation: I will feel close to my spouse every day.

There will be days you look over at your partner at you can’t believe you got so lucky. And on other days, you may just wonder what you did to piss karma off to be stuck with this person.

Realistic Expectation: I will make a consistent effort to feel closer to my spouse. 

becoming close and staying close are ongoing efforts. On those days when you feel lucky, capitalize on it. On those days when you feel like you somehow married the biggest oaf in the world, take a few moments to remind yourself why you love them and why you chose them.


Idealistic Expectation: My marriage will make me better.

Many employers and grandparents seem to be of the opinion that those that are married seem to occupy some elite sphere. As though the certificate itself is enough to make somebody a better person.

Realistic Expectation: My marriage will provide me with the opportunity to become better.

Marriage isn’t for the fainthearted. It can provide you with the most amazing experiences and the incredible feeling of sharing a life with someone. But it will also challenge you beyond belief. Which in turn, can make you better if you let it.

7 thoughts on “16 Widespread Misconceptions About Marriage

    1. Thanks! I actually teach middle school. Obviously, I don’t stop my lesson on equations to talk about relationships, but I try to be a source of solid advice and a role model for the kids. The main qualities I try to instill are a respect for struggle and personal responsibility. It’s also interesting how many of my former students start following me in adulthood as they marry/breakup/divorce. 🙂

      1. As a fellow math enthusiast I like the similarities between equations and relationships and that balance is essential.
        I can’t remember when I started following you but it was probably at a low point. Your cheery disposition sometimes grated, but I eventually understood. After four years of remembering who I am, I’m now at the beginnings of a relationship which feels much more balanced, so thank you for your uncommon sense.

        1. I would have been annoyed at me too when I was in the thick of it:)

          SO glad to hear that the new relationship is following the rules of equations!!!

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