The Danger of Idealism in Marriage

If you base your views about relationships on cheesy romance novels or Hollywood chick-flicks you are not only in for a rude awakening, but you may also be putting your marriage (or future marriage) in jeopardy.  Research shows that couples who believe in the concept of "soul mates" are at much higher risk of disenchantment, conflict, and divorce.  Couples who hold the more traditional view of marriage being based on a lifelong mutual commitment are happier, fight less, and are more likely to stay together.

In fact, researchers for the National Marriage Project found that soul mate couples (defined as believing that two people are "destined" to be together) are 150 percent more likely to divorce than those with more realistic, practical views.  This is not good news for the two-thirds of Americans who believe in soul mates.  It seems clear that inflated expectations connected with idealistic views of relationships contribute significantly to the divorce problem.  Especially when one considers the fact that a high percentage of divorces occur at the "post-honeymoon" phase of marriage.  [See previous article].

The problem with the soul mate view is that it goes hand in hand with the romanticized idea that if you marry Mr. Right or Miss Right your life will be nothing but wonderful all of the time.  Such people tend to think that the role of their spouse and the reason for their marriage is to "make" them happy and fulfilled.  However, idealistic views of relationships and marriage are dangerous for many reasons.

When unrealistic expectations are not met it is a breeding-ground for discontentment and discouragement.  Invariably this leads to conflict and disunity.  The potently personal, emotional, and passionate connection that characterizes budding relationships simply does not - and cannot - endure at the same intensity.  [See related article].  When a new union based on idealistic expectations begins to experience the normal challenges of married life disillusionment and frustration are sure to come.  Even worse, when the level of passion and intimacy take the predictable dip the couple may be duped into thinking they made a mistake and married the "wrong person".

By contrast, successful couples are more realistic about the day to day experience of married life.  They don't expect to be happy one hundred percent of the time.  They certainly don't believe their spouse is solely responsible for their happiness.  [See related article.]  Couples with enduring marriages don't rely on destiny or fate to make their relationships work.  They continually invest and sacrifice to make it work despite the difficult and challenging experiences that are a part of life.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...