5. The No-Waves Myth (and other myths about marital communication)
When we try too hard not to have any friction or “too-candid” communication, and when we keep things from each other because we don’t want disagreement, we end up pulling apart, and the things we have not said that bother us or that may have hurt us begin to fester and undermine our marital relationship. Here is the “no waves” myth and its sub-myths–and the truths to replace them with.
Myth: In marriage, some things are better left unsaid, and it’s safest to float along and not make waves.
Truth: Unexpressed feelings never die; they are just buried and come forth later in uglier forms. Timing is important, but the best marriages communicate everything—even when it creates some turbulence.
Sub-myth 1: Too much of the wrong kind of communication can ruin a relationship.
Truth: More often, it’s too little of the right kind of communication that puts marriages in peril.
Sub-myth 2: Marriage kills excitement and romance, and relationships get stale and less passionate over time.
Truth: Communication can rise to new levels after the marriage commitment, and steadily improve over time— lifting passion, romance, magic, and excitement with it.
Sub-myth 3: The hardest things to agree on are money, sex, goals, parenting methods, and religious beliefs.
Truth: These five most common causes of divorce can be flipped into the five key subjects of good marriage communication.
Sub-myth 4: Marriage is serious business.
Truth: Part of it sure is, but there had better be another part, because, from our experience, a sense of humor ranks number one in what is looked for in a spouse.
For more on this Marriaging Myth and on the truth that can replace it: