Marriage Counseling: Debunking Marriage Myths #3 Posted on December 23, 2015, updated on March 2, 2022 by John Hawkins Jr., M.S., L.M.H.C., M.C.A.P. Marriage Myth #3: Happy Couples Do Everything Together Just like in the movies, happy couples do everything together. And by everything, we mean everything together. From going to the grocery store to working out. To getting a coffee, getting a hair cut, going on trips and meeting up with friends, you are contractually obligated to do everything together from here and henceforth. Don’t forget – you have to do it all with a smile and have the best time of your life while doing it. Marriage Counseling? Not you two. You two are just so darn happy in each other’s company that even a trip to the DMV looks like a scene out of the latest Katherine Heigl romcom. But then again, this is the DMV. Dragging your life partner through wailing babies and crawling wait times to get your license renewed isn’t a symbol of your undying love – it’s torture. Spending time and sharing common interests with your partner is amazing, and probably a driving factor in what brought you two together in the first place. However, you’re still two separate people. You have interests and goals of your own that your partner probably doesn’t share – and that’s ok. Healthy even! Men, your wife doesn’t know who’s playing in the Super Bowl; they just want to see the halftime show. Ladies, those wine and painting classes? Leave them to girl’s night if it’s not your man’s cup of tea. Marriage Counseling – Pursue Personal Goals & Support Your Partner In marriage counseling, we encourage couples to continue pursuing interests and hobbies they love even if their partner doesn’t necessarily share them. So long as those interests don’t involve activities or situations that might compromise your marriage. In fact, when our interests and goals are opposed by our partner, rather than supported, we’re forced to do things we don’t enjoy and find ourselves banned from the things that are truly important to us. This can quickly avalanche into feelings of mistrust, compromise, and loss in safety. We see it time and time again in marriage counseling. When we don’t feel supported by our partner, or have the freedom to breathe and branch out on our own, feelings of resentment and being trapped in the relationship will begin to spread its poison. “The happiest marriage are those who have spent a lot of time together – and a lot of time apart.” – Phoebe Prosky, Family Therapist/Marriage Counseling It doesn’t matter where you go for marriage counseling – we all agree on this point. A marriage is the sum of its two parts. When the two parts are at constant bickering about who can go where or when to do what there’s no room in the marriage for individual growth, and consequently no room for growth of the couple. When two people marry, they become a central part of each other’s worlds. Part of that commitment does mean taking an interest in your partner’s goals and importances, as well as doing your best to be loving towards their less than lovable family members. This is a completely different notion than feeling as if you must do everything together. With years of marriage counseling experience, we’ve found that there’s no one way to do this. Some partnerships require a strong amount of time together while others need place emphasis on independence. Our marriage counseling tip: work with your partner to find just how much time you need together and in self-reliance. And for those days you feel like going the extra mile for your partner, taking the day to truly and unbegrudgingly dive into their interests is a sure way to make them feel loved. Now you tell us? What are some Marriage Counseling Myths & Realities you’ve discovered in your own marriage? Visit our page on Marriage Counseling HERE.