Ten Unlikely Facts of Married Life

Instead of learning from the marital success of others, couples tend to use their own “good common sense” to deal with the problems that arise in their marriage.  Although  helpful in certain aspects of life, everyday common sense, or what some label “conventional wisdom,” is not particularly useful when dealing with relationship or marital issues.

For example, conventional wisdom has it that most problems in marriage are the result of poor communication skills. Yet my observation after listening for the past thirty-five years to the couples with whom I have worked, is that most married couples do a reasonably good job of communicating with one another. More often than not, it is not that they can’t communicate well but, rather, that they don’t like the message that their partners are communicating to them.

Nevertheless, virtually every couple that arrives at my office reports that they are there to address or resolve “communication problems.”  This disconnect between the reasons that couples give for their difficulties and the actual cause of their marital strife requires that I disabuse these couples of their own strongly held, but inaccurate, beliefs about the source of their unhappiness.

As I think back on the couples with whom I have worked over the years, I have come to appreciate that much of their suffering is due to their misguided attempts at trying to resolve problems using conventional wisdom.  However, what these couples soon realize, once we begin marital therapy, is that they will need to discard their common sense notions of marriage and replace them with one or more non-obvious, improbable, or unlikely ideas about marriage.

The following “ten unlikely facts of married life” are not necessarily the ten most important facts about marriage.  They are, however, ten unlikely or counter-intuitive facts of married life that are often at the root of a great deal of marital or relationship strife.  It is my belief that by simply reading and then implementing the suggestions offered on this web page, individuals will begin to transform their marriage into the loving relationship they hoped it would be.

Click for Unlikely Fact Number One