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How myths about marriage can be damaging

There are several common myths about marriage that can be damaging to couples in New Jersey. For example, some people might believe that they possess personality flaws that will ruin the relationship. However, it is not personality flaws that are the issue but how the couple handles them that will affect the marriage.

Another example of a common myth is the idea that marriage puts an end to sex. Studies actually show that people in long-term marriages have sex more than their single counterparts. The marriage counselor and researcher John Gottman says that it is also a myth that active listening is the key to saving relationships. Characterized by "I" statements, active listening does not adequately account for the emotions that are behind those statements, according to Gottman. He says that it does not help many couples, and even those who are helped by it revert to their old patterns within a year. Gottman also states that people can argue frequently and still have a healthy marriage.

The myth that equality in a marriage means everyone always doing half the work can breed resentment. Keeping track of who does what is usually present in a healthy marriage. Instead, couples tend to give more at different times depending on their needs and ability. However, if this becomes unbalanced over time, couples should discuss it.

Despite efforts to fix a relationship because of these or other issues, couples might decide they have irreconcilable differences. As part of the divorce, they may need to negotiate an agreement to divide any shared property and make child custody arrangements if they have children. Even if the divorce is a high-conflict one, the couple might be able to reach an agreement through mediation. Unlike the adversarial process of litigation, the aim of mediation is for the couple to reach a solution that suits them both.

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