"When you get married, the sex stops." This is probably one of the most popular myths that many of us hear when the topic of marriage comes up. There may be seasons when it may slow down for whatever reason, but for most couples, it doesn't stop. This is a myth that can easily be debunked, and I can attest to this because of my personal experience as a wife (10+ years), as well as the experiences of others. Not to mention, the fact that sex was a hot topic and constant theme throughout the recent Black Love Summit -- from sex closets to toys, wigs, positions, and costumes. You can read a recap of the event here.
During the summit, we asked several of the husbands and panelists what marriage myth they'd like to debunk. Here's what they had to say*:
Myth: Your life is over when you get married.
Dondre Whitfield – Married Sixteen Years:
"People think that your life is over when you get married and I don't know where that information comes from. If you're talking to people who don't have a good marriage, then, yes, they will feel like their life is over, but that doesn't mean that's going to be your marriage. Marriage is a great thing if it's done the right way. It's like when you get a driver's license. Driving is great, but if nobody gives you the skill set to drive and you're crashing, then driving is going to be awful. Marriage is similar – you just need the right information to know how to do it better."
Myth: Women are expected to be perfect.
Devale Ellis – Married Nine Years:
"The myth is that men come into marriage broken and women are perfect. So, women are expected to be perfect and they have this pressure to do everything the right way, but nobody's perfect. It puts women on a pedestal where if they're not perfect in every aspect, then they feel inadequate. Women shouldn't have to be thought of as inadequate just because they don't do everything exactly as a man wants it. Women go through things and have issues, as do men, but we -- men and women -- have to work collectively to make sure we're both okay."
Myth: Marriage isn’t fun.
Tommy Oliver – Married Four Years:
"My wife and I we still like to have a lot of fun, crack jokes with one another, and take trips with each other. We still take the same trips we took while we were dating in the very beginning. Marriage is fun! Now you have a partner to share everything with…like a real true partner for a lifetime."
Myth: You have to change yourself.
Mike "DJ Fadelf" Jackson – Married Eight Years:
"One of the things we need to stop thinking is that when you get married, we have to change ourselves. In other words, you think you have to become someone who is less than you were before you got married; not realizing that you become a better person in that relationship. People lose themselves by becoming someone they're not. You fall in love with a specific person, but in the relationship you enhance that person and work on each other together."
Myth: The first five years of marriage are hard.
Warryn Campbell – Married Eighteen Years:
"Honestly, every year is hard, but it's really about what you put into it and your perspective. People say the first year tends to be the hardest, but to me, I thought the first year was great! Whatever you did in the beginning, you have to continue that same energy and same work throughout the relationship because you grow together, you change, and you evolve."
Myth: The work stops when the wedding ends.
Chris Spencer – Married Ten Years:
"The wedding may feel like happily ever after, but it's not over. The wedding day is the start. That's day one, and it's a marathon. So, get ready to run that race."
Bryan Chea – Married Three Years:
"Once you're married, it's til death do you part, but that doesn't mean you don't have to work at it. You're still learning yourself, let alone your partner, and all of those changes. Marriage isn't a lifelong thing unless you're intentional about making it that way."
*Responses edited and condensed for clarity
Want more marriage gems? Tune into OWN every Saturday at 9/8c to catch the all new season of Black Love.
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