Myths about marriage often get perpetuated, leading many to make unwise decisions based on faulty information. In reviewing the latest empirical research on marriage in an article in the American Journal of Family Therapy, I was a bit surprised by some of the findings. See for yourself how \"with it\" you are regarding marriage by taking this marriage myths quiz. It's good to know the facts!True or false: Children are better off with divorced parents than with parents who are unhappily married.False. The sad reality is that the effects of divorce are pervasive and long-lasting for children. A recent book \"Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce\" by Elizabeth Marquardt thoroughly illustrates the challenges children of divorce face. Children of divorce experience greater challenges in maintaining their marriages and have an increased risk of divorce.Even in unhappy marriages parents are able to provide children with benefits that divorced parents cannot, such as greater economic standing, stronger family bonds, stronger connections with the community, more available time for parent-child interaction and better overall emotional health. This is by no means a suggestion that unhappy couples simply stay married, but it is a suggestion that unhappy couples get help and do what is necessary to turn the tide in their marriages.True or false: Married people have more sex.True.
While singles may talk more about their sexual escapades than married
individuals, it's just talk. Married people have sex more often than
singles. I'm sure there are many married people out there surprised by
this one, but the facts are that it's still better being married.True or false: Single people have more satisfying sex than married couples.False.
Not only do married people make love more often than their single
counterparts, but they also have more physically and emotionally
satisfying sexual relationships. Considering the multidimensional
nature of truly fulfilling sexual intimacy (mental, emotional,
spiritual and physical), it comes as no surprise that the best sex is
married sex.True or false: Having children usually decreases marital satisfaction for both partners.True. Unfortunately, having a child generally decreases marital satisfaction for both partners. It certainly takes some selflessness, maturity and strength to adjust to the changes and challenges that accompany the arrival of a child.This is when some of the real work of marriage begins, as couples must stretch to strengthen the marital relationship and pull together despite the added stress and responsibilities of parenthood. While some may use this as justification for avoiding parenthood, it seems that God sees marriage and parenting as two of his greatest tools for smoothing off our rough edges and helping us to become more like him.True or false: If divorced parents put forth positive attitudes about relationships, their children are no more likely to divorce than children of married parents.False. Children who experience divorce consistently show more negative attitudes toward marriage than their peers regardless of parental attempts to communicate more positive attitudes. Children of divorce have an increased risk of divorce in their own marriages.One thing children of divorce can do to better prepare themselves for success in marriage is to get into individual counseling to work through any issues surrounding trust and the vulnerability needed to form healthy intimate relationships. They also might seek out marriage education, get a significant amount of premarital counseling with their fiance(e) to work through any issues before marriage, and then continue to seek education and professional assistance as issues inevitably arise within marriage.True or false: Cohabitation before marriage decreases the chance of divorce.False. This myth is so widespread that many who have some fears about marriage unwisely believe they are taking precautions by cohabiting first. Little do they realize they are increasing their chances of divorce. Those who live together before marriage get divorced more often than those who do not.Whether this fact reveals the different values or commitment level of those who cohabit vs. those who don't, or speaks to the experience of cohabiting itself as a factor that weakens the relationship, the research is not clear. The key point to know is that cohabiting does not increase your chances of relationship success in marriage.True or false: The majority of couples who divorce are low-conflict couples.True. Less than a third of couples who divorce are those who would be considered high-conflict couples. Studies have shown that a variety of marital problems lead to divorce, with infidelity, drug use and foolish spending habits being some of the strongest predictors of divorce. The issue of divorce and conflict in marriage is not whether the couple has conflict, but how couples resolve conflict that matters most.True or false: The quality of a married couple's sex life is the single best statistical predictor of overall marital satisfaction.False. Overall the quality of a couples' friendship is more essential to marital satisfaction than the quality of their sex life. In a study comparing overall marital satisfaction with other variables, the couple's sex life ranked fourth. First was affective (emotional) and problem-solving communication. Second was having common interests, and third was based on the amount and quality of leisure time a couple spends together.How did you do in this marriage myths quiz? Hopefully you learned a few things, and will be better prepared to impart the truth about marriage. Information was gathered from the following article:Caldwell, B., & Woolley, S. (2008). Marriage and family therapists' endorsement of myths about marriage. American Journal of Family Therapy, 36(5), 367-387. Available through the Academic Search Premier Research Databases.All original research references are available in the article.