As soon as some couples get engaged in Pennsylvania, well-meaning friends will offer suggestions and advice on how relationships change after marriage. Much of the advice is even considered common knowledge. However, some of this so-called common knowledge is wrong.

A marriage is something that is constantly evolving. The way that it grows has much to do with the belief structure that people have going into the marriage. If couples hold onto toxic myths about marriage, they may go down the wrong path or convince themselves that their marriage is going end up in divorce.

One myth is that active listening is key to saving a marriage. When a person engages in active listening, they use a lot of “I statements.” The idea is that by fighting better or fighting less frequently, a couple can magically save their marriage. However, this is not backed by scientific proof. Most people know couples who have heated arguments, yet have a very strong relationship. They may also know others who don’t argue at all, yet end up in divorce.

A second myth is that personality flaws destroy relationships. Every single individual has some level of insecurity or baggage that they carry with them. Successful marriages are those where each partner is able to tolerate the “crazy parts” of the other. When they can do this with affection and respect, there is a good chance that the marriage will last.

If a marriage ends in divorce, legal counsel may be necessary. An attorney can draw up post-nuptial agreements and create visitation schedules when child custody issues need to be resolved. In many cases, divorce arrangements can be completed without trial.