MYTH #1 

YOU NEED TO CHANGE  FOR HIM TO LOVE YOU AND TO BE ACCEPTED BY HIS FAMILY 

This myth is harmful because it starts from the premise that you’re not good enough. There’s a lot of pressure put on women to conform to whatever their partners and in-laws want them to be, but there’s no  joy or freedom in that. 

“Forced change doesn’t last, and it’s very difficult to change just to be accepted by others. This is an indicator that the founding principles of such a relationship were flawed and marred in typical misrepresentations of self. There are minor things you can change to reasonably accommodate other people, but not necessarily change your personality or compromise who you really are,” says clinical psychologist, Dr Matthews Katjene. 

“The bitter truth is that when people don’t want you, they’ll keep moving the goalposts until you can no longer recognise yourself. You’re loved for who you are, not someone else. Most women must first understand their own worth before giving into ideologies which suppress their own identity,” he adds. 

READ MORE: Five relationship mistakes to avoid

MYTH #2 

MARRIAGE = SUCCESS AND SOCIAL SUPERIORITY

This is rooted in getting your  confidence from external factors. The Family Life Centre’s Wilma Calvert, says this myth is just that, a myth. “Being married doesn’t suddenly bring about any change in a person; only a change in the relationship status. How does a ring and a ceremony confer superiority or success? Finding a partner to spend the rest of your life with is not everyone’s goal,” she says. 

Dr Katjene agrees. “Women who behave like marriage is some form of achievement are likely to look down on others and inflate their own self-worth. The worth placed on getting married and seeing that as ‘success’ and stature have put a lot strain on relationships, and kept many women in unhappy unions just to be seen and heard as married,” he says. 

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