31 Lies Women Are Taught About Marriage 

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A couple of weeks back, I asked women about the biggest lies they had been taught or believed about marriage.

So many responded and shared how those beliefs influenced their self-perceptions and relationships.

What struck me was how so many could relate to other people’s experiences/beliefs.

Lies women were taught about marriage

When some Christians say, “It’s not that bad,” I wish they could read threads like these.

Because commenters expressed how affirming and healing it was to read about other people’s experiences, I decided to do a summary and create a permanent (and shareable) post for anyone wanting to explore their beliefs and how they shape their thinking, behavior, and tolerance.

Without further ado..

Lies Women Were Taught About Marriage: A Summary

I’ll start with mine: One of the lies I was taught about marriage was gender roles. I believed gender roles in marriage were the standard Christian practice and where absent, those people were doing it wrong.

What changed my mind:

  • Learning, processing, and accepting God as gentle and kind.
  • Realizing my husband and I didn’t actually practice gender roles in our marriage, though we said we did. Read 15 Reasons Why Women Stop Believing in Wife-Only Submission
  • Witnessing the outcomes of when a man uses the power heaped on him.

The Question: What’s one big myth/lie you were taught about marriage? 

1. The Bible teaches and affirms strict gender roles – the man is the leader, and wife submits and prays for her husband. (Read why submission is mutual)

2. Being a Christian and putting God first will ensure a wonderful marriage.

3. Avoiding pre-marital sex guarantees a happy marriage and sex life. “Saving yourself for marriage” will cause a future husband to cherish you.

4. Marriage is hard (hard can include abuse and infidelity) at first, but it gets better. It’s called “paying your dues.”

5. Divorce is not an option: you can work through anything. Marriage is for life because you made a vow and promise to God.

6. “The woman bends so the man doesn’t break.”

Lies women were taught to believe about marriage

7. God hates divorce. Divorce is a sin. (God does not hate divorce.)  

8. Men need respect and should never be questioned in public. Wives only need love.

9. Give him enough sex and enough respect, and he will become a godly man, and he’ll never cheat on you.

10. Being a good, submissive Christian wife will automatically result in the husband being kind.

11. Preserving the marriage takes priority over the well-being of individuals.

12. Men cheat because they are just that –men. (Check out The Sexually Healthy Man by Dr. Andrew J. Bauman.)

13. You shouldn’t talk about your marriage to people outside your marriage.

14. If you pray hard enough for your spouse, God will work in their lives, and they can change.

15. Abuse is not biblical grounds for divorce.

16. Men need sex every 72 hours from their wives, or else they will be tempted to cheat/resort to porn. (Read about how Evangelical authors made up the 72-hour rule.)

17. One person can save a marriage.

18. Marriage is meant to make you holy, not happy.

19. A woman marries her husband’s entire family and, therefore, needs to submit to their advice, suggestions, beliefs, and desires because God expects that.

20. Treat your husband as though he is already a great man, not as he currently is (abusive), and he will grow into that great man. (Read 18 Things Normal Guys Don’t Do in Marriage (And 12 Things They Pursue)

21. A woman is stuck with the fallout of her husband’s bad decisions because the man is the head/decision-maker.

22. The “good wife” puts herself last and constantly sacrifices for her husband. (Read How To Be a Good Wife To Bad Husband (Clarity For Wives)

23. Transformed wife teachings. (Lori Alexander, the author of “The Transformed Wife” blog, promotes damaging ideas about singlehood, wifehood, and motherhood.)

24. The two become one, and inseparable means doing everything together: no room for the individual.

25. The wife is the better half because she does things the husband doesn’t want to do.

26. A wife is responsible for her husband’s sin. (Read Why Women Are Not To Blame For Men’s Sexual Sin.)

27. Sexual purity is only about the man physically cheating (watching porn doesn’t count as a violation of sexual purity.)

28. “When you meet someone you don’t want to live without, you’ll know he is the one.” (A more realistic view is finding someone you actually want to live with.)

29. Both parties are always at fault if the marriage fails.

30. Abuse is only physical. (Abuse is more than physical. Check out Is it Abuse? Because You Deserve to Know, a free resource by Sarah McDugal.)

31. Fake it till you make it.

Lies women were taught about marriage: courageous steps

A core belief behind many of these lies is that one person can completely change the dynamics of a relationship. The reality, though, is that a healthy marriage is made up of two healthy, growing people. 

When one person is encouraged to adopt a “team” mindset while the other is allowed to continue, unchecked about their self-centeredness, the result is endless pain and harm.

The gap between what happens to us in relationships and how we are taught to respond is why I wrote my book Courage: Reflections and Liberation for Hurting Soul book. You deserve better. Your agency and autonomy are God-given and worth protecting. Order Courage on AMAZON or this website (PDF.)

2 Comments

  1. I didn’t wake up this morning thinking I’d be reading about sex or getting further validation that my divorce was a good thing, but I did/got both. I had an extremely conservative upbringing and married someone with similar beliefs. The disrespect started from day 1, but I endured because that’s what all Christian wives are supposed to do, or so I was taught. I was taught many of the 31 rules you mentioned, and I gave them my all. In the end, as you know, one person’s all can’t revive something that long since died. I was most appreciative of the 72 hr rule and went to the other site to read more about it. I’m ashamed to say I read all of those men’s books on the topic, all of them, underlined them profusely, and then went about doing what they said a good wife would do. I’m one of those women who endured sex when I was sick with the flu, after post-partum (I had 7 kids) and any time he wanted it because if I didn’t ’he’d find it somewhere else’. I look back at that now and I’m truly horrified, not just for what I went through but also at what this is teaching/instilling in these men, basically, that they are god in the home. Thank you so much for clarifying and setting things straight.

    1. I’m so sorry for what you endured 😥💔 You deserved better. I’m glad this post was validating.

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