Half of All Marriages End in Divorce, and Other Relationship Myths to Quit

If you've ever sat around the dinner table with your married friends and wondered which half would end up divorced, it's time to stop.

The "half of all marriages end in divorce" statistic you've heard one million times is wrong. It's out of date. It doesn't reflect modern relationships. Statisticians have been saying this for years, but the myth of doomed marriage seems a particularly difficult one to kill off.

So what is the truth?

According to the data, while the divorce rate remains higher for people who got married in the 1970s and 1980s, it's been steadily falling ever since. For people  getting married in the 2010s, it's more like a third of marriages that will end in divorce.

This article from The Upshot lays it all out.  There are lots of reasons divorce rates are hard to properly measure, but the biggest one is simply the fact that marriage is either a life-long thing, or it's not. And life is a long time.

So if you're getting married in 2017, the odds for your marriage aren't going to be the same as for your parents', or your grandparents'. No one can know for sure what will happen, because, you know, that would be magic.

With more people living together before marriage, and waiting until they're older to get married in the first place, it's reasonable to think the foundations of today's marriages might be a little stronger.

In 2015, the divorce rate in America hit a 40-year low.  Time to stop being so cynical about love, perhaps.

In that spirit, here are some other relationship myths that need busting, big time.

1. Good relationships don't require hard work.

Nope. There are no shortcuts to home harmony, and you are not going to see eye to eye with your partner on every issue, every single time.

"The strongest most enduring relationships take lots of hard work," Lisa Blum, a clinical psychologist, tells Psych Central. She says a good relationship is like a garden. "It's a beautiful thing but you wouldn't expect it to thrive without a whole lot of labor and TLC."

There's research to back this up. Marriages with no fights? They're 35 percent more likely to end in divorce.

2. Your partner should be your best friend.

We've all heard someone say it, or said it ourselves. "You're the love of my life, and my best friend." It's a nice sentiment, but it doesn't work for everyone.

Don't expect you partner to be able to fulfill all of your friendship needs. It's just setting yourself up for disappointment, and putting a lot of pressure on them.

"Personally, I think if you’re asking one person to be everything to you (lover, best friend, confidante, intellectual equivalent), you are asking way too much from one person," relationship expert Esther Perel tells Refinery 29.

"You set yourself up for an overburdened system. They’re different relationships. And generally, people don’t have hot sex with their best friend."

3. You should be having sex X number of times per week, and be totally in sync.

One thing women aren't told enough is that they might have a higher sex drive than their male partner. Yes, you might not be getting as much sex as you want/he might be having more sex than he wants. Or vice versa.

What's important when it comes to sex and intimacy isn't having perfectly matched libidos. It's having strong communication around your sex life, as well as trust and mutual respect. Like every other aspect of your relationship (see point one) sex is something you might have to work on. But do work on it, because intimacy helps with trust and communication, two things that are very important.

These three myths are regularly trotted out as #relationshipgoals or proof of love. But the truth is no two relationships are the same. And trying to measure your own by someone else's expectations is only going to end in, well, probably divorce.