H ere's a story of a real person! who -once upon a time - believed this mythand, as a result, did not live very happily ever after. [Stevie! 10-year-old male fifth grader}

Here's an older and wiser view:

And one even more disastrous true story:

In real life - unlike in mass media narratives - people can and do change for the better, but only if and when they themselves choose to do so and make a serious, concerted effort demonstrated in long-term behavior - not merely because their partner is good and wonderful. We might like to think we're powerful enough to transform a wayward partner, but while we can perhaps motivate and then support those who'd like to improve, we are not magicians. (It's hard enough to make changes in ourselves! Of course, trying to change others also keeps our attention focused away from the more difficult job of our own self-improvement.)

This disturbing myth, inherent in so many ancient fables and modern-day mediated fairy tales, glorifies

codependency - a dangerous model closely related to the rescue theme in the sexual stereotyping of Myth #6 as well as the mistaken belief that we are incomplete without a partner, who can fill our needs and make our dreams come true (Myth #10).