Emerge Therapy

5 Relationship Myths Busted

General

We are surrounded by images of perfect, happy couples. Whether it is In movies, romantic fiction, glossy magazines or just on Social Media we are fed a diet of true love and happy ever after. If we are to believe the image we see around us then being one half of a couple is the solution to all our problems and is our key to lasting happiness.

 

So why is it that most of us simply don’t feel that way? We have found someone we love and have settled down together. Yes, it was pretty magical at the start but sooner or later the sparkle fades a little and the old frustrations of life begin to come to the surface. So why doesn’t our relationship match up to those image in the media? What are we doing wrong? Or are we being fed a big fat lie?


In this blog, I look at 5 of the most common relationship myths that appear in my therapy room and explore the truth behind the myth.


True love is unconditional: Wow this is a strong belief and potentially one of the most toxic myths of them all. But is it realistic? I guess at heart this belief is based on the idea that we want the best for our partner – and will go out of our way to help them feel happy and achieve the things they want. But do you really want a relationship with no boundaries? I said this myth is potentially the most toxic because this is what I hear when relationships have become codependent or abusive. Does loving unconditionally mean you accept your partner having affairs? Or being violent? Of course, it doesn’t. Sometimes love means challenging bad behaviour and setting firm boundaries.


My partner should know how I am feeling: I hear this comment all the time in my therapy room and it is simply not true. None of us have the power to read minds. When we expect our partner to magically understand all our needs and feelings we set up a scenario where we both lose. One partner will feel frequently let down whilst the other will frequently feel frustrated and not good enough. Lasting relationships are built on strong communication and negotiating to get our needs met.


There is one right way to be in a relationship: I have certainly not found this to be the case. Each couple is made up of two unique individuals and I believe that allows for an infinite variety of uniques relationships. Some couples find happiness in a conventional family but others find their bliss in something that may look very different.


My relationship is my happiness: this myth of love seems to imply that we are incomplete without a partner. An idea that can also cause a lot of pain for single people. In mathematical terms, we may say ½ + ½ =1. Only by merging with the perfect other do we become whole. In my experience as a Psychotherapist, we only find happiness and contentment in ourselves. When we search for it in another we risk putting so much strain on the relationship that it breaks. When I have couples espousing this in the therapy room the relationships often appear enmeshed, with little room for outside interests and friends. Successful long-term relationships appear to allow the space for both partners to fully grow and explore themselves whilst choosing to remain in a relationship which makes their life fuller. We might say here that 1+1=2.


Happy couples don’t fight: As I mentioned earlier a couple is made up of two unique individuals. As a result, disagreement is inevitable. Some couples fight like cats and dogs, others do everything possible to avoid the subject. However, a factor in all long lasting relationships is the ability to negotiate disagreement. When you really master the skill of fair fighting, difference and disagreement can be used as an opportunity to build deeper understanding, which in turn can lead to greater intimacy. To illustrate this point the Gottman Institute in Seattle found that successful couples had a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative transactions. Proof that even the best of couples disagree on a fairly regular basis.


Do you suffer from one or more of these myths? Do you want more from your relationship? If so, contact me today and let me help you take your relationship from mediocre to magical. Visit our Couples web page now!

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We are surrounded by images of perfect, happy couples. Whether it is In movies, romantic fiction, glossy magazines or just on Social Media we are fed a diet of true love and happy ever after. If we are to believe the image we see around us then being one half of a couple is the solution to all our problems and is our key to lasting happiness.

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