Sometimes referred to as relationship rules or essentials, here we’ll unpick 5 top relationship myths and reveal the real truth.
Let’s face it. Relationships are complex and ever-evolving.
It’s easy for people to have misconceptions and to follow outdated advice.
By dispelling these myths, couples can gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to nurture a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
So here are my top 5 relationship myths:
Myth #1: You should know what your partner wants
One of the most prevalent myths is the belief that partners should instinctively know each other’s needs and desires.
It’s unrealistic to expect your partner to be a mind reader. Instead, it’s about opening up with honest conversations. We’re aiming to avoid assumptions and actually get into the habit of asking for what you really want.
It’s all about active listening and expressing your needs and desires clearly. It’s not about being a mind reader.
Myth #2: Relationships should be 50:50
The myth of a perfectly balanced partnership, where each partner contributes equally, sounds idyllic. However, it’s more constructive to understand that relationships are fluid and ever-changing. The dynamics between two individuals will naturally fluctuate depending on work commitments, personal challenges, mental or physical health, emotional states and even the weather! Rather than fixating on the 50:50 divide, instead focus on supporting and accommodating each other’s needs. These will most-likely change throughout different phases of your life. Aim to create a sense of balance and equality of care, love and attention.
Myth #3: The Romantic Phase should last forever
In the initial stages of a relationship, the infatuation and passion can feel intoxicating. However, many couples fall into the trap of believing that this “honeymoon phase” should last indefinitely.
The reality is that relationships naturally evolve over time, and the intense romantic feelings aim to give way to a deeper, more profound connection.
They are meant to evolve and it’s a key motivation and survival instinct for us as humans, to create a long term bond with that one special person.
Embrace this evolution, appreciating the beauty of growing together and finding joy in the deeper emotional bond that develops over time.
Myth #4: You can mould your partner into your ideal match
This can be tricky to navigate because we all develop and grow over time. We hope that we can remain connected during this growth so we don’t end up growing apart.
It’s common for people to enter a relationship with the belief that they can change their partner.
If this is your main intention, I’m afraid it can only lead to frustration and disappointment.
Some of the advice might be to ‘accept each other for who they are’ and to ‘celebrate your unique qualities and differences’.
Whilst I agree with this in terms of major personality traits, I disagree with this in terms of behaviours.
We can ask our partners to change frustrating behaviours, as long as you’re willing to do the same in return.
My wife always wanted me to enjoy sharing a bottle of red wine with a nice meal. It wasn’t until my early 30s that I enjoyed this too.
One of the reasons this behaviour changed was because I clearly understood what would make her happy. She didn’t lead with criticism and I therefore didn’t become defensive. I tried wine more over time and came to like it myself. It’s a simple example but an effective behaviour change that brought us closer together.
If you want your partner to become the life and soul of the party, when they are always the one organising in the kitchen, then this is where I think you’ll be disappointed, but you can ask your partner to change some of their behaviours, as long as it’s done with the right intentions.
Myth #5: No relationship can survive an affair
Infidelity is undoubtedly a severe breach of trust that can cause immense pain and strain on a relationship. However, it is possible for a relationship to survive and even thrive after an affair.
Rebuilding trust requires open communication above anything else and a commitment from both partners to work through the underlying issues that contributed to the infidelity.
With time, effort, and sometimes professional guidance, couples can heal and cultivate a stronger bond than before.
Developing a greater connection between partners often requires the assistance of a couples therapist. One possible strategy a therapist may employ is the use of Attachment Theory. This aims to help couples identify and understand the underlying emotions and attachment needs that drive their behaviours and reactions within the relationship.
Through guided conversations, the therapist helps partners express their emotions, validate each other’s experiences, and develop new patterns of communication and connection.
This model promotes safety and by building a secure attachment, allowing couples to repair and strengthen their bond.
Understanding the truth behind common relationship myths is crucial for building and maintaining a healthy partnership. By dispelling these myths, couples can cultivate realistic expectations, open lines of communication, and embrace the ever-changing nature of their relationship.
Remember, relationships require effort, commitment, and a willingness to grow together, but the rewards of a strong and fulfilling partnership are life-changing.
If you would like clarity on how you move forward in your relationship drop me a message and I’ll be happy to offer you some advice as to the next best step. Or, you can find out more about the Relationship Reboot Program here.