Maintaining a healthy relationship is hard enough without having to follow certain “rules” or “truths” about relationships from friends and books.
Here are 6 of the most common but also dangerous relationship myths.
MYTH # 1: Actively listening to your partner will save your relationship
REALITY: While good communication or conflict resolution skills can decrease the risk of conflict, it alone cannot save your relationship. As Dr. Gottman points out, “even happily married couples can have screaming matches – loud arguments don’t necessarily harm a marriage.” We all have disagreements, and they are necessary at times. It’s important to always remember the love and affection that you hold for each other, ending your arguments on a positive note can override natural variations in argumentative style.
MYTH # 2: Personality problems ruin relationships
REALITY: We all have issues that we are not totally rational about, and sometimes our buttons can be pushed but that doesn’t necessarily interfere with our relationship. The key is not to find someone who has a “normal” personality, the key is to find someone that we mesh with, someone who gets us and vice versa. If you can view your differences with affection, respect, and love then what’s on the surface may seem irrational can actually bring you closer together than ever.
MYTH # 3: Common interests keep you together
REALITY: Having common interests is a plus in a relationship but there are plenty of couples who have no common interests and are happily married. What matters more is how you interact with each other during those times. For one couple, skiing together brings you closer and deepens the love you have for each other. Another couple might equally enjoy skiing together but during the trip they criticize and have no mutual respect for one another, so there’s the difference.
MYTH # 4: You scratch my back and…
REALITY: Two people should strive to have balance in the relationship and help each other but the happy couples realize that it’s never a 50/50 thing. Instead, they feel good about the relationship and don’t keep tabs on whose turn it is to wash the dishes after the dinner was cooked.
MYTH # 5: Avoiding conflict will ruin your relationship
REALITY: Everyone has different methods of dealing with disagreements. The “say it how it is” no BS concept may not be the best policy for everyone. Honesty doesn’t work for everyone. Most couples just have different styles of conflict. Some need to resolve their differences on the spot, some avoid fights at all costs and some always seem to bump heads and fight. There is not a right or wrong style it’s what works for both people involved.
MYTH # 6: Affairs are the root cause of divorce
REALITY: This is a big misconception that people have. Most of the time infidelity is the last reason for divorce. The first reason is the lack of marital problems that go unresolved thus causing you to throw yourself to have an affair. In the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John Gottman cites research by Lynn Gigy, PhD., and Joan Kelly, Ph.D., from the Divorce Meditation Project in Corte Madera, California, who found that 80% of divorced me and women cited growing apart and loss of a sense of closeness to their partner as reason for divorce, as opposed to only 20 to 27% blaming their separation on an extramarital affair. The truth is that most affairs do not begin with an attempt to cheat instead it’s the lack of emotional closeness, love, attention, friendship, feeling needed and appreciated from the partner.