We have so many assumptions about relationships. Have you ever stopped to consider what your assumptions are? If you do, you might be surprised as these are the guiding beliefs that shape your marital interactions. Here are 5 common myths that I talk to couples about daily.
Relationship Myth #1: If I love my partner, it will be easy.
Contrary to Hollywood-created belief, love does not magically wipe away the rough patches in marriage and other relationships. By design, relationships require work and will cause pain and stretching in our hearts as we learn how to communicate with one another and accommodate each other’s needs. Of course, if you love someone, you have more investment in working through these tough patches but easy, relationships are not.
Relationship Myth #2: My partner needs to change, I don’t
Mahatma Gandhi is credited for giving us this safe advice, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” There is actually no evidence that Gandhi ever said exactly this, what he did say was:
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.”
When you begin doing your own work, your own transformation, the most amazing thing happens…the people around you begin to respond to you differently. Change begets change.
Relationship Myth #3: Events from my childhood have no impact on my current relationship
I often say that from birth until you are about 14 years old, you are taught a language by your family and caregivers. Think of it like this, if you were taught English as your primary language and then suddenly at age 25, when you fell in love with the person of your dreams, how likely is it that you will be able to speak Mandarin?
In other words, you are taught a particular speaking language (English, Spanish, etc.) and you are also taught a non-verbal language. A language of how to communicate your needs, feelings, desires, and opinions. The words that you speak are a very small piece of what you are communicating with your partner. Your body language, tone of voice, proxemics (personal space), and gestures have an enormous impact on the messages that you are giving. Many people can benefit from becoming conscious of these forms of communication and how childhood events are impacting their present-day lives.
Relationship Myth #4: Health relationships have no conflict
Conflict and disagreements are a part of being in human relationships. We hurt each other. Often unintentionally — and sometimes intentionally. Conflict is simply a difference of perspective and of course, you are not your partner — so why would you have viewpoints on life. These differences provide a rich opportunity to learn about one another, practice compassion and stretch our capacity to hold a more vital and diverse relationship than we had before.
Relationship Myth #5: Marriages cannot survive an affair
In the years that I have been working with couples, I can say that affairs are quite common. In today’s world, with so many ways to connect with others outside of our primary relationships, emotional affairs (affairs with no physical contact maintained by FB, email, texting, etc.) are becoming increasingly common. Recovering from an affair is by no means easy, however, when both parties are willing to take an honest assessment of how they got to this point in their relationship, tremendous healing and growth can occur. It is like an alcoholic hitting the proverbial “rock-bottom”. No, it is not easy to get sober, but if you hit that bottom, the motivation to change can be great and this is where transformation can happen.
Call me if you are wondering how these relationship myths might be affecting your marriage. You can reach me at 720.457.3342 or book online below and let’s see how I might be able to help you achieve your own healthy, vibrant relationships with yourself and others.