“Love isn’t always perfect. It isn’t a fairytale or a storybook. And it doesn’t always come easy. Love is overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, fighting to be together, holding on and never letting go.” ~Unknown
But that’s love..when it comes to marriage, it doesn’t always mean that it ensures presence of love. There are marriages with love so strong that nothing can shake or break them. They get through everything in life together. Then there are marriages completely devoid of love or any sense of belonging at all (though I do not understand the purpose of staying in such marriages but people do, out of sheer pressure or other problems they may not be able to explain). Anyway coming back to the myths that we grew up believing. Let’s shed some light onto some of them.
Myth #1: Opposites attract and make for more lasting long-term relationships.
It may be true in some cases but in the world of today, if people don’t share similar interests, they tend to find people who do, giving way to infidelity and self created problems like lying, hiding things, etc. We’re fascinated by people who are unlike us because they represent parts of ourselves that we’d like to let out and explore. We tell our friends we can’t help who we are attracted to, but often we are attracted to people who are wrong for us.
While it’s true that we can complement each other with some differences—if, for example, one person is more laid back and the other is more Type A—couples who are more similar have longer lasting relationships than those who are complete opposites.
Dating someone similar means we get the support and validation for our core life values. There will be fewer disagreements on the most important issues and opinions that shape our lives.
Core life values may be spiritual, religious, social, family, and health-related. Taking a closer look at what you prioritize in your life and where you invest your time will tell you your values. This also means that having similarities lead to more positive feelings because of the reciprocity rule in relationships: we like others who are like us. It’s exciting to date someone who is the opposite of you at the beginning. But as the relationship progresses two people with different life values will start to separate and head down different paths.
Opposites attract like strong magnets for the short term, but if you’re looking for the long term, it’s similar core life values that will keep you together. Unhappy relationships don’t get you anywhere. Instead of lifting you up, they keep pulling you down till you reach that point where you are buried in the mess you both created.
Myth #2: Having conflict in a relationship means you’re headed for a breakup.
I formerly believed that fighting meant you’re not compatible with each other and it won’t work out. This was why I thought that love meant never having to fight and I was terrified of conflicts. In relationships people deal with fights by ignoring them, pretending they didn’t happen, and stonewalling, where they just don’t communicate or just walk away, thinking the problem would just disappear and we could return to a normal state of things, as if it never happened. Suppressing your feelings often means experiencing random outbursts of crying because we are so frustrated with pent up emotions inside that we eventually crumble at the slightest stress.
When you are choosing to be with someone in a relationship you are choosing a unique set of problems that cannot be solved. It’s important to learn how to deal with it, because conflicts can bring you both closer afterward.
So having conflicts is actually healthy for a relationship. It shows that you are being honest about issues that are important to you rather than headed for a breakup. It also shows that you care enough to find a solution than to add to the existing pile of mess you both seem to be in. Talk! Always talk! Be willing to listen. Be willing to control your temper. Be willing to show some signs of warmth, being cold would only make things worse. More importantly stop being afraid. Be open towards each other.
Myth#3: If partners really love each other, they know each other’s needs and feelings.
It’s a setup to expect your partner to be able to read your mind because when you anticipate that your partner will know your wants, that’s essentially what you’re doing. We develop this expectation as kids but as adults, we’re always responsible for communicating our feelings and needs. And once you’ve communicated your needs and feelings, a better measure of the quality of your relationship is whether your partner actually listens to your words.
Myth#4: Having a child will strengthen your relationship or marriage.
Having children is a decision that both partners need to make together in order to feel strongly about it and be happy. We need to stop telling women to have a child as soon as they can because it’s not necessary that your partner would be thinking the same. Studies have shown that relationship happiness actually decreases with every child. This doesn’t mean that you start loving each other less or that you won’t bond at all over your child but the mounting challenges can complicate relationships. In most cases, Mother’s are so busy taking care of the little ones, eventually not finding time for themselves. Husbands find parenting too stressful, thinking it’s a mother’s job to raise the kid while he is only responsible for the financial aspect of their lives, providing them what they need. This thinking leads to less hestitation when it comes to cheating on their life partners. (Though it may not be the case in every marriage) But it’s about time that we raise our sons and daughters teaching them core values since the beginning so their relationships won’t suffer in future.
Myth#5: Jealousy is a sign of true love and caring.
Though sometimes it takes something like this to wake up your sleeping partner but that’s not always the case. Jealousy is more about how secure and confident you are with yourself and your relationship (or the lack thereof), Take the following example: If you have a jealous partner, you might try to show them how much you care so they don’t get jealous. But you soon realize that any amount of caring isn’t a cure for their jealous reactions. Keep in mind while you can be supportive, your partner must work on their insecurity issues on their own. No matter what you do, you can’t make your partner feel more secure or change their self-confidence. Trying to make your partner jealous also can backfire. While men and women are just as likely to experience jealousy, their reactions differ. The big question that you should always ask yourself is that why do you feel the need to make your partner feel jealous. Think!
Myth#6: In order for the relationship to be successful, the other partner must change.
Okay now this is something commonly expected (mostly from women). Many times we’re very good at the blame game and not so good at pondering how we can become better partners. Instead, we demand that our partners make such and such changes.
Most of you may not agree with me but why is the woman who leaves her house, her parents, her entire life to begin a new one with you, expected to change in order to fit the mould you have ready for her. Why is she supposed to think, eat, dress, walk, talk, sit, smile, socialize, work the way you want her to. I’m sorry men but this applies to both of you. If you know what your chosen partner is like and you have accepted her the way she/he is then please don’t turn her world upside down to fit yours. By doing so, you are very slowly pulling away pieces of her that made her who she was. If you don’t like her/him then do yourselves a favour and don’t be with each other. Simple!
I do not disagree with the fact that there are times when both parties have to change certain things in order to make their relationship last. That should only happen when it matters to both of you and not just one person. Mutual understanding and trust!
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That’s it for now. These are just some of the myths we grew up believing. If you can think of more, please list them down in the comment box below. You don’t necessarily have to agree with me but if you disagree then let’s discuss your point of view 🙂
Much Love! xx