Breaking 7 relationship myths
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Graeme Armstrong MBACP
10th February, 20170 Comments
There are many myths about relationships that are not only false but potentially devastating; they can lead couples down the wrong relational path, or convince them that their relationship is hopeless.
Here are some myths that we’re exposing:
1. We’re not communicating
This is partly true but we need to tease this apart. Most couples are communicating extremely effectively, it’s just that they are not paying attention to what’s being said. In actual fact, we cannot not-communicate any more than we cannot not-relate. What this means is that couples need to take notice of how they are communicating and start to actively listen to each other with kindness and curiosity; once this is done a new side of each partner emerges.
2. Conflict is a sign that you’re in a harmful relationship
No: conflict is inevitable in all relationships and helps us if we use it wisely to improve our understanding of our partner. Conflict usually arises from failed attempts to communicate or be listened to, especially if one person is attempting to get heard or understood.
3. Love is all you need
Love is not all you need. You need to put the work in to make a good relationship. We need to abandon the idea that good relationships come about by accident or by magic. Good relationships require solid work and commitment.
4. Talking about past problems will make them worse
You cannot change the facts of the past, but when you are experiencing wounding from the past you can take steps to talk to each other, re-relate to and release the suffering around this; when partners validate and understand each other’s pain it helps discharge it. Not only that, but this is one of the functions of couple relationships.
5. Better relationships are ones in which people are more dependent each other
A mixture of autonomy and interdependence creates healthy relationships. But it’s a balance, so yes you can go out, but be home at 1am and not 6am.
6. Couple relationship conflicts must be resolved
The goal is to accept that conflict will exist and find ways to both manage it and live with it, not necessarily resolve it; some conflicts cannot be resolved. In any case, your relationship is not a problem to be solved, it’s a mutuality to encourage growth.
7. It’s similarity that makes relationships work
Not always; as you grow you are going to discover differences in your relationship. It’s about how you compromise and work with these differences; these just might be your growth points!
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