As a relationship and life coach, I have seen many people hold onto misguided beliefs about marriage and intimate relationships. In this article, I aim to debunk some common relationship myths and offer a fresh perspective. By challenging these myths, you can build healthier and happier relationships.
It’s important to acknowledge that cultural, religious and societal influences can significantly impact how we approach relationships and the myths we believe about them. Also, popular media often portrays relationships in a way that perpetuates these myths.
Common relationship myths
1. My marriage will last long if I meet the perfect one
The perfect human specimen has yet to be created. Perfectionism only fuels procrastination.
Rather than seeking the perfect spouse, work on being the best version of yourself. Focus on your personal growth and development; your relationship will benefit.
2. The myth that falling in love is a sign that one is in love
While falling in love is a beautiful experience, it is just the beginning of a long-term relationship. Real love is what remains after the initial infatuation settles. It is the willingness to show up for each other and try to maintain the relationship.
In many cultures, a strong emphasis is placed on the importance of marriage and finding a life partner. Unfortunately, that can create pressure to find “the one” and settle down quickly, leading to the myth that falling in love is enough to sustain a relationship.
3. The myth that marriage is a happily ever after
Many romantic comedies and fairy tales often depict a “happily ever after” ending, which can create unrealistic expectations about a healthy relationship.
Marriage can be difficult at times, but it is also rewarding. However, it requires ongoing effort and commitment. The key is approaching your relationship as a partnership, where both parties work towards a common goal.
4. The false belief that you can change your spouse to your ideal vision
The only person you are capable of changing is YOU. While it’s important to communicate your needs and preferences, you cannot force your partner to change. Instead, focus on being the best version of yourself and creating a healthy and positive environment for your relationship to thrive.
5. The myth that relationships should be effortless
The truth is that all relationships take work. It is normal to face challenges and disagreements. The key is to recognize that these are opportunities for growth and learning. Putting in effort to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts can strengthen your relationship.
Here are six proven tips for resolving conflicts in marriage:
- Inability to manage finances: To achieve your financial freedom, seek the help of a financial planner or accountant. Decide early on whether to budget together and have weekly date nights to discuss money matters.
- Conflicting standpoints on children: Discuss beforehand how to approach child discipline, be consistent, avoid inflicting physical or emotional pain, and tailor discipline to the child’s age.
- Communication breakdown: Learn good listening techniques, show genuine interest, make good eye contact, avoid distractions, and avoid surface-level or single-word responses.
- Lack of sexual compatibility: Talk openly and honestly with your partner, experiment with different sexual activities, make time for each other outside of the bedroom, and seek professional help if needed.
- Conflicts caused by in-laws and friends: Prioritize your partner above all others, set clear boundaries, avoid taking sides with friends and family, and seek professional help if needed.
- Unmet expectations: Discuss expectations with your partner and find a compromise that works for both of you. Be realistic and avoid expecting your partner to read your mind.
6. The relationship myth that you should always put your partner first
Societal and religious expectations may burden individuals to prioritize their partner’s needs above their own. Such beliefs can perpetuate the myth that you should always put your partner first.
While prioritizing your partner is essential, practising self-care and setting healthy boundaries is equally important. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Instead, take care of yourself to show up as your best self in your relationship.
7. The myth that sex should always be spontaneous and passionate
The media often depict sex as spontaneous and effortless. Pornography objectifies people and destroys the actual value of sex. The result is the wrong belief that a good sexual relationship should always come naturally.
Sex requires communication, effort, and sometimes planning. It is normal to have different levels of desire and other sexual preferences. In addition, men and women have different biological drives for sex, so communication and understanding are key.
Communicating openly and working together can create a satisfying sex life.
8. The myth that communication should always be easy
Communication is a skill that requires practice and effort. It is normal to face challenges in communicating effectively. The key is approaching communication with an open mind and a willingness to learn and grow together.
Here are proven tips for effective communication in marriage:
- Model respectful listening.
- Choose to be genuinely interested in what your spouse says.
- Write your spouse a note that reinforces your message.
- Schedule regular, media-free family mealtimes.
- Make eye contact when you are talking.
- Avoid distractions while interacting with your spouse.
- Avoid surface-level or single-word responses.
Effective communication involves listening and responding verbally and paying attention to non-verbal cues. It is essential to avoid attacking the messenger. Be honest and show genuine interest in your spouse’s words. Leaving love notes and scheduling media-free meal times can be helpful. Eye contact can build trust, honesty, and openness. Avoiding distractions and giving complete answers can help you to have more meaningful conversations.
9. The myth that total dependency on our spouse leads to a lasting relationship
A healthy marriage involves interdependence, not total dependency or parasitism. It is essential for each partner to be capable of living on their own and to choose to live together. Such independence creates a balanced dynamic where partners can contribute equally to the relationship.
10. The myth that a good relationship doesn’t require hard work
All good relationships require ongoing effort and commitment. It is normal to face challenges and disagreements. The key is approaching these challenges with a growth mindset and a willingness to work together.
Spouses should understand and meet their emotional needs to build a great relationship.
You are not alone if you hold unto any of the myths above. It’s okay to challenge these myths. However, it’s crucial to approach relationships critically, recognizing that each individual and relationship is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to building a healthy and fulfilling intimate relationship.
You can build healthier and happier relationships by challenging these common marriage and intimate relationship myths. Remember that all relationships take work; the key is to approach them with a growth mindset and willingness to learn and grow together. Practice communication, set healthy boundaries, prioritize self-care, and focus on personal growth. Your relationship will thank you for it.
Which of the above relationship myths can you relate with?
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for your time.