Of course, the honeymoon phase of most relationships can leave us feeling excited and enchanted with each other. However, the honeymoon shine will fade over time and that is perfectly normal.
What is also normal is that most relationships can be complicated and messy at times, while also being healthy and fulfilling.
Having realistic expectations is important and understanding these myths can help ensure you are setting your relationship up for success.
5 Myths You Need to Understand About Relationships
Myth: Happy couples do not fight.
Reality: Happy couples fight, but they know how to resolve the fight and move forward together.
Arguing and conflict are normal parts of intimate relationships. We will argue with our partner. We will argue with our kids. It is not uncommon to hear couples proudly state, “we never fight.” This raises a warning flag that issues are being avoided and partners do not feel safe or comfortable enough to raise them. Although it may be quieter with the absence of conflict, it potentially can also be more emotionally distant and disconnected. Happy couples will fight. And then they can return to being emotionally in-tune together, soothe each other and find a solution to the issue at hand.
Myth: Happy couples tell each other everything and do everything together.
Reality: Happy couples enjoy time together while also enjoying time apart and have a life outside of their relationship.
When you feel secure within yourselves and secure within your relationships that gives you the courage and confidence to pursue your own interests and activities. Your relationship is a secure base from which you go out to explore the world in your own unique way. However, if you feel more insecure, you may need the presence of your partner to help soothe the underlying anxiety. Feelings of separateness can feel unsafe and may leave you worried about the stability of the relationship. Happy couples have many ways to feel supported and enjoy their lives together, while also supporting each other’s separate interests and goals.
Myth: Happy couples want to have sex all the time.
Reality: Happy couples may not want to have sex all the time, but they keep it as a priority in their relationship.
It is natural to feel very amorous in the early days of a new romance. It is like you cannot get enough of each other. And that is truly fun. However, it is inevitable that will typically shift over time, especially as the demands of your life change and often increase. This means that you likely are not going to want sex all the time, like you did early on. However, what it does not mean is that you stop having sex. Healthy couples understand that sex is something special they only share with each other and they set an intention to nurture that part of their relationship, even if the desire initially is low. They gear up to have sex allowing them to feel connected in more ways than merely interacting about the chores and logistics of life. As relationships mature over time, healthy couples keep a good balanced sex life where quality is more important than quantity.
Myth: Happy couples are emotionally healthy in their own rite.
Reality: Everyone has issues and a past.
Depending on your background or past experiences, you may somehow feel “disadvantaged” when it comes to enjoying a healthy relationship. Perhaps you have parents who were emotionally neglectful. Or you may have experienced abuse or trauma. Or maybe you have just had a string of bad relationships where you seem to attract the wrong type of person. Having some type of past issue is quite common. The important question becomes, are you aware of what you struggle with? Can you acknowledge it to yourself and your partner, and can they do the same? And if needed, can you seek support to help understand and heal those underlying issues. We all have a past, but it does not have to define us and we have the capacity to overcome the impacts it may have created in our lives.
Myth: Happy couples feel loving and kind all the time.
Reality: Happy couples get annoyed, irritated, and frustrated with each other.
We are human. No one is perfect. So, it is perfectly normal to feel annoyed, irritated and frustrated with your partner; and for them to feel the same way about you at times. So, the presence of these feelings is normal, but how healthy couples handle them may look different than couples who are unhappy and struggling. Healthy couples will recognize when their mood is in a funk and create some distance and space, or if they do not, they can later reach out to repair the relationship if they have acted in unkind ways.
by: Mary Joan Brinson MSW, RSW