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8 Myths surrounding relationships

8 Myths surrounding relationships

Some myths surrounding relationships provide powerful misconceptions. Have you ever felt inundated by the flood of ‘quick-fix’ relationship advice saturating books, magazines, blogs, and daytime TV talk shows? Despite its well-meaning intentions, much of this advice is deeply contradictory. Similar to crash diets, it lacks empirical support, relying instead on personal opinions and anecdotal evidence.

One of the most pervasive pieces of quick-fix advice revolves around communication and conflict resolution as the key to a successful marriage and/or lasting relationship. However, this notion is a myth, and it’s just one among many misconceptions circulating in the realm of relationships. These myths surrounding relationships can be harmful as they may lead couples astray or even convince them that their relationship is beyond repair.

In an effort to distinguish truth from fiction, we aim to debunk the eight most common myths surrounding relationships, drawing upon Dr. Gottman’s renowned work, ‘The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work.’

01. Relying solely on active listening skills for conflict resolution won’t necessarily salvage your relationship

While active listening is indeed beneficial, it’s not a panacea for relationship challenges. As Dr. Gottman emphasizes, even happily married couples may engage in heated arguments without jeopardizing their union.

Disagreements are natural and varied, so it’s acceptable to deviate from active listening norms. Prioritize affection and respect, and employ a gentle approach when addressing issues to mitigate conflicts.

02. Personality quirks or neuroses don’t spell doom for a marriage

We all harbor irrational tendencies, but they need not undermine our relationships. Compatibility matters more than possessing a ‘normal’ personality. For instance, if one partner struggles with authority, it’s crucial to avoid pairing them with an authoritarian counterpart.

The key lies in accommodating each other’s idiosyncrasies with care and respect, fostering a thriving relationship.

03. Shared interests alone do not guarantee relationship success

While engaging in mutual activities can strengthen bonds, conflicts may arise based on how partners interact during these pursuits. For example, a disagreement over politics in a bookstore can dampen the romantic atmosphere.

While shared interests can create strong connections, it’s essential to navigate these activities harmoniously.

04. Keeping score in relationships undermines connection

Contrary to the notion of quid pro quo, healthy relationships thrive on freely offered gestures of kindness and support, rather than keeping tallies or striking deals. Fostering connection through genuine acts of kindness fosters a stronger bond.

05.  Avoiding conflict altogether can harm your marriage

Different couples have varying ways of handling disagreements. For instance, instead of confronting Julian about his TV-watching habits, Zoe opts for a run to alleviate tension. Similarly, when upset with Zoe, Julian engages in outdoor activities with their daughter.

By finding individual methods of self-soothing, they avoid unnecessary clashes over minor issues, fostering a compromise that allows for open communication when necessary.

06. Affairs are not always the primary cause of divorce

Many researchs suggests that a significant majority of divorces result from growing apart and a loss of emotional intimacy, rather than infidelity. This is one of the biggest myths surrounding relationships. Most affairs stem from a desire for emotional connection and support, rather than purely sexual motivations.

07. Men are not inherently predisposed to infidelity

Historical evolutionary theories (or myths surrounding relationships) about men’s promiscuity are outdated in today’s context. With increasing gender equality, women now engage in extramarital affairs at similar rates to men, challenging traditional assumptions about gender and fidelity.

08. Men and women do not hail from different planets

The notion that men and women are fundamentally incompatible is one of the myths surrounding relationships debunked by Dr. Gottman’s research, which highlights the importance of friendship in both partners’ satisfaction within a relationship. Successful marriages hinge on mutual friendship and understanding, regardless of gender.

8 Myths surrounding relationships conclusion

Dr. Gottman’s insights into successful relationships, outlined in ‘The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,’ offer valuable guidance for nurturing and strengthening relationships. Applying these principles can lead to a flourishing and fulfilling partnership.