Are these statements true or false?
The following 10 statements about what makes a good relationship are NOT true. But many people believe they are.
What do you think?
1. If I left this relationship, I would find Mr. or Ms. Right
Surely, there are couples that really don’t belong together. However, the majority of these not-the-right-person complaints are rooted in unrealistic expectations or unhelpful ways to bring up concerns.
Some exceptions: untreated mental illness or persistent substance abuse. But even in those cases, there are relationship issues that can be improved, even if the relationship would eventually end.
2. Two people in a good relationship will automatically grow closer with time
How do people stay physically or intellectually fit? A healthy body takes constant attention and work. The same is true for healthy relationship. It’s not automatic.
3. When couples argue, it means the relationship is not a good one
Arguments are a sign the couple is working on making the relationship better. Couples who don’t recognize and confront their problems can distance themselves from each other. Fighting fair to deal with disagreements and disappointments can be a positive force in a relationship.
4. Pursuing your own individual needs is incompatible with making a couple or marriage relationship work
Happy couples have learned to maintain a certain amount of balance between togetherness and separateness, between individual goals and the goals of the couple.
5. For heterosexual couples with children, the wife’s marital satisfaction is higher when she is a full time homemaker, than when she is employed
Research has consistently shown that there is no difference in marital satisfaction based on the employment status of the wife
6. The more couples communicate verbally, the better their relationship.
In fact, only positive communication increases couples satisfaction. The quality of the interactions is far more predictive of satisfaction in the relationship than the frequency.
7. Sex should be spontaneous to be good. Planning for sex kills desire.
Spontaneity may be desirable, but reality demands planning. Planning, in fact, implies intentionality and intentionality conveys value. Spontaneous sex is more characteristic of the early months/years of the relationship.
8. Talking is the only communication that can fix problems in a relationship.
Talking can also make things worse. Sometimes not talking about something is the best course of action. Other “non-talking” approaches can also be valuable.
9. Happy couples don’t fantasize about having sex with other people
Sexual fantasy has gotten a bad reputation. Many people believe it is limited to the dissatisfied or the immature, but, in reality, it is a natural and imaginative component of healthy adult sexuality.
10. If you are in good relationship, you will receive as much love as the love you give
This is true only if you give according to the love language of your spouse or partner, not yours. If you continually give in your own love language, your partner’s love tank will not stay full for long. Conversely, if you continually give in the love language of your partner and don’t request what would you would like, your love tank will empty soon.
Have a good rest of the year!
Think of couples counseling or therapy as a service in the same way that you think of any other professional service you need:
- You don’t put it off,
- You want to find a professional who specializes in working with couples,
- You look for someone who has experience with the issues that are of concern to you.
- In general, you get what you pay for.