Common sentiments about love get repeated over and over. Popular sayings get passed on from generation to generation. Ideas about love get affirmed by our “feelings” and by what we hope to be true rather than by logic and meaningful information.
Yep, we’ve all been duped when it comes to matters of the heart.
Now is the time to crush the romantic fibs out of your love life and ground your understanding of love in more meaningful information.
Here are five big lies about love:
1. “Happily Ever After” Exists. Chick flicks are the big culprit here. Romantic movies and heartwarming stories filled with cheesy clichés and idealistic endings show fictional characters up to the point where they embark on the trail to “happily ever after”. Movie-goers are left believing that the people on the silver screen had an amazing future well after the film credits scrolled up the screen. The realities of making a marriage healthy and happy is hardly portrayed in films, TV shows or romance novels. A lifetime of hard work, sacrificing, commitment and making adjustments is impossible to fit into a half hour program, a two-hour film, or 300 pages. Linda Miles, co-author of “The New Marriage,” came up with a great idea. Every time you read or hear the phrase “happily ever after,” change it in your head to “and they began the very hard work of making their marriages happy.”
2. The Secret to a Happy Marriage is Finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. People think that the secret to a great marriage is finding the perfect life mate. But this assumes (#1) that you know all the characteristics necessary to make someone “Mr. or Mrs. Right;” (#2) that you can find “Mr. or Mrs. Right” in your twenties or thirties; (#3) that “Mr. or Mrs. Right” will think that you too are “Mr. or Mrs. Right;” and (#4) that they want to marry you. Add to that the pressure that nobody will make any mistakes and you have all the ingredients for a lifetime of pain due to unmet, false expectations. Instead of searching for the ideal husband or wife, realize that that no one is a flawless human being. It is not about finding the best mate, but being the best spouse you can be. Every couple has irreconcilable differences. But those marriages that go the distance are those who know they are imperfect couples, who make it work and enjoy their differences together.
3. Your Partner Will Know and Meet All of Your Needs. How many times have you heard someone say, “my partner should know what I want?” This is an all too common fallacy that steers too many couples down a frustrating and detrimental path. Marriage is about discovering how to love and be loved based on direct communication. Expecting your partner to know what you want, how you want it, and when you want it will only set both of you up for failure. Help your spouse be a better lover, friend and partner in life. Respectfully communicate your needs to them, listen to what their needs are, and then be patient and understanding with one another as you try to meet each other’s needs.
4. The “In Love” Feelings Will Always Be There. Everyone has felt those feelings at least once in their life. But we also know (or should know) that those feelings are fleeting. And when couples get married, they often don’t realize that it is normal to go through three common stages of love, as revealed by Patricia Crane Ennis, M.S.W.:
1)The Honeymoon Stage: A time of butterflies and excitement looking through the rose-colored glasses at your mate and relationship.
2)The Disillusionment Stage: Many things once viewed as positive, such as a partner’s personality traits and quirks, are now viewed negatively. This is an opportunity of responsibility and maturation. The work begins on a challenging steep hill that strengthens you as a couple, and individually as a person. The relationship has the potential to grow and prepare for the next stage of life, the peak of the mountain.
3) The Mature Love Stage: Once a couple can move beyond the unhealthy habits that was straining the relationship and develop new and healthy ways of communication, they reach the final stage where they reap the benefits of all the hard work they put into the relationship. Regularly investing in the relationship is still required, but the dividends from the earlier years are paying off.
Love is an amazing and incredible part of a relationship that is so much more than goose bumps and infatuation. Push through and understand that the butterflies will fly away, but a sustainable love will bloom.
5. We Get Along So Well That We Will Never Fight. Culturally, we’ve been taught that conflict is bad and should be avoided at all costs. However, there is no such thing as a relationship without conflict. Conflict is inevitable because a marriage is made up of two imperfect and at times, selfish people. Actually, worse than having disagreements as a couple is avoiding conflict altogether. It is just as unhealthy, if not more, than frequent conflict. The issue itself isn’t what deteriorates a relationship, but how the issue is dealt with. Learning how to manage conflict and using skills to resolve conflicts when they arise is vital for a healthy relationship.
It’s no wonder that divorce numbers are high. Believing any of these lies lead to real distress in marriage!
Start taking steps to leave these lies behind, and begin living a love life based on truths that build up and strengthen your relationship. There’s no reason to mourn the time lost from believing these lies. Instead, look ahead, learn to make better choices and get your advice on love from better sources.
Want more information?
- Identify your relationship’s strengths by taking the Couple Checkup >>>
- Read: Healthy Vs Unhealthy Relationships and find the areas that need improvement in your relationship >>>
- Find a class near you that will guide and teach vital skills that will help you improve your relationship and learn conflict resolution >>>
Were any of these facts new to you? Were you a believer in the fairy tales? What should our school age children learn from their bed-time stories when it comes to “happily ever after”? Share with us your thoughts below.
Written by Lucinda Loveland – Copyright (C) 2012 Healthy Relationships California