10 Marriage Myths
There are two kinds of love. There’s passionate love and there’s compassionate love.
Passionate love is the love at the beginning of a relationship. It’s the excitement and the romance and illogical arousal that you experience when you really don’t know your partner.
We know that passionate love declines after about 18 months. Then we start forming what we call compassionate love, the love of friendship, support and intimacy.
If something happens to you, the person that you go to is the one with whom you feel compassionate love. It’s the person who supports you in your big scares of life, and in the little daily experiences that go on day in and day out. It’s the love of friendship.
When I talk to couples who have been together for a long time, they talk about compassionate love, or real love much more than the passionate kind. The value of learning the truth is priceless, especially when it comes to love and relationships.
The Ten Most Common Relationship Myths
The following list was compiled by a long term study done by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). See if you find yourself among these myths:
1. Going to bed mad is bad. FALSE
Resolving conflicts when one or both partners are tired or highly emotionally upset doesn’t work. Sleep on it instead and schedule a talk when you’re rested and have some perspective. Studies show that it takes about 30 minutes for your brainwaves to get back to their normal state of balance. Resolving conflict before bedtime does not afford this opportunity.
2. Opposites attract. FALSE
Similarities are what keep people together in the long run. There is no danger in having too much in common with your partner.
3. Women fall in love more quickly than men do. FALSE
Actually men fall in love more quickly than women do, and are more likely to believe in love at first sight. Studies show that women are more selective and cautious in whom they love.
4. Conflict is a sign of marital trouble. FALSE
The biggest misconception is that conflict is a sign of marital trouble. People are really fearful of conflict, and they base their marriage troubles on how much conflict they have. The best and longest lasting relationships are those that have a healthy dose of conflict.
If handled well, conflict can keep relationships strong. It’s not necessarily how much conflict you have but how you manage and resolve those conflicts. The strength of the “repair effort” after the fight is the key to a strong relationship.
5. Jealousy is a sign that your spouse cares about you. FALSE
Unfortunately, that’s the belief that many people feel and many people test their partners to make sure they love them. We know that jealousy is not a sign of true love. It usually stems from fear and low self-esteem. It’s the fear that you’re going to lose your partner or lose a relationship that you value.
6. Passion dies; it’s a fact of marriage. FALSE
The reason why passion dies is that we physically can’t take the intensity of that kind of passion for too long. The level of intensity is just too great. This kind of passionate love is fueled by newness. At the beginning of a relationship we think our partner is perfect and we often idolize them. As we get to know them, the perfection vanishes and our feelings decline. You need to reignite newness to light up the passion in a relationship.
7. Women are more romantic than men. FALSE
The fact is that men have been found to be more romantic in their beliefs than women. Men want to be wooed! Women want to be supported.
8. Couples should be able to discuss everything. FALSE
DEPENDS…. While couples may be able to discuss everything, they may not always be able to agree on everything. Sometimes we just have to ”agree to disagree.”
9. Love becomes more IMPORTANT in marriage over time. TRUE
Contrary to the belief that after the first few years, marriage is more about support and stability than love, studies show that relationships lasting 15 years or more include high levels of compassionate love. This love should ONLY increase over time!
10. Having separate lives keeps couples together long term. FALSE
Independence is a good thing, but research has shown that if both partners are INTER-DEPENDENT socially, emotionally and financially, there is greater incentive to stay together.
THE KEY TO ANY GOOD MARRIAGE IS BALANCE.
You need to balance your own individual needs with the needs and quality of your marriage.
About the Author:
Jann is a licensed clinical social worker and licensed marriage and family counselor in addition to being a certified divorce coach and trained mediator. Bringing over 30 years of clinical experience, she has assisted individuals, couples and families in coping with their most important challenges and conflicts, providing the necessary insight to assist in creating possibilities for change. You can visit her website at: www.JannGlasser.com