Relationships are hard work. Along with our hopes and dreams, when we enter a new partnership we also bring with us a lot of baggage and expectations about how the relationship should go. This often leads to some bumps in the road. In an effort to chip away at some relationship pitfalls, today I’m sharing with you some common relationship myths and realities.
Relationship Myth: Happy couples don’t “fight”.
Reality: We often have an unrealistic expectation about arguments in relationships.
Many believe that happy couples simply don’t argue. This isn’t true! While arguments should never be the predominant way of communicating in any relationship, disagreements are a natural part of sharing your life with someone. While arguments are unavoidable, couples do much better when they learn to fight fair.
Relationship Myth: You shouldn’t have to talk about sex with your partner.
Reality: Sex is an essential part of an intimate relationship and requires feedback.
Many people expect for things to “just work” when it comes to sex but the truth is that each person may have very different expectations for sex, and this changes over time! It’s essential to talk through the frequency of sex and what kind of sex you like to have most to give you the best chance of sexual satisfaction.
Relationship Myth: Men are natural cheaters and can’t control their sexual impulses.
Reality: Most men do not cheat on their partners.
Men are generally more likely to cheat throughout the lifespan than women but the number of men who cheat is nowhere near all, or even the majority (10-26% range throughout the lifespan). Research has demonstrated that men and women cheat in relatively close percentages at certain periods in life. This changes once people reach 50 years of age, or older. Men cheat in far greater numbers at older ages when compared to women. The cheating gap is widest in older adults.
Relationship Myth: Once a cheater, always a cheater.
Reality: This is nothing more than an old cliche that’s been passed down through generations.
While there is some truth to the idea statistically, there are ways to rebuild trust in partnerships and prevent cheating from happening repeatedly. Through ongoing self-reflection, often in therapy, those who have the tendency to stray can avoid the behavior in the future. Additionally, couples therapy provides a healthy space for couples to potentially recover from infidelity and learn to trust again.
Relationship Myth: Premarital counseling means your relationship is already doomed.
Reality: It can be difficult to talk through some of the topics that we’ve covered in this article and premarital counseling is a great space to set yourself up for long-term success.
Talking about sex, finances and how to deal with family members are important topics that need to be talked about in order to create healthy communication between partners. And even if you don’t plan to attend premarital counseling, there are still a wide range of topics to talk through before the big day.
We hope that these relationship myths and realities help you made wiser choices in your relationship. If you’d like to work with a member of Viva on relationship issues, please feel free to reach out to us.