14 Myths About Couple Relationships

14-Myths-of-Couple-Relationships

The early stages of love come with the assumption that everything will always be good. As time passes, cynicism can develop which makes us jaded and causes tension within couple relationships. Here are 14 myths you might believe that could be harming your relationship.

  1. If we love each other, we should be happy at all times.

Once you get past the early puppy-love stages of a relationship, love is not rosy and perfect. In fact, it actually makes life more complicated because it pushes the focus onto another person and is not self-serving. This just goes to show that love does not equate with immediate gratification, and comes with both difficult and happy moments.

  1. We should be completely honest with each other at all times, regardless of the impact on our partners.

A healthy relationship is built on open communication and honesty, but over-sharing or divulging information in a way that harms your loved one is another issue all together. This is not a licence to lie to your partner, or keep fundamental information from them, but is a reminder to be mindful of your partner’s well being and consider this before talking to them just to get something off your chest.

  1. We should be together at all times and be unselfish with our time.

It doesn’t matter how much you love someone, spending 100% of your time together will do more harm to your relationship than good. A healthy couple relationship needs time set-aside solely for it, but both members of the partnership are still individuals and they need room and independence to celebrate this.

  1. We should agree on all issues to support each other.

If you see your partner behaving in a way that harms you, your loved ones or other people, and they are unwilling to change, you do not have to support them in this. You are allowed to speak to your partner when you have a disagreement and are not expected to share the same opinion on everything.

  1. If we have a problem, we must decide who is to blame.

Pushing the blame on to one another will result in a constant cycle of guilt and resentment. Instead of ‘figuring out’ who is at fault, choose to work together to find a resolution.

  1. We should know what the other is thinking, so we do not need to communicate.

Whether you’ve been together for a month or 50 years, you will never be able to read each other’s minds. If you need something, don’t assume your partner just knows, communicate this with them.

  1. Good relationships just happen and do not need to be worked at.

Every relationship goes through ups and downs. A healthy relationship requires a commitment from both sides to work at it for the benefit of each other.

  1. If we create joint activities we will be close forever.

Being together and participating in joint activities can be useful for a couple if they genuinely enjoy the activity and are taking other steps to build their relationships, but people change and so do their interests. Joint activities are less about being together, and more about making an intentional effort to connect with your partner. Be willing to alter how you spend time together as you both grow and change.

  1. We do not need friends or family as long as we have each other.

Don’t alienate your friends, family or colleagues in a bid to dedicate yourself to your loved one. Sure, you and your partner need each other, but this does not diminish the fact you both have other people in your lives that you value and trust. Continue to spend time with these people and it can help your own couple relationship to grow.

  1. Good relationships are quid pro quo

A healthy relationship is not an exchange of goods, services or time.  In fact, the best ones are often the most sacrificial and are built on a mutual respect for one another and are motivated by love.

  1. Avoiding conflict will ruin your relationship.

It doesn’t matter how much you love each other, you will not always agree with your partner, and that is okay. A healthy relationship is less about avoiding conflict, and rather about working through it together.

  1. Affairs are the root of divorce.

An affair doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship. With support, commitment and time, a relationship can be repaired and divorce may not occur. Divorce can occur due to a range of other issues not involving an extra person as well, which is why it remains important for a couple to consistently work on their relationship.

  1. Men are not built for monogamous relationships.

This is simply not true. Men and women are able to have a healthy, thriving relationship with one other person. A gender or sex stereotype does not give anyone permission to break the trust of such a relationship by becoming involved with another person at the same time.

  1. Men and women are from different planets.

Men and women think differently and can be motivated by different things, but we are not so unlike each other. Using this phrase alienates your loved one and causes tension. Choose to see your partner as your equal, and speak to them this way.

Do you believe any of these myths about your own couple relationship? Would you like the support of a professional to assist you in creating a healthy relationship with a significant other? Contact Watersedge on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. If you are ready to book an appointment, click BOOK ONLINE NOW and you will be taken to our online appointment calendar by following the prompts.

Why Kindness is the Best Valentine’s Day Gift

Why-Kindness-is-the-Best-Valentine's-Day-GiftIt is Valentine’s Day – a day that reminds and celebrates the richness of love. The day will reinforce one of the following statements about you:

  1. I am in a happy, loving and couple relationship.
  2. The relationship I am in falls beneath my expectations of what a loving relationship should look like.
  3. I am alone (and it sucks).

One of the most undervalued, yet affordable and equally available gift that you can give to your partner or friend is the gift of kindness.

On an almost daily basis, I witness couples and individuals who report that whilst they experience conflict and communication difficulties in their couple relationship, they state that they love each other. It is my belief that one of the chief indicators of a loving relationship is kindness. Kindness is being a true and genuine friend to your partner, generous in the giving of oneself and considerate towards your partner’s need.

Where a couple relationship does not feel secure or caring and you feel alone even within your relationship, the invitation that St Valentine’s Day gives to make the intentional effort to show our partner we love them through a romantic gesture or gift is a welcomed opportunity. Being a person who loves the occasional gift, I believe that this can still be a beautiful expression of love when given with thought and intention. However, the notion that a romantic gesture or gift is ‘enough’ to sustain any relationship is false.

If you are unwell and fail to recover swiftly, you will visit your local doctor to receive medical help, whereupon the doctor may write a ‘prescription for treatment’.

Here is your prescription for a flagging couple relationship:

  1. Use St Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to change the way you treat your partner by doing something ‘special’ – a small gift, a meal together or even a walk along the beach or in a park. Be as creative as you like, just so long as it is something that your partner will enjoy.
  1. Make it your intention to do, at the very least, one small act of kindness towards your partner every day. I encourage you to write down what you do each day as a way of sustaining your intention.

If you are alone this Valentine’s Day, then the gift of self-kindness is equally important. It is easy to become prey to your own negative thoughts, particularly on a day where every shop display has cherubs, teddy bears and love hearts plastered everywhere, and media reinforce the message that ‘everyone’ is in love and deliriously happy (that’s a lie by the way). Self-kindness is an absolute necessity for good mental health and promotes a sense of positive wellbeing. Learning the art of self-kindness on a daily basis is a ‘novel’ idea if you are a person who typically invests themselves in always helping others. Self-kindness for you may begin at that place where you practice saying ‘no’ to a request for help and do something that you enjoy instead. Go for a walk, buy yourself a bunch of flowers, read that book that has been waiting beside your bed, have a massage (you get the idea).

If you are in a happy, loving, caring relationship, undoubtedly it is also a ‘kind’ relationship.  Anticipating St Valentine’s Day as an opportunity for your lover to make some romantic gesture that communicates their love and devotion may be ‘nice’ but not necessary, because your couple connection is daily defined by simple acts of kindness that nurture the safety and security of a relationship.

Are you single and struggle to be kind to yourself, feeling disappointed and frustrated with yourself? Do you want to change and become stronger, confident and focused towards wellness and personal growth?

Is your couple relationship lacking kindness and care for each other? Do you want a relationship that is safe, secure and marked by kindness?

At Watersedge Counselling, Colleen is available to individuals and couples on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10 minute consultation to discuss your personal situation and how we can help you. Duncan is available to individuals and can be contacted on 0434 331 243. If you are ready to make an appointment, you can go to out book online now and follow the prompts to make your booking.

How to Get the Balance Right in Your Couple Relationship

balance-in-couple-relationship

‘Seesaw’ by Antony_Mayfield

One of my favourite pastimes as a child was playing on the playground equipment in the local park. Walking home from school each day, I anticipated the joy and freedom of those moments; the swing that swept you up to meet the vast and ever-changing sea that is the sky, the metal slide that threatened to melt my thighs on those 30 plus degree days, the impossibly high monkey bars that dared me to cross without falling off (I remember the day that I conquered the quest!) and the fun of the seesaw that could only be experienced with a companion. To truly enjoy the seesaw, it is necessary that your friend is a similar weight to yourself in order to get the balance right. This, of course, was not always possible and there were times when my younger sister would be stuck up high, her legs treading the air in her effort to ground herself while I sat helplessly glued to the ground, unable to propel myself up. My older brother, of course, had the opposite effect as his body weight flung me up to the stars while he sat flightless. What a delight it was when I shared the seesaw with a friend of equal weight so that the seesaw moved up and down with ease.

I am often reminded of this seesaw image when working with couples. Couples invariably experience each other as opposites; initially these opposite characteristics are appealing to you but over time, every couple relationship experiences tension over these same opposites. Frustration, irritation, disappointment, unhappiness, resentment and anger then distances the couple so that you focus on your own unmet needs, ignoring your partner’s needs and leading to an imbalance in your relationship.

Here are some ways that couple relationships get stuck:

  • She is angry to the point of suffocating herself and everyone else by her anger; he is passive to the point of shut down, neither responsive nor engaged with his partner's need.
  • He is a risk-taker, frequently putting himself in situations that may have potential to harm, encouraging his children to take risks that may be judged by some as necessary; she is fearful and cautious by nature, aware of potential danger and highly anxious about her partner's risk-taking behaviour and its impact on her children.
  • She is unfailingly positive; he is unfailingly negative.
  • He is a high energy, social, work-orientated person whose drive to achieve success is translated into long work hours; she is a low energy, private person who prefers the peace and space that their home provides but longs for her partner's attention.

Can you identify with any of these scenarios? Can you add your own?

Getting the balance right is tricky business requiring good communication and negotiation skills. In my own couple relationship of 25 years, getting the balance right has taken years of hard work, having to learn the practice of self-reflection, communicating in ways that keep the conversation open to explore the alternatives and listening carefully to each other. There were significant periods in my couple relationship where our metaphorical seesaw got stuck; I would sit up in the air, listening to the fear that whispered in my ear and kept me stationary whilst my partner became grounded in his ever-increasing anger and frustration. However with determination to grow and a focus on our personal development, our couple relationship now enjoys a balance that is being continually revisited and fine-tuned.

A balanced couple relationship is one where two people have equal ‘weight' or ‘power' in the relationship. Their metaphorical seesaw is in perpetual motion, moving up and down, rarely stuck because the couple communicate and negotiate well. This couple is ‘turn taking’; each person prioritises their partners need over their own because they know that their partner is acting in the same spirit. This only comes with time and practice. The first step is to listen carefully to your partner; not from a position of power and self-interest but from a position of love, respect and humility. Without these attributes, your seesaw will remain stuck.

Is your couple seesaw stuck? Are you ready to learn the skills of mindful listening and respectful communication? Can you view your partner from a position of love, respect and humility as opposed to your self-interest? Then you are ready for couple counselling. You can call Colleen on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on the specific needs of your couple relationship. If you are ready to make an appointment, you can do so by clicking on the orange icon on this page BOOK NOW and follow the prompts.