We all have certain assumptions about how relationships should work, but many of these assumptions are untrue and, in fact, harmful to long-lasting love.
According to therapists who are experts in couples counseling, these myths influence our expectations of marriage. Unfortunately, we use these myths as a standard of a “good” relationship and if our relationship is not meeting these standards, then we must have chosen the wrong mate. That kind of thinking misleads us down a path of disappointment and resentment.
To learn the hard-core, truths about successful relationships, many couples turn to research-based couples retreats, such as The Art and Science of Love weekend event created by The Gottman Institute. Gottman-certified therapists who present these workshops help couples understand misconceptions and how they erode relationships.
Here are some common misconceptions:
Myth 1: Happy Couples Never Fight.
This is one of the most common myths: Happy couples never fight. People mistakenly think that if you fight, then you married the wrong person.
The truth is the happiest of couples argue. Marriage conflict is unavoidable. This is because no two people are alike. Every individual has different personalities, likes, dislikes and opinions.
Conflicts help the spouses to figure out the likes and dislikes of each other, ultimately increasing understanding between them. Research has shown that the partners who have the skills to deal with disagreements and the aftermath of a fight are able to have a long, happy relationship.
Myth 2: Couples Should Have Sex “N” Times A Week.
This myth leads to people setting faulty expectations for their partners. There is no correct frequency to have sex. The frequency will depend on the sexual appetite of each partner and various factors such as age and circumstances (the busy-ness of modern life, distractions of technology and the bedroom environment).
Sexual desire varies from person to person. The problem for many couples is that partners rarely have the same level of libido, so one will always want more than that other.
Couples retreats in Chicago or couples counseling can help partners develop communication skills for talking about the sensitive topic of intimacy and addressing ways for both partners to have sexual satisfaction.
Myth 3: Having A Baby Will Fix Issues.
Adding a newborn to your family is not a solution to marital problems. Having a baby to solve relationship problems is just like buying a lottery ticket to avoid bankruptcy. The underlying problems are still there and the chances of achieving goal (winning the lottery; solving marital issues) are very slim.
Even the happiest of couples are stretched to their limits when raising kids. If your relationship is distressed, then deal with the issues directly. A child is not a magician who will make your problems disappear.
Myth 4: Good Relationships Don’t Require Work.
All romantic relationships go through ups and downs, and they require a lot of work especially during the down periods. Many people mistakenly believe that if they find the “right one,” then life will be easy-peasy. This misconception results in disappointment when times are tough.
Many successful couples attend a marriage retreat in Chicago not just once in their lifetime — but yearly. They consider this weekend retreat as a regular maintenance check for their relationship.
Remember, your wedding day is not the final goal. A relationship that is stable, healthy and happy is the goal. To achieve that requires time, effort and devotion.