6 Myths about love, harmful for relationships

18 Apr 2016, 05:39 ( 18 Apr, 2016)

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How many times have you heard the phrases “they lived happily ever after,” “love means never having to say you’re sorry” and “once a cheater, always a cheater”? These are common myths about love that not only permeate our culture, but also permeate our minds. According to married couple and bestselling authors Linda and Charlie Bloom, it’s not so much the things we don’t know about relationships that can hurt us but rather the things we think we know. These myths about love can destroy the relationship you’re in and are harmful to long term success. Here are six myths about love that could be harming your relationship based on the book “Happily Ever After….and 39 Other Myths about Love” by Linda and Charlie Bloom. Their book offers valuable suggestions for replacing these myths with more practical behaviors that will strengthen your relationship.

“If we fight, it means we’re not meant for each other”

Contrary to popular belief about relationships, and finding Mr. or Mrs. Right, conflict in relationships is inevitable. One of the biggest roadblocks in the development of a great relationship is one’s set of preconceived beliefs about conflict and anger. Differences in opinions, feelings, temperaments and values are inherent aspects of all relationships. According to authors Linda and Charlie Bloom we generally select partners who will help us to expand our inner and outer lives by offering a broad range of perspectives. These times for growth can also lead to discomfort. Because of the excruciating discomfort these alternative perspectives can cause in the relationship, it’s easier to tell ourselves “it’s not meant to be” and move on to another partner, only to repeat the cycle again. When it comes to relationships, particularly marriage, conflict may not be avoidable but it isn’t necessarily a foreshadowing of doom. Just because a breakdown occurs doesn’t mean you’re not meant for each other.

“You can be right and have a good relationship”

Many of us say we believe that “being right” and “having a good relationship” don’t go together, we act as if the opposite is true when it comes to our relationship life. We have trouble not falling victim to our desire to be right without jeopardizing the relationship. The need to be right all the time can damage your relationship. According to authors Linda and Charlie Bloom, wanting to be right is a form of defensiveness but resisting the impulse to act defensively is easier said than done. When we feel criticized or provoked, particularly by someone whom we have an intimate relationship with, defensiveness can grow strong, especially when their words active unhealed emotional wounds. Our desire to not experience these unwanted feelings can bring down the quality of our relationships and halt us from experiencing intimacy.

“All the good men and women are taken”

This is a common claim that people looking for love make. According to author Linda Bloom, many people espouse this belief because it spares them the need to risk becoming emotionally involved with others, thus eliminating the possibility of experiencing rejection or disappointment. This is all based on the assumption that once you hit a certain age, anyone who may have been qualified for a committed relationship is already taken, which leaves the losers, users and liars left to sort through. People who subscribe to this view also have a tendency to collect “evidence” from others who feel the same way and this affirms their view. Contrary to this popular belief, qualified, decent and worthwhile potential partners do exist out there. What it takes to find this person is willingness and intention – willingness to risk involvement, intention to become the partner of your dreams, a willingness to hang in there when the chips are down. It also takes patience, trust and faith.

“Marriages inevitability gets flat, stale and boring over time”

Many times, the original qualities that attracted us to our partners like predictability, stability and dependability, can be the greatest source of irritation. For example, relationship security can translate to boringness. While your partner hasn’t changed (and neither have you) those attractive qualities are less evident because you’re focusing on what you find dissatisfying. Authors Linda and Charlie Bloom explain that there will always be things about your partner that displease you, and if you’re like most people, you may even have a belief that there’s someone out there that is more interesting, exciting, imaginative, passionate, creative and so on. If you were with that person you believe would be happier. This is unlikely. If that’s what you were seeking in a partner, you would have set your sights on a different kind of person. The good news is that we have the ability the change the quality of our experience by shifting our perspective, even if our partner doesn’t change. We can do this by no longer dwelling on what we don’t like and focusing on what it is that we love and appreciate.

“If you really loved me, I wouldn’t have to ask”

While most people don’t believe that others can read their minds, it doesn’t stop many people involved in relationships from becoming hurt or angry when their partner isn’t able to. When it comes to serious, intimate relationships, this mind reading expectation grows. This conflict often arises as a result of unfulfilled desires like the need for more recognition or acknowledgment, more caring and attentive listening to our concerns and needs, and more fun and play time together among others. These unexpressed needs and desires can be neglected when we fear the consequences of bringing these up. How do you work at this? Authors Linda and Charlie Bloom explain the antidote is humility, which requires the courage to risk vulnerability and emotional honesty.

“Love will heal my emotional pain”

When we have early unhealed wound s and unmet childhood needs that are carried into our adulthood, we may think our partner has the power, even the responsibility to rescue us from this lingering pain. We believe this comes from this providing us with quality love that we never received. What we really desire is salvation through love that is healing, affirming, redemptive and unconditionally accepting. This expectation is not only unrealistic, but also unattainable. Authors Linda and Charlie Bloom explain that when we lack a sense of wholeness, we often seek out a partner whom we hope will fill our emptiness, someone who seems to possess the power to restore us. This “redemptive longing” forms because we feel we are worthy of real love, which is a form of unconditional love. But love will not heal your past emotional pain. We ourselves must work at this through honesty. If we don’t see this as an illusionary expectation, the divine bliss in the relationship will deteriorate into unrelenting frustration and bitterness.