When it comes to love and relationships, it seems like everyone has a slogan for long lasting happiness. While some of these are rooted with good intentions, they might be taking your relationship into an unhealthy direction.
Relationships are 50/50
While it’s important to be pulling your weight in a relationship, it becomes dangerous to start keeping score of who’s putting what in. There will be times when you have to give more than your loved one is able to. Maybe there will be times of personal struggle where you can’t give your full energy, and you need added support from your partner. Make sure to ask for help. Be willing to lean on each other in those times.
Avoiding conflict will save the marriage
Quite the opposite. Marriage expert John Gottman has found that the even in the happiest of marriages, for every 20 positive interactions, there was still 1 negative. If we are willing, conflict is there to help us learn more and understand our partner and ourselves. What was the trigger? The emotion? When do I remember something like this from my past? What do I need in these times? Discussing these questions help us to connect as we explore our partner’s world.
Never go to bed angry
You could force a smile. Pretend everything is OK. But, if it really isn’t OK, you can both choose to revisit the discussion again tomorrow. Although it’s great if you can come to a common ground before bed, perhaps it’s midnight, and you are both over-tired. Maybe by this time, emotions are flooded and there is no way to be constructive. Be gracious to each other with the understanding that it’s OK to take a time out overnight.
The key to happiness is conflict resolution!
Actually…approximately 70% of conflicts are perpetual. This means that similar issues will continue to pop up throughout your life together. What is most important is to begin to accept your partner’s core position. This takes continued dialogue and willingness to manage the ongoing conflict, rather than focusing on solving it outright. Sometimes that happens, and is a bonus, but not always realistic.
Intimacy means more sex
Intimacy takes time and effort. Intimacy deepens as we learn more about our loved one’s world, and we open up to share our own. This means no judgement. No fixing. Just listening, validating and empathizing. There is no greater path to intimacy than through vulnerability – when we talk about things which have caused hurts and pain, as well as joy and peace. Try making an effort to become emotionally intimate for a month, and see what happens to your sex life.