This sweeping destruction of the primary relationship myth (because, it seems, we're all falling in and out of love constantly!) got me thinking about other intimate fallacies that may be doing more harm than good. Here’s what I found out.
Love Myth No. 1: You can’t keep up the “honeymoon” period of relationships.
In fact, a study conducted by Dr. Bianca Acevedo in 2010 used fMRI to examine relationships that had never lost the initial “spark” that happens early on and found that the brain scans of long term couples mimicked those who were newly in love — with only one exception. Gone were the anxiety and obsessional thoughts that appear in brain scans of folks who are in relationships in the early phases.
“ I used to look at my first marriage because that’s just the way things were supposed to go as sucking,” I admitted to my husband. “ When I could have actively worked toward sustaining the discharge, like I do with you.”
This means: I dare to have great expectations.
Love Myth No. 2: Envy only reveals how much you care.
It’s not, although you might think a little bit of envy is not bad on your relationship. The green-eyed monster consists of “fabricated, fearful notions” that can doom a happy marriage through unnecessary fights and micromanagement. Being jealous leads to a want to control, and control isn’t love. It’s passing.
I was once so envious in relationships that were previous, and I'd insist this emotion came from love. It actually comes from insecurity. Now when I feel envy strike I talk it through with my husband (a calm and reasonable “Here is how I’m feeling” vs. an unhinged and hysterical “You don’t love me anymore!”). And he does the same. Ran into an ex? No problem. Merely panic in disguise, as long as honesty is in play, you can work toward healthy expressions of love that aren’t.
Love Myth No. 3: Fights are normally about cash or cheating — important stuff.
They ’re generally about nothing. Yep. Take into consideration the final fight you had. About java, it was for my husband and me. I desired it to be made by him for me, and he didn’t need to be my chore boy for the fourth day in a row. But what was this argument that is ridiculous about?
Quite the opposite, in fact. The relationship pro I recommend above all others is Dr. John Gottman. In the event you don’t have time to read his novels (my favorite is The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work), Google his name along with “love myths” for a starter class on pummeling every assumption you’ve ever made about love affair. He blasts through fallacy that many people cling to while attempting to save or boost their marriage: “If a relationship desires treatment it’s already overly late.” Untrue. “It’s compatibility that makes relationships operate.” Bogus. So untrue.
The trick to relationships that are healthy, in accordance with Gottman, is learning the way to defuse tension. For example, my husband understands that I like to be touched or held when we talk about trying items. And I understand that he appreciates undivided focus until we achieve a resolution, rather than shifting attention to a subject that is more comfortable.
Not understanding the way to disagree and fight in a healthy (i.e., kind, empathetic, and compassionate) fashion can readily lead to what Dr. Gottman calls the “four horsemen” of the married apocalypse: Criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Once the “fight or flight” reflex takes over your body – heart pumping, blood pressure climbing — most people don’t have much control over what happens next.
“We’ve seen how fast conversations fall apart just as one partner’s heart rate starts to soar,” Gottman says. “Learning how to calm down helps prevent not productive fighting or running away from the significant discussions you might need to have.”