Myth and Reality in Relationships By: Adina Ribacoff, LMSW

by admin

If you are married, chances are you have had a fair share of assumptions and expectations in your
marriage. Each one of us grows up with certain experiences and observations which create beliefs
that impact our relationship, and the way we handle many of the ups and downs, and difficult
situations that we experience. Let’s take a look at some assumptions and expectations through Myth
and Reality examples.

MYTH: Expecting your spouse to meet all your deepest needs.

REALITY: It is important to understand that a person who totally depends on a spouse for need satisfaction is actually saying: “I’m assuming you have complete power to make me happy.” In most cases, this is an unrealistic assumption.
In most relationships, a spouse may not be able to meet all of the deepest needs of their partner. Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of both persons to work at meeting the needs of the other.
Being selfless is the key, not an easy task but a necessary component to the success of any marriage. Put the other person first.

When dating, a couple often defers to each other; once they are in a committed relationship, however, they may be less likely to do so. Yet, when you ask a longtime couple why their relationship has succeeded, they often report that what they GAVE – rather than what they expected – brought satisfaction and growth.

MYTH: Assuming that problems are best handled by ignoring them.

REALITY: It is true that some marriages are unnecessarily tense because one spouse or the other makes a mountain out of a molehill. This may not always be the case. It is a way of telling their spouse that something is wrong and telling them to address an unfulfilled need.
Tension may increase if we ignore differences of viewpoint, this avoidance may become a major problem in our relationship. There are consequences in assuming that the best approach to a problem is to ignore it.

  1. The problem usually gets worse.
  2. True emotions are often avoided.
  3. Resentment increases.

MYTH: Thinking that time and love will resolve all problems.

REALITY: Whether we like it or not, problems will come along. Having a relationship problem does not necessarily mean that a relationship is doomed, but it does mean that more effort will be required.
Most couples ignore their relationship problems, hoping it will go away on its own, or they makeup but never discuss what happened or find ways to prevent it, which is why many couples suffer from similar problems over and over again.
Some problems will be easier to handle than others and there are times when professional relationship advice is the answer.
It is unrealistic to think that a relationship is going to be great all the time. The up’s and down’s are a normal part of relationships

MYTH: Believing that you and your spouse always need to agree.

REALITY: You and your partner are different – genetically, physically, physiologically, psychologically, and culturally. You are not always going to see things the same way. That’s OK! Many times by seeing the way our spouse views something can be a learning experience for us as they allow us to move towards an open-minded approach. It’s far more enjoyable when you are with someone who enriches your life – and not simply reflects it.

MYTH: Believing that the ecstatic emotion that you felt when you first met is real love – and then judging your relationship by that early sizzle, unfairly labeling a genuine quality marriage as substandard.

REALITY: This is real life. A great romance can be as simple as sharing a danish in the morning or going out for coffee together. If You want a great relationship and great romance…It’s all in the yardstick that you use to measure.

MYTH: Believing that a peaceful relationship is a good one.

REALITY: Many people worry that arguing is a sign of trouble. But it’s neither \good nor bad. What counts is the way you express your disagreement and how you deal with the argument once it has run its course.
If you pursue a take-no-prisoners approach, obviously arguments are going to be destructive. Instead of avoiding arguments, avoid making them too personal. Instead of being passive or aggressive be more assertive. Being clear, honest, and specific are the keys to effective communication.

MYTH: Believing that there is a right and wrong way to make your relationship great.

REALITY: What’s important is that you find ways of being together that work for both of you. Finding a standard in a book or article, or conforming to what your parents think you ought to do, should not be the measure you use to define your relationship. Use the Torah as your guide and ask the Rabbis for advice and wisdom, as well as, Therapist who can provide specific skills. One answer for one couple is not always the answer for another.

Good marriages are often the result of determination to overcome false assumptions, miscommunication, disappointments, and heartaches that inhibit the relationship. Good marriages do exist, but they exist only when people recognize the real issues and deal with them in a constructive manner, many times having to differentiate between past experiences and present moments.

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