Quit Lying to Yourself: 5 Truths of Happy Relationships

 

By Tiffany Joy Mansfield


Lie #1: “They” will complete my wholeness and happiness.

Truth #1:  It is better if we are whole, happy and independent before being in a relationship.

Kris Gage, a relationship writer on Medium, declares that “Dependency is not love”. We engage in relationships placing too heavy of a burden on the other person to make us whole. It is unfair and destructive to give another person a manual for how we expect them to “behave” (applies to any relationship), then hold it against them if they do not follow our manual.

A nice rephrase would be “You add so much happiness to my life.” To truly be happy in your life and relationship you need to be happy with yourself first. Marriage or partnership is more of getting to share each other’s happiness, sadness, and all the other emotions that come with it instead of fixing your partner’s problems.

Lie #2: Happy couples tell each other every single thing and enjoy doing the same things all the time.

Truth #2:  Happy couples have a separate, fulfilling life outside of their relationship.

Sharing everything can lead to feeling like your partner’s therapist. Or, if you are doing everything together, you start to feel as if your partner is an extension of you instead of a separate and unique person. We should indulge in one another’s interests and, at the same time, support each other in pursuing our own individual goals. Being individuals within our union and having shared interest and then different interests are good for us.

It’s about being willing to do, be, and change for the other to make things work, but ALWAYS staying true to who you are. Someone that loves you will help you grow and become a better you. They will not want you to change to meet their needs.

Lie #3:  We don’t need to talk about expectations or have hard conversations in relationships.

Truth #3:  Mutually communicating about and openly discussing each other’s expectations then carefully resolving where possible and surrendering when it doesn’t matter is important.

Sometimes we don’t want to hurt our partner and see it as an act of service to withhold information that is bothering you. But if you can’t or won’t do that… your relationship could be in danger. Part of communication is learning how to discuss thoughts and ideas, and being able to have a difference of opinion while still maintaining the love between each other. When feelings or ideas go unsaid, they can harbor within us and be the root of resentment that could later show up.

“After a while, things pile up and no matter how you bury it, it just starts to stink. I say deal with it as it comes and toss all the crap over the fence”

– Susan Baker

The best thing to do would be to find a way to talk about the hard things in a safe and secure environment. That could be in a therapist’s office, or it could be in your kitchen, but it should happen.

Lie #4:  If you and your partner give it 100% always, then you’ll make it.

Truth #4: Sometimes it takes 150% when your partner can only give 50%. And sometimes your partner gives 150% when you can only give 50%. The key is that it’s a give and take relationship.

I think the myth is that we need to take care of each other’s needs constantly, when in reality we need to be taking care of ourselves, and our partner needs to take care of themselves, and then we can pick up the slack with each other because we are solid. But we are human, and cannot be “on” all the time. That’s part of the beauty of any relationship – to love and comfort and empathize and be compassionate. As long as it goes both ways and isn’t one person on one side all the time.

Lie #5:  Relationships are not worth the trouble.

Truth #5:  Relationships offer a platform to practice unconditional love, learn how to communicate, and mirror back to ourselves who we are.

“The man I married was not my best friend. He was only a shadow of the man he would become. Today I AM married to my confidante, my love, my best friend. We have spent the last 15 years learning who we are, who we want to become, and what we are together. Every day has not been a joy–but best friends don’t skip out on the rough times.They hold your hand through them, and help you enjoy a nice bottle of wine after all is said and done.”

Sandy Roffy

Couples therapy is a natural part of any healthy relationship. Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell openly advocate for and practice couples therapy. Dax says, ““Relationships aren’t just perfect” – in fact, how they “make it work” is by putting in a whole lot of actual work.”

Relationships do take work, but just as anything else in life worth having, they are worth it. We can help you find solutions or offer a supportive ear if you are in a relationship and would like help navigating the sometimes tricky path a relationship can take, give us a call.

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