DISPELLING SOME MYTHS ABOUT CONFLICT IN RELATIONSHIPS
Myths are ancient stories that are passed down, usually from unknown sources. Myths sometimes determine our guiding principles; our guiding principles shape our beliefs, which ultimately shapes our actions. Even though myths flow from unverifiable sources, they have the power to limit our expressions. Let’s consider some popular myths around conflict in relationships that should be dispelled.
- Couples experiencing conflicts are abnormal: while it is not advisable to go shopping for each other’s trouble bags, it is also OK to know that conflicts in relationships and marriages, are normal.
Conflicts are so normal that it is inevitable. You and your partner will always have situations that are conflicted. You will not always have the same opinion on life’s issues.
Life is not meant to be experienced only from a particular perspective. If you realize this, you will see the normality in having conflict. You can’t wish conflicts away.
I remember back in the day when I was a newlywed, my goal was to be the best wife on the block by ensuring that my husband and I never have conflicts. Thinking about it now I can’t help but laugh at my younger self. That was really a tall order, it is simply impossible not to have conflicts.
Conflicts are so normal that you need to embrace it. Should you be shopping for conflicts, no, but when they come and believe me they will, you need to accept them as being normal.
- Conflicts invalidate love: when there is conflict in a relationship or marriage, some people think it has invalidated the love that they share with their partners. The idea is that if you truly love each other, then love should eradicate conflicts. This myth is very false.
This myth is responsible for why so many couples are so ashamed to let their friends and family know when they are having problems in their relationship or marriage, especially when the crisis is still small and manageable.
Couples are afraid of being judged, they are afraid that people will not believe in the authenticity of their love, or that the love they share is not perfect. This is especially predominant among the famous or people occupying high positions.
Quit listening to what people have to say about your relationship. Stop bothering yourself about other people’s perception of your relationship. Challenges in relationship are normal. Learn to know that the love that you share has not been invalidated simply because you have issues. Remind yourself that, yes, I have issues in my relationship or marriage and yes, we are still madly in love.
- Relationships that have conflicts are doomed for destruction: There is a general belief that any relationship that is having conflict is headed for doom. This is not true, on the contrary if you never experience conflict, it means that you are being too careful around each other. It means that you are walking on egg shells around each other. One or both of you is being too careful to ensure you do what is expected of you. You are most likely living a scripted life.
Any relationship that doesn’t allow you to be free enough to disagree with each other, that you are not free to talk about what you don’t like, to air your views especially when it is contrary to that of your spouse, is most likely an ephemeral relationship.
The truth is, if handled well, conflicts provide a platform for couples to air their differences, this results to learning each other on a deeper level which in turn creates a more intimate bond.
- My partner hurts me because he/she is mean: In a relationship you should know that two good people can hurt each other. There is this general belief that when your partner hurts you, it was intentional, which makes it difficult to divorce the offence from the offender.
We need to stop holding grudges against our partners whenever they hurt us. We should accept that, their perspective to life is different from ours. What we consider offensive may not hold true for them. We should also never forget that no two people in close proximity can escape hurting each other.
So, the next time your partner errs, remember that it was not targeted at offending you, that way it is easier to forgive them, which also frees you to live optimally.
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