To make a relationship work well, it will help to understand the myths of communication.
Your significant other may be crazy about you and you adore him, but sometimes there are problems and arguments that arise and you can’t understand why. They seem to come from out of the blue. Often the problems come from misunderstandings that do not get cleared up. At the basis of this are assumptions that individuals make. These assumptions are often myths that we accept as true. To make a relationship work well, it will help to understand the myths of communication. These are beliefs that we have that prevent us and our partner from speaking to each other in a way that clears the air and ensures that we understand each other. When you understand the myths, then your communication will improve and with it your relationship.
Myth 1. Couples ought to know what the other thinks, wants, or feels. Since we are not mind-readers this is impossible. You need to speak up and tell your partner what you would like. If not, then you set up an impossible task for him, you become disappointed, and he cannot understand your anger at him. He does not have a crystal ball, and there is nothing wrong with him because he can’t figure it out. Males and females communicate in different ways. So something that a girlfriend understands may be a mystery to your significant other.
Myth 2. Couples need to agree with each other after they have discussed something. People see things differently and may never see everything the same way. Unless it is something of critical importance, couples can love each other and not agree on everything even though they have discussed it. Because they don’t agree after discussing something is just differences. It is only important if it is if they are making a commitment of importance, then they need to really understand the pros and cons and how it will affect them and their relationship.
Myth 3. Discussing your problems mean you now have to solve them. Having good communication means that you listen and understand how the other feels, but not all problems can be solved. It depends on how important the issue is as to what you do about it. If he wants you to roller skate and you are too afraid to do so, he needs to understand your position and accept that you won’t be able to do this. There are times you can’t solve everything, but understanding the other and where he comes from on the topic is more important.
Myth 4. Sharing feelings means your partner must act to do something. This works two ways. The best resolution to this is that your partner listens and tries to understand your feelings, but not pressure you to so something you do not want to do. And you do the same. Sharing leads to understanding, and understanding each other is more important than acting on something that disturbs you.
Myth 5. Rejections of my views is a rejection of me. Two people can love each other, but can have different views. What is needed is for each is to respect the other’s views, but not coerce him or her to accept your view point. People can co-exist without having to have the same view on topics.
Myth 6. Doing what your partner wants doesn’t count if he had to be told to do it. The best way to get you needs met is to ask respectfully and directly. It is of no significant that you had to ask. There are no mind readers in this world.
Myth 7. In true love partners can sense the other’s needs. We can’t rely on others to know our needs. If we do, we will often be disappointed. It is unrealistic. What counts is that a partner listens and tries to meet your needs, not his sensing what they are.
Myth 8. Love means never having to say you are sorry. This thought persists from the movie Love Story, but. It is the opposite. Loving someone means that you apologize for hurting and show care and understanding. Saying your sorry is really important in showing empathy to your partner. It is a good thing. It show you care about his feelings.
These myths teach us to look at our partner and try to be kinder and more concerned about his feelings. It also encourages empathy. This draws people together and builds up intimacy. Emotional intimacy is one of the most important components of true love. It must be nurtured and supported. Understanding these myths and how they build intimacy is very important toward building an honest and loving relationship.
By Rona Subotnik, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
It is based on an excerpt from her national best selling book, Surviving Infidelity co- written with Gloria Harris.