The Biggest Lie We've All Been Told About Relationships

couple having fun milanvirijevic / Getty Images Signature via Canva

We all have fond memories of those classic Disney movies. The enchanting songs and tales of true love were truly iconic. However, this doesn't accurately portray what it takes to make a relationship last.

For those of us with families, these narratives can begin to feel disingenuous. After all, songs of true love aren't going to get your baby to daycare.

So, what's the biggest lie we've been told about love? And how can we counter it? Mark Groves, Human Connection Specialist, founder of Create the Love, co-author of Liberated Love and host of the Mark Groves Podcast, offers insight into how we really should be approaching gender roles.




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The Biggest Lie We've All Been Told About Relationships

In recent trends, we've been seeing a push for the nuclear family. People want to return to the old days when men were providers and women stood at home. And on an individual level, there is nothing wrong with that. Families should do what's best for them.


However, this lifestyle isn't for everyone. Truthfully traditional gender roles in today's age don't work. When both parents are pursuing careers, gender roles need to become a lot more flexible. Yet the call for flexible gender roles isn't something new.

As Groves says, "Historically men's and women's roles weren't defined. Rather they did the roles that best ensured their survival." Take hunting as an example. We were led to believe that men were hunters and women were gatherers.

But as the New York Times says, this widespread misconception has contributed to the inequalities that we see today. The truth is that both men and women were hunters — and women hunted better.

As they write, "The researchers also found that women were more flexible in their approaches to hunting as they age.”


Women strategically selected the best weapons and chose who would accompany them. The eldest women also participated the most in the hunt and were known to have the greatest aim.

Yes, gender roles aren't a biological component. If that were the case women would be happier being stay-at-home moms.

But as the American Psychological Association points out, "Mothers with jobs tend to be healthier and happier than moms who stay at home during their children’s infancy and pre-school years."

"Shifting away from gender roles is crucial in today's society," says Grover. So, rather than following traditional norms, he suggests embracing a 'village mentality.'


You see, child-rearing is a collective responsibility. And as more women pursue careers, adopting this mindset becomes essential.

But how can we adapt this mindset? Most importantly, how do we build community?

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Building a community is more important than most of us realize.

Parent Companion writes, “Building intentional community simply means creating a circle of support for yourself, your family, and your child.”

Having a community comes in handy when you're feeling under the weather or need a mental break. But it's not just about having people you can rely on.

"Communities are there to lift you, creating an atmosphere full of encouragement and understanding," says Parent Companion.


If you're looking to create a community, start by considering who you can count on.

Are there any family members or friends you trust deeply? Who has been there for you or your children during crucial moments?

Reflecting on these questions can help you identify individuals to include in your inner circle.

Next, be sure to open yourself up, says Parent Companion. Get to know your neighbors and extended family. And build closer relationships with your friends. Try joining a support group or going to church.

The main idea is that branching out of your comfort zone can open up plenty of avenues for building community.

We also can't discuss community building without addressing partnerships.


Men need to step up when it comes to childcare and household responsibility. According to psychologist Jill Suttie, “Research suggests that even when women work outside the home, they are still shouldering more of the household load. And that affects their mental health, their partner’s mental health, and the state of their relationship.”

Feeling as if you're shouldering all the burden can make your partner feel isolated and unappreciated.

Remember to create a fair schedule where household responsibilities are shared. When your children are sick, don't leave that to your wife to handle it all. Your wife shouldn't have to sacrifice her career while you bear no burden.


couple sharing choresPhoto: Drpixel / Shutterstock

As the U.S. Department of Labor points out, "On average, women take 54 days of leave from work for reasons related to a new child, three times longer than men.”

While it might not appear to be a big deal, this can significantly impact her career. Women often face a larger financial setback than men due to taking time off work, affecting their chances for promotions and career advancement, explains the U.S. Department of Labor.


So, men, foster a better partnership with your wife and be a pillar of support for each other.

By working together and letting go of traditional gender roles, you can prioritize what's best for you and your family.

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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.