Debunking relationship myths

Valentine's Day can put a lot of pressure on a relationship, and make people question how healthy their partnership really is. Dr. Richard Marks from Marriage for Life helps us debunk some of the most popular myths about healthy relationships.

Myth 1: People in a healthy relationship never fight. False! Everyone in happy relationships find themselves embroiled in spats now and again, which is normal and healthy because it means you're speaking up, voicing your opinion, and trying to resolve things that irk you. Just make sure for every fight you have, you should experience four or five positive encounters.

Myth 2: People in a healthy relationship never have to work at it. A good relationship takes a lot of work, even if you get along day-to-day. That means compromising, being less stubborn, and working on things you know you need to change. But make sure you don't have to change who you are for the other person.

Myth 3: People in a healthy relationship have to share all the same interests. Most healthy relationships flourish when each person has things to enjoy that their partner might not. Not only does this provide necessary time apart, but it also opens the door for each of you to potentially teach the other about things you're into. If you're feeling like you and your partner really don't share any commonalities, try choosing one thing to unequivocally do together-a cooking class, weekly trips to a museum, bike riding on Sundays, etc.

Myth 4: People in a healthy relationship have sex constantly.  Most people in healthy relationships aren't jumping into bed every single chance they get.  The frequency of sex should be less of a concern as the quality.

Myth 5: People in a healthy relationship have to adore each other's families and friends. People in solid relationships do treat certain friends or family members they may not love with respect. Nobody said you have to adore your boyfriend's cousins, etc, but if something legitimately bothers you, talk openly to your partner about the problem, instead of getting an attitude with the offending person.

Myth 6: People in a healthy relationship have to follow a typical life trajectory. Typically, the pattern goes: dating, moving in, getting engaged, getting married, having a kid, buying a home, having another kid, and so on, but not every happy couple follows that life path. In fact, if portions of that trajectory don't suit you, your only going to be miserable in the long run. The trick is to agree with your partner on what works for both of you, and going from there.

Myth 7: People in a healthy relationship have to love living together all the time. Cohabitation can be cost-effective, but also slightly claustrophobic at times. Compromises must be made, space must be shared, and responsibilities must be divided up.

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