10 Clichés About Relationships & Sex That Are Worth Questioning
6. That if your partner would only change this one thing about them, your problems would be solved
Couples in relationships can sometimes position issues in such a way that they’re one person’s fault; that they’re the result of one person’s way of being. The problem with perceiving relationships in such a way is that a) it’s literally untrue (i.e. you could counterargue that it isn’t the person’s way of being that’s the problem, it’s the other’s perception of the person’s way of being; in other words, both people are active participants in the “issue”), b) personality traits that lead to problems are often the same traits behind certain positive behaviors, so to eliminate the trait would be to change the person for better and for worse, and c) the person who’s being blamed for all the problems will eventually start feeling vindictive, shit-on, and like he or she is a shitty person.
7. That behaviors engaged in before the relationship are off limits now because they are ‘bad’ or ‘shameful’ (i.e. masturbation, drugs, going out with friends) and ‘not part of the relationship’
Pretty self explanatory. To treat someone’s past as if it didn’t exist or as if it hasn’t had an effect on one’s life is stifling, shaming, and can lead to lying and covering up. Not recommended.
8. That being in a relationship “shouldn’t be this hard”
There exists an ideal, especially in times of relationship distress, that being in a relationship “shouldn’t be this hard.” But being in a long term monogamous relationship, after some period of time, can produce difficulties that any two people on the earth, regardless of their IQ or emotional capacity or love and respect for each other will find hard to get through. For example: you’ve come to find out, over the course of your long-term relationship, that your girlfriend was a “trashcan baby” and as such is completely incapable of showing emotion to the ones she loves because of her deep-rooted childhood fear of literally being put in a trash can and abandoned, helpless and vulnerable. She doesn’t want to admit this because she feels it’s “shameful” and so it literally takes a year of difficult, emotionally affecting nights of talking to her and her subsequent reaction to feeling “cornered.” This is naturally a difficult situation. Should being in a relationship “be this hard?”
9. That point-by-point logical victories in arguments are of any significant consequence
I’ve had a lot of disagreements with girlfriends where I completely destroy them on a logical basis but am left with the same negative feeling I had that caused the fight itself. Taking someone’s statement about how they feel and then proving it illogical or reminding that they said the opposite last week, that it’s not consistent with what they said that one time, really does nothing in the way of problem solving. I think that when you get to the point of simply trying to logically defeat someone in an argument, you aren’t even concerned with reconciling, you’re just concerned with winning, which won’t do anything for the relationship.
10. That concepts such as betrayal, sex, happiness, etc. are of a black/white nature
Someone cheating on someone else is not an isolated incident that occurred in a cause-and-effect vacuum completely devoid of outside influence. It is best for the partner to understand what led up to such a betrayal (while, of course, being allowed some amount of time to be angry and hurt) rather than think it the automatic end of the relationship or even a grave and unforgivable – and perhaps unspeakable – crime against the relationship. The same applies to misleading or lying. When one lies, it is maybe the result of shame, maybe the result of a defense mechanism in which lies uphold certain protecting aspects of the ego, etc. Sometimes lying or [anything] has nothing to do with the relationship at all, yet too often people get hurt because they take it to mean something about the relationship. Being hurt is appropriate, but I suggest that such issues should eventually be approached with an attitude of understanding and the conspicuous goal of ensuring that such hurtful behavior is minimized or never again happens in the future (if one wishes to remain in the relationship).
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