Straightening out Some Relationship Myths

Relationship myths including the following:

1. It take two to tango; both partners share responsibility when there’s a broken relationship. Not true. Often it’s the case that one of partners has more serious issues than the other partner, or brings more baggage to the relationship. For example, they may not be able to securely attach, or they may have an alcohol or porn addiction. Hence, they are the cause of the problems you are having. Being told otherwise is a form of gaslighting.

2. We are drawn to destructive partners because of something that happened in our past. Not true. Often our partners seemed loving, fun and charming at the start of the relationship. It was only later on that the mask came off, and we saw these other – harmful – aspects of themselves.   

3. You can always find a way forward if you’re prepare to compromise. Not true. Sometimes the only solution that a partner will accept is one that they define, and the one which works for them. So, they aren’t interested in knowing what you want, or changing anything to be what you need them to be. It’s “my way or the highway” – for one person calls the shots.

4. You are to blame because your partner says you’ve changed. Not true. Sometimes we change in response to being hurt, or being betrayed, or mistreated by our partner or our spouse. This is absolutely normal, and is what we would expect – for you do not stay the same when you’ve been hurt and traumatized. So you are not the problem; their behaviour is to blame.

5. You are at fault because you won’t move on. Not true. History and bad memories accumulate with time, and the fall-out from that history will accumulate as well. All the pain of the past shape our experience in the present. You don’t just erase it, or forget it, and move on.

6. Your reactions to triggers are over-reactions. Not true. This is related to the previous point.  Our reactions are predictable and understandable when we consider all the trauma and the anguish we’ve lived through. So they don’t mean you are crazy, or controlling or demanding. And they aren’t personality, or character, flaws.

7. If you end the relationship, it means that you have failed. Not true. If the relationship is damaging, or harmful, or unsafe, then ending it is healthy, and it demonstrates self-love. Sometimes it’s right to end things, and to move on with your life.

“If it is destroying you, it isn’t love.”

24 thoughts on “Straightening out Some Relationship Myths

    • Sometimes (often) both people play a role in the relationship breaking down over time. Saying that, there are occasions when one partner works out their issues in a way that negatively affects the other person – even although that partner did nothing to create the problem in the first place. I think the latter situation is especially painful.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have a hard time with past relationships

    As a survivor of serious childhood abuse I am not supposed to be able to have a healthy interpersonal relationship

    This is not a myth, many abused kids share my pathology

    So should I have avoided contact with the opposite sex

    one of PTSDs biggest symptoms is avoidance

    How do you navigate this?

    Liked by 1 person

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