MythBusters Family Edition
5 Myths Happy Couples Don’t Believe
By Teresa Jacobs
Founder of SOUND Relationships
A few years ago, my husband and I went through a rough patch in our marriage. We argued and nit-picked each other about everything. I didn’t like the feeling of the constant conflict and wanted to run and hide. However, instead of running from the problem, I found a mentor who could teach me how to deal with the issues and keep my marriage intact.
What I learned was priceless. We learned important tools to help us work out any difficulties that come our way. We also discovered that to be truly happy as a couple, we had to stop believing certain things about relationships. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but these are our top 5 myths that we had to debunk before achieving stability in our marriage.
Myth #1. My spouse should do everything they can to make me happy.
It sounds great, doesn’t it? Happy couples should be doing everything they can for each other. Right? Well, no. The reason this is a toxic thought is that the only person who can make you happy is yourself. Think of it like filling your own emotional bucket. When we take responsibility for our basic needs, we become more resilient. We can handle stress better. It’s subtle. It’s in our expectations--our mindset. Think to yourself: “I am responsible for my own happiness.” Then we can blame no one. It helps us to not be an emotional burden on those around us. In fact, when you think this, you empower yourself to be a leader. We can find confidence and joy when we do things to become emotionally self-reliant.
Ways to fill your emotional bucket:
Find joy in doing for others--do it because you love them
Build emotional resilience by getting healthy amounts of food, rest, and exercise.
Pursue activities you love to do
Refuse to argue with someone who is criticizing you
Meditate and pray for inner strength and peace of mind
Refrain from criticizing or looking down on others
Forgive quickly--you hold on to pain when you don’t forgive
Believe in yourself
Do a little better every day
Myth #2. To keep from arguing with my spouse I should just avoid talking about things that make us fight.
No! Don’t do this! It keeps you from listening to what the other person has to say. This is called stonewalling. It’s totally toxic to your relationship. Instead of holding it in, use language that is gentle in the following format: I feel _____ when you say or do _____, because _______ . Could you please____________?. If the conversation gets heated, agree on a 20 minute break (up to 23 hours) and then resume when you are both calm.
Myth #3. The reason I’m not satisfied with sex is because it’s just not as good as it used to be.
Actually, couples who have a strong feeling of connection report having high satisfaction levels about sex. So focus on building love and friendship and the sex will improve on its own. Don’t fall into traps like porn or infidelity. When you feel more unified as a couple, you naturally desire intimacy.
#4. It doesn’t matter that I bash my spouse when I’m with my friends.
Whoa. I mean it is nice to have a friend who will listen to you vent. But joking with a group of friends—isn’t that a breach of trust? If we want to have a strong connection and lasting commitment, we must also choose to talk to our spouse directly when there’s an issue.
#5. The best way to get my spouse to understand how criticized I feel is to remind them of their faults.
It may be tempting to unload all the nasty you can throw at them when you are feeling criticized. However, in healthy relationships, couples take turns talking and listening to understand each other better. Criticism and defensiveness only prevent you from getting to the point or even making important decisions.
#6. Bonus myth: Arguments and passionate discussions mean I am heading for divorce.
Arguments and conflict are going to be a natural part of life. However, you can communicate in a better way and I can teach you how. You can discuss important issues without arguing. Through a process of 4 important phases—couples can learn to discuss difficult subjects, repair after conflict, and even begin to plan for future amazingness.
If you would like to get on the waitlist for when we launch our upcoming Oak Method Masterclass, please sign up at strengthenourfamily.com