“Dear future husband…” Beware of relationship myths and your unconscious expectations…!

In your relationship and in your marriage!

Whenever I hear Meghan Trainor’s new single “Dear Future Husband” I get reminded of think about the myths, beliefs and expectations individuals bring into their intimate relationships, usually unconsciously. These often get revealed in the course of  couple counselling sessions.

I do realise, of course, that the lyrics of the song are “tongue in cheek”! However, often I am surprised by the unquestioning beliefs individuals and couples hold about the nature of relationships in general, and about what they need to do in order to maintain a happy relationship and/or marriage.

You may ask why this matters? Well, unrealistic myths and beliefs about how relationships should be conducted inform  our expectations of our partner and of ourselves and when these are not realized a great deal of frustration and unhappiness is inevitable, usually leading to relationship problems.

For example, if you are your partner believes that “relationships that are meant to be should be effortless” (as stated by one of my clients during individual counselling – their partner refused to attend couple counselling for this reason!) then they will also believe (I would expect, though of course unconscious beliefs are not necessarily logically related) that if a relationship is not going well at any point that it is not meant to be!

Consider a verse from Ms Trainor’s song: “After every fight, just apologize, and maybe then I’ll try to rock your body right, Even if I was wrong, You know I;m never wrong, Why disagree? Why, why disagree?”

Of course, we will all probably chuckle at these lyrics! However, in my psychology practice, it would see many couples where one partner always calls the shots in the relationship. The reasons for this dynamic will differ for every couple. However, in my experience, it is very rarely the case that a relationship can happily survive such an unbalanced power balance in the long term (maybe this was possible in the “old days” but not anymore).

In my experience, if partners don’t routinely feel heard, acknowledged and respected in their relationship, this will violate their expectations of how a worthwhile relationship should operate, and the writing will be on the wall for the couple unless they wake up to the danger and take steps to change the dynamic without delay.

Have you explored your own unconscious beliefs and expectations regarding your own relationship?! This exercise could be an eye-opener!

 

 

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