How do you make a relationship work? If you ask those in a relationship, chances are, the most common answer would probably be: having good communication with your spouse or partner. Simple. Right? Of course not!

If having good communication is the answer to making a relationship work,get someone to love you then does that mean that people whose marriages ended in divorce or those who have ended their relationships did not know how to communicate? Well, maybe some of them but definitely not all of them.

People who go into a relationship want to make it work – at least, most of them do. However, in their quest to have a great relationship with their partner, many have been misled by common misconceptions of what will be best for a relationship.

Several books have been written about relationships and there are so many experts who give advice about relationships. People have been bombarded with a ton of information and many have accepted what they see and/or hear as gospel truth.

While experts do give sound advice, some “facts” have been proven to be false by certain researchers who have conducted different scientific studies involving couples.

So let’s clear the myths once and for all on how relationships work.

Myth # 1: Common Interests Keep You Together

There’s a wildly held belief that in order for a relationship to really work, you and your ex need common interests to glue yourselves together. Though, what this myth fails to explain is that it all depends on HOW you share your common interests.

A couple that share a love of photography may encourage each other to take beautiful panoramic photos of the sunset and concentrate together on getting the best colour possible into their photos.

Another couple may share the same interest in photography but not the same mutual respect. They may constantly criticize each other’s work with comments such as “That’s a pathetic photo! You’ve got no idea when taking sunset photos!”

So you can see how pursuing common interests may not be in this second couple’s best interests.

Myth # 2: One Good Turn Deserves Another

One myth of a healthy and happy relationship is that when one treats the other in a positive way, his or her partner should do the same.

Some experts advise couples in troubled relationships to reciprocate good deeds or kind words for each other to make their relationship stronger. If one helps the other with a chore, then they expect the other to reciprocate next time.

Take Lee and Lyn. They have been together for 8 years and have come to a point where arguing and fighting are normal daily activities. Since both have become very negative in the way they treat each other, a marriage counsellor advised them to try to do nice things for each other. Both agree to give it a try.

Two weeks later, the relationship got worse. Why? Lee goes all out in trying to do something good for Lyn. He buys her chocolates and flowers. He takes her out to dinner. He even helps her out with some chores. For her part, Lyn tries not to nag Lee about him playing video games (he’s already 30). She even arranges Lee’s video game collection after he uses them. So, what’s the problem?

Lee thinks that he’s doing more for Lyn than she’s doing for him. Lyn meanwhile, says that Lee should be grateful that she’s still making an effort to stay in the relationship despite the hurtful things that Lee had said to her during the 8 years that they’d been together.

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