Boy meets girl. Boy dates girl. Boy and girl wed. They live happily ever after. This is the fantasy girls and boys alike grow up believing in. But this story is an inaccurate representation of the work that actually goes into making a successful relationship.
The myth that once a couple reaches a certain point in the relationship things will magically fall into place sets us up for disappointment. People cannot be happy one hundred percent of their lives. Outside influences or stresses can work their way into any relationship.
Happiness comes in cycles; every person feels ups and downs in life, and these are often reflected in our relationships by proxy. People in healthy relationships take these moments of strife in stride and look to the future. They know that it is unnatural to expect perfection, and they look for healthy ways to get back to a happier state.
In the early stages of a relationship, we can feel reluctant to fight with our partner, but as the relationship grows, you realize that having differing views on things is not a detriment to your relationship. Learning to express your differences of opinion in a healthy and supportive way is more important than always agreeing.
Though successful couples revel in the good times, they understand that they cannot remain happy indefinitely. No relationship will escape disagreements. No matter how much you love each other, you won’t see eye to eye on every occasion. Fights are inevitable, and healthy couples save up their fights for the important things.
Successful couples understand fighting is natural, even healthy. They do not hold on to the fantasy that true loves means always agreeing. They also know that the number of fights or size of fights doesn’t determine the happiness in a relationship. Some people go out of their way to avoid confrontation, but remaining locked in flight mode to avoid confrontation won’t help your relationship grow. Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree.
Accepting that fighting is natural is the first step to shattering the fairytale fantasy. Instead of placing value on how frequently a couple agrees, they can instead find contentment in knowing they are being fair to their partner when they find themselves disagreeing. To approach a disagreement with respect for both parties is the key to coming to a pragmatic solution.
Break the happily ever after cycle: instead, focus on the here and now and what can make it better at the moment. Accept that you will disagree, but focus on areas of agreement and practice acting with kindness and integrity in your most trying relationship moments.