October 2014 \ Arts & Entertainment \ Book Excerpts
Bonding Better

Couples in Harmony
Nine Keys to Enriching Relationships

Publisher: Third Eye, Pentagon Press
Author: Sujatha D. Sharma and Avdesh Sharma
Price: INR 295/-
Pages: 316


 Dealing with a Relationship: Myths and Reality

As a relationship and marital therapist we have never ceased to be amazed by the naive assumptions of young couples about an ideal relationship or marriage. With their imaginations and expectations fired by passionate too-good-to-be-true, romantic pulp fiction and mushy Bollywood concoctions, it is hardly surprising that there are many myths that are unwittingly fostered onto their inexperienced minds and gullible hearts. Many a times, a couple in a relationship are miserable about the quality of their bond, simply because they fail to measure up to the romanticized images of being ‘truly-in-love’ that has been projected in fiction and passed off as ideal relationship. Even many misguided but well-meaning lay counselors and writers of pop psychology do propagate such myths in the form of what they term as certain ‘rules’ or ‘standards’ of successful marital relationships.

Unfortunately, some of these myths have been deeply ingrained in people’s mindsets that they have become unshakable beliefs. They sound so right, so logical that they become a yardstick against which couples evaluate their own relationship. To their own surprise and disappointment, they will eventually discover how far removed from truth are these ‘universal beliefs’.

We have put together a few of these popularly held beliefs, or rather ‘myths’, as we prefer to refer to them. If any of you have been subscribing arduously to these ‘myths’, be warned – you are setting yourself up for a terrible let down and sense of frustration, besides a fractured relationship with your partner. Unless you act now and rectify your myopic views of an idealized marital relationship, you may not be able to actually realize relational happiness that you earnestly desire.

Myth 1

“An ideal relationship is one which is driven by intense passionate love”.

We have always been led to believe that partners in a relationship should ideally be lovers for life. Well, there is no denying the fact that both romantic love and passion are the vital ingredients that ignite the spark in the beginning. So often we hear partners complain ‘I just don’t know what’s happened to us, we’ve seemed to have fallen out of love with each other’. It’s not as if they don’t love each other anymore – it is just that they don’t have the heady, dizzying feeling of passion that was there in the beginning. Partners need to understand that ‘love’ is not a static and absolute parameter. Feelings of love take on many shapes and hues over the years. These changes in ‘love’ may not always be as exciting or passionate, yet can be as rewarding, as it settles into more mature, deep and secure feelings of affection sharing. One has to understand that the infatuation phase of love cannot last forever. Emotions change but that doesn’t mean that love has jaded, has fizzled out, or become less meaningful. Hence it is irrational to expect that it is only romantic love that can keep the relationship vital, and that other form of love is unrewarding and substandard. Wiping a tear away from your ill wife’s eyes is no less romantic than sharing a meal with her over a candlelit dinner table at a designer restaurant.