Monday, May 24, 2010

The Myth of the Right Partner

I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and Cynthia's post got me thinking about this. Anyway, I guess this post sort of piggybacks onto the story that Cynthia posted the other day.

Sometimes, when we find themselves dissatisfied in relationships, we assume that the problem is with our partners, and we think that all of our relationship problems would magically disappear and everything would be hunky-dory if we were just with the right person. That's known as the myth of the right partner (aka "the grass is always greener on the other side" delusion).

We need to keep in mind, however, that the other person isn't always the problem. Sometimes the problem is with the couple's relationship skills (or lack thereof). Sometimes we're the problem, as reluctant as we may be to admit that to ourselves.

The problem with subscribing to the myth of the right partner is that it can lead us to bounce from one relationship to another, always in search of that evasive "right" partner who we imagine will complete us, help us to have and enjoy the perfect, conflict-free relationship, and so on. It can also lead us to abandon relationships that may be salvageable without making very much of an effort to work on those relationships.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I'll ask a new divorce client, "So, what can I expect him/her (other side) to say about you? What is she/he going to tell the Court in complaints about you?"

    My clients often seem surprised by the question. And though it is geared to give me a defensive heads up, it causes them to reflect on their own faults, because the follow-up question to this is, "Well, is it true? Can he/she substantiate this?" And then the converstaion can get really amazing!

    The point is that there are two sides a lot of the time. Sometimes the complainer is the problem.

    Your last sentence, I think, is the key to why this is so important. Understanding that Mr/Mrs Right is a myth might cause us to work on good relationships we might otherwise give up.