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How Relationship Stereotypes Can Negatively Affect Couples

Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/LaHo9Set3bI (CC0)


In the past, relationship stereotypes were rather limiting. A man and a woman married, the man would be the breadwinner and the woman would look after the children. It’s perhaps one of the oldest family stereotypes around today and it’s been subconsciously affecting us in many different ways. In fact, some could argue that it’s been negatively affecting the way we treat our relationships.


What communication really means to a couple


It’s important to learn how to communicate with your significant other. If you want to build trust and learn to work together, you have to get used to speaking to each other. However, a request for communication can sometimes be misinterpreted as a way to exert control over a partner. For instance, if your partner asks about your schedule it can often seem like they don’t trust you or they want to exert control over your day. However, it could be that they just want to coordinate their schedule with yours so that you can spend more time together. They might also do it because they’re being considerate about your own commitments and don’t want to bother you on a day that you’re busy.

While small, it’s a great example of why communicating with your partner is important.


Accepting the fact that “fine” doesn’t have to be a code word for something else


There’s a stereotype against both men and women that use the word “fine” in response to a question such as “how are you?”. Many people believe that “fine” doesn’t actually mean fine. Instead, it’s a code word for feeling unwell, upset or even frustrated. Sure, this might be the case for some couples, but in many cases, “fine” simply means "nothing spectacular to report". There’s often no hidden meaning behind it, and the person responding with the word fine could just be distracted or not accustomed to responding with a long sentence.


Situations like this can quickly lead to disruption and unease in a relationship. So much so that some couples have relied on a family lawyer to settle misunderstandings. Distrust comes from a lack of communication and assumptions. Those assumptions often stem from stereotypes.


Don’t feel guilty for not spending time with your family


There’s a common assumption that every parent should spend copious amounts of time with their family. This is because many people believe that spending time with your children ensures a bright future for them. It also means being able to connect with your kids. There are common activities that can achieve this, such as going to the park together, watching a film together or even cooking dinner as a family.


However, parents shouldn’t feel bad about not spending time with their children. Instead, it’s all about spending quality time together and making it count. Quantity doesn’t matter and the same thing can apply to relationships between two adults. Seeing each other every day can work for some, but you shouldn’t feel bad if you can’t spend every waking moment together. Instead, value the time you do spend together and always make it special.




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