Couples wonder and worry that the patterns in their relationship are abnormal or deviant, when in fact, a wide range of behaviors in couples is quite common. Here are 10 examples of behaviors that couples think are unhealthy, that are very typical:
1- Thinking about something else during sex. Is there anyone who hasn’t allowed their mind to wander to other things during sex, especially with a long term relationship? No matter how into the person you are, you are going to get distracted. Accept it and don’t beat yourself up.
2- Virtually all couples have sexual desire problems sooner or later. Thirty six percent of almost 20,000 people have desire problems virtually all time, and another 25% have them most times before sex. Couples often go long periods of time without having sex and then once they start up again, their sex life continues on its own. Sex is like anything else, practice and habit results in higher frequency. Make up sex is fairly common as well; let’s disagree to then show each other how close we are.
3- Healthy couples really enjoy time apart and are quite happy taking personal space for hours or days to weeks at times. Its insecure couples that want to control or monopolize each other’s life. Individuals that are fulfilled need to look outside the relationship to keep growing. While time apart promotes this, insular existence stifles this growth.
4- Men and women have different communication styles. After awhile they get into a rhythm and although one may think that a long trip or car ride is perfect time to gab away, often there are long silences during these times. People get into their own heads and don’t need to be interacting all the time to feel connected. Solid couples know this and enjoy just being in the same space without having to converse.
5- Men and women have differences in communication styles and this permeates their relationship and ability to connect on an intimidate level with dialogue. Men will shut down by nature in the face of conflict and women will want to embrace conflict. This is normal and natural and when couples recognize this pattern and are able to adjust to it, instead of trying to change each other, and as a result, they appreciate each other and connect on a different level. Women need to recognize that a man will come forward and verbalize but not on the same time table as woman and with patience, it will happen. It is normal to feel the frustration of this and these differences do not signify an unhealthy relationship.
6- Couples have secrets from each other and they do not tell each other every little thing. White lies are not uncommon in an effort to be kind. Telling someone they look good when they don’t or even seeing an old flame and not sharing the event is not uncommon. Some people may argue that in a truly healthy relationship everything should be shared, but often couples use discretion and this is quite normal and typical.
7- Lying about money. Couples often have different priorities for discretionary income and it’s not uncommon for them to keep their secret stashes of clothes, toys, candy, other discretionary items won’t break the bank, but don’t “need” to be shared and thus are not. This is normal and natural.
8- Old habits that emerge even years after the couple has been established. Under stress old habits such as smoking eating disorders, sleeping with a favorite childhood stuffie, can emerge in the face of a loss of a loved one or a job loss.. The couple may have been together for several years prior, but all of sudden nail biting is a new , but old habit, and this is normal and natural.
9- Individual body image often impacts sex drive but couples won’t share this readily no matter how close they are. Even the closest of close couples, don’t want to dish about their bad feelings about themselves. This may vary week to week depending on the amount of food or exercise they are engaged in. This is true of both dating or long-term couples. Couples that are into to each other put up with the ebb and flow of sex and together out in public they may seem “hot”, but in bed that night, they are not. It’s not always as it appears and that’s normal and natural.
10- Don’t like aspects of each other’s cooking or domestic style or the way they appear or dress. There are aspects of each other that normal couples do not like and they just block them out or accept them, but given a choice they would throw out a recipe or that old favorite sweater. Just part of accepting the whole package and not focusing on these things to keep the peace and good will.