You never fight, you’re together 24/7 – and you’ve got everything, the perfect house, car, family. Well, things may not be as perfect as they seem. Oprah’s “O” magazine asked top relationship experts to give their take on seemingly “perfect” couples and where they might be going wrong.
- Like the couple who never argues. Dr. Harville Hendrix, author of Getting the Love You Want says by not fighting, you’re not engaging each other. That may be due to a fear of intimacy. Dr. Hendrix says these couples may last a long time and function well as parents, but the love relationship often deteriorates into buddy territory. He says couples like that are in a “parallel marriage” – living side by side but never connecting. If you’re not arguing, you’re not fully communicating. As long as you don’t criticize, get defensive, or stonewall your partner, arguing is healthy. If you stuff your anger inside, it’ll tear you apart.
- The attached-at-the-hip couple. Dr. Hendrix says couples who need to be together 24/7 may harbor a fear of separation and lack individual identities. You shouldn’t feel that you’d be nothing without the other person. That’s not love, it’s dependence. One partner may end up feeling trapped and smothered – but afraid if they say something it’ll make the other partner feel betrayed. However, each person needs to be whole and happy without the other, otherwise you’re looking for the other person to fill a role you should be filling yourself.
- The mega-paycheck couple. They’ve got everything! The house, the cars, the hot careers – so why are they so miserable? Because they’re not making their relationship a priority. They’re so busy working and accumulating stuff – and taking care of that stuff – that they don’t take care of each other. To have a great relationship, you need to be interested in your partner and enjoy spending time with them. If what’s precious to you are your possessions, you’ve got your priorities out of whack.