As we all are aware all great romantic fairy and love stories end
And they both lived happily ever after.
These words have become so engrained within our minds that it is now a cultural belief that all loving relationships should strive towards this outcome as an optimum condition.
In the opening to their book Happily Ever After and Other 39 Myths About Love Linda & Charlie Bloom say the following about accepted cultural beliefs.
Myths may or may not contain some truth, but whether or not they do, we often repeat them as received wisdom.
Challenging Accepted Beliefs
In their book the Blooms highlight no less than forty supposedly commonly accepted cultural myths regarding love and relationships.
From the outset the authors challenge their readers to question the very basis upon which tbeir relationships are founded and to critically examine the part that myths actually olay in the way they run their romantic affairs.
In the introduction to their book they are unequivical in their fervent ascertian that relationships can and are sverely damaged by tge erroneous belief systems that generally underpin them.
As they say “Accepting myths without questioning them prevents us from experiencing the full measure of freedom, passion, and personal power that is available to us when we take ownership of our own inner authority.”
Myths that infiltrate our personal relationships are many and range from the simple ‘All you need is love’ through to the more socially challenging statement ‘Married Couples Don’t Date’.
Throughout their chosen forty relationship myths the authors unravel the accepted belief systems that underpin our blanket, unquestioning acceptance of them.
Some of these relate to feelings deruved from intimacy, from the continual drive towards freedom in a relationship, the degree of trust we need to place in our partners to the unending need to balance the needs and many complex desires of each partner.
Whilst it is generally accepted that many relationships are borne from a desire and emotional need for companionship the Blooms do also present the fact that fir the health and continued well-being of a relationship each partners needs rime alone for some personal introspection.
As the authors describe it “Solitude is a form of self-care.”
In closing their book the authors highlight some of the key features contained within it. These are points of clarification that have been part of their own oersonal experiences intheir own forty-seven year marriage ( they were wedded in 1972)
Clearly the process of laying bare their own relationship to the deeply transforming power of self-examination has been a great personal success.
There is little doubt that the basis upon which long-term relationships are founded is constantly changing and in need of regular examination. One might suspect that the high divorce rates in the Western world are due to the heightened expectations of individuals in tbeir marriages and the inflexibility in adjusting to its unique challenges as well as opportunities.
In their book the Blooms perform an admirable task in vetting common relationship myths and explaining their own reasons for challenging them.
It is a publication that is in many ways both fresh and radically new in its approach; and yet it also carries with it a deep sense of maturity and sense of peace drawn from conflict resolution. I guess this has something to do with the length of their marriage and the openness with which they are able to relate to one another. The author’s publicity photo on the rear of the cover of the book is utterly delightful and resonates with a deep sense of happiness and emotional satisfaction that sharing their lives with one another has brought them.
For thise readers looking to infuse their relationships with a little open-hearted honesty and objective assessment will find much in this book to guide them.