Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

A Healthy Relationship Should Take Time And Effort

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Most people approach romantic relationships with an ingrained way of thinking that could be categorized as a cognitive distortion. This is that judging if their partners are right or wrong for them, judging if the relationship is good or bad, simply comes down to judging if everything feels effortless.

In other words most people don’t believe that a healthy relationship should take time and effort. In fact they tend to believe just the opposite, that time and effort are symptoms of an unhealthy relationship.

Part of this cognitive distortion has got to be attributed to the fact that when observing healthy couples it’s obvious that both partners do feel comfortable and relaxed around each other, things do appear easy and effortless for them. But what’s being observed is the payoff from the time and effort spent strengthening the relationship behind the scenes, from the difficult conversations that get embraced rather than avoided, from the consciously taken intentions for how to be and how to act towards each other.

People who believe relationships should always be easy and effortless run into problems precisely because they don’t put in the necessary time and effort along the way to get that result, just like how a car in perfect operating condition doesn’t stay that way by magic but must be intentionally maintained. Doing away with the cognitive distortion that time and effort are a symptom of an unhealthy relationship is a necessary prerequisite for a healthy relationship.