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By Josh Murray

Relationships and where media's advice goes wrong

Far too often, we see and read articles in magazines and on the web dispensing advice that is just plain wrong. The focus seems to be on the premise that you're really better off by yourself… so if you don't like them, just kick them to the curb. No. Don't.

Granted, this isn't an article telling you to stay with someone who is mistreating or abusing you, or even undeserving of you. However, relationships take work. If you feel as though there is an issue in your relationship, go to your partner and talk about it. A strange concept, I know, but just give it a try. In this day and age of social media and the Internet of everything, infidelity is easier than ever. And that means trust has become a rather large issue between couples. Who is he texting? Who is she sending that selfie to? Here's the thing. It doesn't matter, or at least it shouldn't. I strongly advise everyone to have some sort of lock on their phone just for safety's sake. But your partner should know that pattern or pin number.

If you have a problem with your partner having access to your phone, then you need to ask yourself why you have that problem. What do you have to hide? No, you shouldn't have nightly snoop sessions, but if you have nothing to hide, what does it really matter? This is where insecurities and jealousy come into play. If either one of those treacherous emotions exists between you and your partner, then you need to have an open book, possibly several. And if you can't be the kind of person who doesn't sneak around and cheat, then just don't be in a relationship. It really is that simple. No one likes to be alone, but you know very well that if you are the one doing the cheating, you would seriously blow your stack if it was being done to you.

Relationships aren't easy. I've been in a few doozies myself. In fact, I was almost driven crazy by the suspicions I had about one former partner's infidelity. In my defense, I was right. That's why it's former partner. But that doesn't mean that I take those wounds with me into the next relationship. Projecting someone else's wrongdoing onto the next person isn't just completely unfair, it's the end of the relationship. If you spend your time worrying, wondering, and waiting for your partner to cheat, then your relationship is not only over before it began, it's also unhealthy for the both of you. Chances are, they aren't cheating, and your suspicious behavior will only drive them away.

Instead, sit your partner down. Talk to them, and do it without raised voices or accusations. Tell them how you feel. Someone who truly cares about you will be willing to talk it out. My current (and preferably final) partner was also cheated on by her husband. When those feelings of insecurity, or questions about certain actions pop up, we make it clear to one another to bring it up and we do so immediately. This clears the air of any doubts we may have. Bringing it up to your partner as soon as possible allows the two of you to deal with the raw emotions you are feeling, and allows the situation to disperse. Sitting on those thoughts and questions merely allows more to emerge.

I'm no spring chicken, and I've been in a few relationships. This one, however, is one in which I feel safer, more reassured, and more trusting than any relationship I've been a part of before. This is largely because there are no questions. If her phone rings and I am closer, I answer it. If my Snapchat notification goes off and I'm away from my phone, she lets me know who sent it. There's no reason for all of this extreme privacy nonsense because we have nothing we need to keep from the other's eyes. If you have to hide it, regardless of what it is, it's wrong. You aren't just yourself anymore. That's what being apart of a couple is all about. You're a part of something different now, better… and equal.

So if you want to feel happier about the relationship you're in, dive completely into it. open up your heart, your mind, and your phone. Stop this nonsense of there's always someone better out there, you're easily replaced. Work toward building something together. If you can't do that, leave and let your partner find someone who wants to actually be in a relationship, not just be with somebody. Because if you are treating people as a commodity, as property, then there's definitely someone better out there than you.

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