“I strongly believe that understanding is more important than love, especially when it comes to parenting and an intimate relationship.” ~ Jeffrey Bernstein
Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D., is a well-known and licensed psychologist with more than 30 years of practice. He has worked with couples, children, adolescents, and whole families. He has made an appearance on many TV Shows and he has published 5 books. He is a very gifted expert in his field.
This brilliant psychologist strongly believes that love is not the most important thing in a relationship. He says that even though he thinks love is wonderful, it is not enough. He says that he has worked with many divorced couples who are still in love with each other, but they have never really understood each other.
Dr. Bernstein strongly believes that the paramount to a successful relationship is not love – it is the understanding between the partners. He says that love without understanding is a toxic love, it is not a healthy one because we can never like those parts of our partner that we don’t understand and vice versa.
From understanding to empathy…
“Well-adjusted couples work and learn to understand one another’s evolving needs as the year goes by,” Dr. Bernstein says, “Alternatively, couples that (divorce) have suffered a breakdown in understanding, also known as empathy.”
Empathy, it seems, is the crucial thing in relationships. More powerful than understanding, but they go hand in hand. Empathy is the result of a deep understanding between partners.
He says that many separated couples when reflecting on their relationship say that they just drifted apart. He doesn’t buy that. He believes that what happened was that they relied more on their love instead of their understanding for one another. That’s why they couldn’t surpass the difficult challenges in their relationship.
Ego is the enemy of relationships. It is our need to feel important, to feel superior. Ego destroys relationships because it prevents understanding and it obstructs any kind of communication.
Our egos often tend to get in the way of understanding. It is a childish and stupid behavior that prevents us to truly understand and empathize with our partner thus stopping us from having a healthy and long-lasting love relationship.
And finally, according to Dr. Bernstein, not all relationships are meant to be, but all relationships should flourish in a healthy way with understanding being the key ingredient, even more than love.