For most of us a good relationship is top of the list of requirements for a happy life. You may have all sorts of ideas about the kind of relationship you would like. Maybe you dream of togetherness, always feeling loved, never being alone again and gazing at the sunset together. Such a partnership sounds lovely, but it takes more than that to make a healthy relationship.
Here we examine:
- What is a ‘healthy relationship’?
WHAT IS A ‘HEALTHY’ RELATIONSHIP?
Not all close relationships are healthy. Even when the couple seem happy together – and even when they believe they are happy – there may be some unhealthy elements. Eventually these will surface and sabotage the partnership.
Unhealthy elements include dependency, dishonesty and manipulation. The couple aren’t interacting as up-front, open-hearted adults. Maybe they have hidden agendas or issues from earlier life that are shaping the relationship. People are complicated and sometimes it can be hard to work out what’s healthy and what’s not healthy.
Everybody is human and no partnership is going to be perfect. But check out the following six pointers to a healthy relationship and see if they apply to yours. If they are true even most of the time then you’re on to a good thing. Maybe you can now develop this even further, to strengthen the link between you.
ARGUMENTS ARE USED POSITIVELY
Even the most compatible couple argue. In fact being able to argue well is key to a positive partnership. If you and your dearest never argue, this is not always a good sign. Is one or both of you repressing something? Is one person giving way ‘for a quiet life’? Are you afraid of anger?
In a healthy relationship arguments lead to a better understanding of each other. In a good relationship it should be safe to lose your temper a little bit, as long as you’re not abusive or violent. In healthy arguments there is constructive discussion and a real willingness to understand and see the other person’s viewpoint, even when you feel irritated.
If something is wrong it needs to be voiced and sorted. This is not about fighting for your personal beliefs or to get your own way – it leads to greater understanding, the settling of differences and compromise. Eventually these positive arguments bring you closer.
BOTH ARE EQUAL
In a healthy relationship no-one ‘wears the trousers’. One individual may take the lead in certain circumstances, the other in others. But this is by mutual consent, and both are comfortable with the arrangement.
Chores are shared and jobs are often a team effort. In fact you probably enjoy doing things together. If there are decisions to be made, large or small, nobody dominates. The voice and wishes of each are heard, as you talk things through and decide together.
YOU HAVE SIMILAR VALUES
Of course any two people are bound to differ on lots of topics. But if your relationship is healthy you will have the same core values about what is most important in life, your beliefs, ethics and life direction. Even when there are superficial differences, these lead to discussion rather than stand off. In fact you may find that as you talk your values shift and become more in harmony, as you reach understanding. This makes your relationship very strong.
EACH SUPPORTS THE OTHER
In a sound relationship each of you feels a sense of achievement and pride in what the other does, and each gives all the support they can, in every way, to what their partner is trying to do. You get a real buzz out of seeing your loved one do and get what they want.
THERE IS TRUST
Trust is central to a sound relationship. You trust that what your partner says is true and that they are being genuine. You have a true respect for each other and feel you can rely on your partner’s actions and words.
YOU GIVE EACH OTHER SPACE
However close you are, each of you understands that the other needs to be alone from time to time. Everyone should be able to go out with their own friends and do their own thing. In a healthy relationship you are comfortable when your partner goes off with other people or spends time on some activity without you. In this way you bring new input back into the partnership, making it vibrant and meaning you grow as a couple and as individuals.
HOW WE CAN HELP
We have looked at what a healthy relationship is and at the elements of arguing, equality, values, support, trust and giving space. A good relationship is a real treasure, but if you aren’t there yet, don’t despair. Our insightful Readers are always on hand to help you with your current situation, whatever it may be, so call without delay and be put on track.
PUBLISHED: 13 October 2017