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A healthy relationship can bring out the best in you; it can build you up, provide a strong sense of security, as well as connection and support.
As humans, we desire other human connection and support, but there’s more to it than just hoping for those things in our relationships. We have to work toward that, and make sure it is reciprocated.
So how do we know what it is that makes a relationship healthy? Try to think of past relationships that have failed and what has worked. Look to relationships you admire. Although it is true that you don’t really know what goes on behind closed doors, you can grasp a general feeling of others’ relationships if you spend enough time with them.
A spouse or partner will take interest in most things that their significant other enjoys. And I’m not just referring to sports or the DIY network. I’m referring to a genuine interest in your significant other and the things that are closely connected to them; hobbies, friends, career, family, background and more.
This should ultimately be the foundation of a strong and healthy relationship, because if you are not interested in them, then what is it you are interested in?
When you are speaking with your significant other, you can express a genuine interest by listening. Not just listening to be polite, but rather actively listening to show that you care about what they have to say.
Being honest is simply good for your mental health. Think about it, when you tell a lie, it can hurt others you love and then create a deeper wound when it comes back full circle. No one feels good when they aren’t honest and upfront, especially regarding feelings and matters in marriage.
Communication is essential to a strong and healthy relationship. If you are unable to communicate with honesty and love, your relationship is lacking and in serious trouble.
When you and your spouse have honest and open communication, you are showing that you can be trustworthy and loyal. I know you’ve heard the saying honesty is the best policy. That absolutely pertains to your relationship, no matter the length of your partnership.
Honesty sets a strong foundation for continued communication, even when times are tough, and it demonstrates a sincere concern for any issues that might arise. Honesty leads to trust, and trust leads to a deeper connection and feelings of security.
Disagreements are inevitable, but it depends on how you handle those disagreements that really matters. By fighting fair, you are able to discuss your differences within boundaries and there is no keeping score. In other words, you are still showing a level of respect and regard for what your spouse or partner has to say.
Maybe you don’t like your husbands choice of punishment for your 2 year old, or you are barely able to make ends meet this month, or it could be an intrusive, although well-meaning, mother-in-law. My tip would be to set boundaries and practice your honest and open communication.
There must be compromise and negotiation so there are no feelings of resentment in the end. One does not win an argument when fighting fair, but is self-aware and able to understand other points of view. Fight to resolve, not to win.
Emphasis On The Little Things
The little things are what tend to stand out the most in happy and healthy relationships. You know, the breakfast in bed, the flowers that he sent to your office for no reason at all, or maybe the love note you put in his lunchbox that morning. We each have little things that we love and that fill our tank, and when your spouse or partner is making an effort to do these little things for you, you are in a good place.
When you take the time out of your busy day to make your spouse smile, you are showing how much you care. And this is something that takes less than five minutes. The great takeaway here is that these little things really add up to one big thing; a mutual appreciation for each other.
You Have Fun Together
A successful and healthy relationship is full of laughter and excitement. When you make an effort to try new things together and have fun, you are surrounding your relationship with positive energy.
The butterflies might fade over time, but when you share light and fun experiences together, it can re-introduce those feelings and lead to a deeper connection.
Date nights are a great way to ensure fun and new experiences. My husband and I strive for one night per month to be kid-free and focus on us. These dates don’t even have to cost anything. Drive around town or visit your local park and go for a hike. Really anything where the two of you can focus on your connection and just being together.
Do you have a healthy relationship? I would love to hear what strengthens your bond.