we think about things being unhealthy we usually think about our physical self and well-being, but the state of our emotional being is of utmost importance to the quality of life we lead. Who we surround ourselves with can have a huge impact on our emotional health and in the areas we may not have control over, for instance at work, the way we choose to interact with people can be significant in keeping a positive state of mind.
One of the most important relationships we become involved with which impacts us on a daily basis is the partner we choose. For whatever reasons we are attracted to, or fall in love with our partners, the reality of that relationship as it plays out over the weeks, months and years often teaches us a thing or two about our initial reasons for being with them!
Whether people change as they grow or have always had certain tendencies but managed to keep them hidden in the initial stages, or we were just too blind with new feelings to notice things that cause difficulties later down the line, people often find themselves in relationships that are counterproductive to their mental and physical health.
It can be difficult to disengage yourself from a long-term partner, especially if there are children involved. If you are unhappy in your relationship and it is not due to abuse but maybe selfish or thoughtless behaviour or a simple clash of personalities, there is a good chance you can work out ways to improve it. There is always the possibility that a new approach or awareness can shift things to a healthier plane.
A healthy relationship is not necessarily one where you spend every possible moment together, in fact the most successful and fulfilling relationships are those in which each person has personal interests of their own and they enjoy time with friends and family both with and without their partner. The healthier each person’s own life is outside of the relationship, the more likely they will be happier within the relationship.
Relationships take work. They come with lots of ups and downs and they can give us the most intense feelings both wonderful and despairing. Sometimes we have to consider if it is ourselves who are failing to contribute to a healthy status.
Also to consider is if we allow a partner to treat us less than respectfully we have to take responsibility for allowing it to continue. Not speaking up in a calm manner, or failing to communicate needs and listen to those of our partner may similarly contribute to a failing relationship.
What does a healthy relationship look like? It is a relationship in which you feel safe and comfortable expressing yourself even if your opinions are different from your partner’s. It’s about having those opinions valued and listened to without judgement but with understanding.
There is great importance in supporting each other’s goals in life and respecting each other’s feelings and friends. Also in accepting responsibility for yourself and accepting any past wrong doing, admitting when you are wrong and communicating openly and truthfully.
It is making a concerted effort to ensure there is a fair distribution of work and responsibility for the relationship, household and children. Making money decisions together so that both benefit from financial arrangements regardless of who earns the money; as often a woman has priorities that do not allow her to pursue great financial return. Partners need to seek mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict, be able to accept change and be willing to compromise.
If someone has never witnessed or experienced such a relationship it is not surprising that they expect less from a partner. Adults should be trying to model such relationships for their children or at least be teaching them about the importance of a fair distribution of power, respect for one another and encouraging each other’s goals.
Knowing what you are looking for in a relationship gives you a better chance of finding it or finding someone who is willing to work with you in order to achieve a state where both of you feel valued and important.
You have to offer your partner all the things that you require and not just expect it from them. If you are willing to, and you try to give your partner all they need for a healthy relationship then you deserve to receive the same.