So often in my divorce support support group on Facebook and my Fan page, I talk a lot about unhealthy relationships, personality disorders and abuse but I wanted to share with you what are the fundamentals for a happy and healthy relationship and I am going to break it down into 7 key areas for you to look at your relationship and what I believe are factors in having a healthy relationship and marriage.
- If both people in a relationship are coming together and are happy and whole, this is a great start. If you are coming into a relationship exxpecting the other person to fill you up, rescue you and make everyhting all happy for you, this is a recipe for disaster and where co dependency and abuse can materialise. The biggest gift you can give yourself as a foundation to having a healthy relationship is to work on yourself before you go into a relationship. A happy relationship is not 50/50, it is both of yuo putting in 100%.
- Accept you partner for who they are. If you are in a marriage and a relationship and all you keep trying to do is change them, how is your partner meant to feel? They will start to have feelings that they are not good enough and this will impact their self esteem. I am not talking about abuse or narcissism or borderline personality disorders her, I am talking just becasue you do not like certain things that they do. You need to support and love your partner unconditionally. This is why dating is so helpful becasue over time dating someone, you sdtart to see their authentic self and whether you want a long term relationship with them. You are never going to agree on everything and this is healthy but you can still acceot them for their own values.
- You need to understand what love actually is. This may seem an odd statement but ultimately it is easy to fall in love becasue this is a physical reaction and feeling and where emotions just take over. Whhat is a lot harder is to remain in love. Love is a choice. Over time, it is a choice every day to wake up and love your partner because maybe you had an argument the day before. But the more you proactively choose to love that person, your relationship will be much happier. Friendship is the best foundation for a great relationship because think about how you would treat the love of your life and a best friend because this will absolutely help keep your relationship healthy.
- You must take responsibility for how you feel. If you have an argument or you do not like something in your relationship, very often we become defensive and react. If we actually take ownership that you will not always agree on everything but can take responsibilty of your own feelings and move on, you will have a much healthier relationship. Couples can start to blame eachother rather than take responsibility of their own feelings. If you are not happy, own that and take respnsibility of how long you are prepared to feel like that without constantly blaming your partner. Again I am not talking abuse or personality disorders within a relationship as this is completely different. You need to respect the other persons feeling s and if they are saying something to you that you do not like, still listen and then take personal ownership of that.
- Honesty and respect is so important in a healthy relationship. If you or your partner disagree on something, you should be allowed to disagree and not fall out because you respect your partner enough to know that whatever they say to you, it is always still coming from a place of love. Don’t get defensive and react, listen and then respect their honesty. A healthy relationship is all about knowing how to argue and communicate effectively and this will just deepen and cement your relationship. If you can both be honest and respect eachother, then you can stop being defensive.
- Trust is pretty self explanatory and if you do not trust your partner, then you are not in a healthy relationship. Both of you need to work on ensuring eachother feels loved and worthy because you both deserve to be happy and loved.
- Make your relationship a priority. So many times, I see that everyday life startes to take over and you do not make your marriage or relationship a priority anymore. Maybe you have children, maybe you are both tired BUT if you want a healthy relationship, you must make time for each other. This does not just mean being sat in front of the T.V. or both of you sat on the setee looking at your phone or tablet. Remember when you first met and all the effort you put in because you wanted the relationship to work? You need to keep this going. The more you give in a relationship, the more you will get back. Find time for romance and you are a team so need to let achother know on a regular basis how much they mean to you, maybe a date night? Stop being so self centred thinking how tired you are, how much you have done and take a moment and give back to your partner because you will get that back tenfold. If nothing is continually given back, then it is time to re evaluate as this is not a healthy relationship. This is why it is so important that when two people start a relationship, they are happy and whole in their own right.
Everything in a healthy relationship starts with YOU. If you love yourself first and foremost and know that you can be alone if you need be, this means you go into a relationship because you WANT to, not because you NEED to. Don’t expect to come into a relationship and have them rescue you as this is st a recipe for disaster.
I will be hosting my weekly Divorce Recovery Lives over on my Facebook fan page about this topic on Sunday 16th September, come on over and like my page as I post lots of tips and advice daily.
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Have a great week.
Your friend and coach
The Divorce & Breakup Coach