No two relationships are the same, but there are some general characteristics of a relationship that indicate whether it’s a healthy one or not. If you want to improve your relationship or are questioning whether it’s the right one for you, it’s a good idea to examine things alone and with your partner to decide what you can change and what might be a roadblock to continuing the relationship.
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Combined with the information in this article, you should definitely see a relationship counselor and make an effort to understand the relationship before simply giving up.
Here is what the experts say makes for a healthy partnership.
Understand Relationship Differences
Of course, you and your partner are going to have some differences, but this means you have to recognize that your relationship isn’t going to be the same as your sister’s, co-worker’s or best friend’s. It doesn’t make any sense to be jealous of someone else’s relationship because the dynamics within it are very different from those in your relationship.
Rather than wishing for something else, you should use the best of what you see in other partnerships to inspire and drive you to foster and nurture your own. Feeling jealousy can drive a wedge between you and your partner, so try to avoid comparing it to what you see in other relationships.
You Don’t Have To Be Together All The Time
A healthy relationship is one in which both members have their own hobbies and interests and things they can do away from each other. You don’t have to do everything together, and many marriage experts say that being together all the time is not good for your partnership.
When you both spend time alone or with other friends and family members, you nurture who you are and you get to enjoy the things you love doing. Of course, you should spend time with your partner on a regular basis, but you don’t ever have to feel guilty about wanting to be apart at times too.
Being apart allows you both to build trust in each other that you are doing what you say you’re doing and are staying faithful to each other, even if you have to be apart for several days or weeks. If there is no trust between the two of you, your relationship may suffer.
So go ahead and schedule time away from each other from time to time, and don’t feel bad for doing it. As a side note, if your partner makes you feel guilty for doing this, you may need to talk things over and examine more closely what could be making him or her feel that way.
You Have Shared Friends
While you will probably go out with the guys or spend a night on the town with the girls, healthy relationships share friends. When you partner up, your friends should become your partner’s friends and vice versa.
This gives you the chance to do shared activities without losing the friends you’ve always had. You don’t have to love each and every one of your partner’s pals, but if you can tolerate most of them, you might find yourself growing closer to them and enjoying the perks of new friendships and the chance to spend time with people who enhance your life and make your relationship better for it.
You Share Things
Now that the emphasis is off the things you should do away from each other, you can focus on being together. A healthy relationship is one in which you both enjoy some of the same things and are able to do them together.
Maybe you love playing cards or seeing the latest movies. This gives you both the chance to do things you enjoy and also helps you create memories with your partner that will bond you to each other and make you feel closer.
When you share these small things, you feel close enough to each other to make big decisions with one another, such as moving in together, getting married, buying a house or having children together. You don’t need to be attached at the hip, but you should make time to be with each other whenever possible so that you stay bonded and don’t begin growing apart.
You Don’t Avoid Things
You shouldn’t avoid talking about the big things if you want to have a healthy relationship. Whether it’s a talk about where the partnership is going or whether it’s time to combine your bank accounts, putting it off can undermine the importance of your relationship, and the festering issue could cause resentment and anger between the two of you.
Make time to sit down and discuss the big issues once a week or so. This way you know when it’s coming so that you can both be prepared for the talk and be ready to work it out together. Whether it’s something good or bad, a healthy relationship doesn’t put off confronting the big things.
What Isn’t A Healthy Relationship
Just because the two of you are having troubles or are fighting out a certain issue, it doesn’t mean your relationship isn’t ultimately healthy. You may be in a rough patch and can work through it together.
However, there are some characteristics of a relationship that are definitely not healthy. Abuse, whether it’s sexual, physical, mental or emotional, is never a healthy aspect of a partnership. If there is any kind of abuse, you need to get help immediately.
Unhealthy relationships might also be those that involve dominance by one partner, lack of respect and other issues. If you fear that your relationship is unhealthy, talk to a mental health counselor and consider whether it’s something you have some power over or whether it might be best to leave the relationship.
Having a healthy relationship is a goal that every single person should have. Living in an unhealthy relationship can take a real toll on your overall quality of life by making you fearful, sad, depressed or angry.
This can harm other aspects of your life, including your job and your relationships with other people outside the partnership. That being said, a relationship is work, and you will have to pay attention to it and nurture it on a daily basis or you could find yourselves growing apart.
Make the time to focus on each other and your relationship will have a solid foundation for being healthy for a lifetime. There’s nothing wrong with seeking a counselor during rough times and getting back on track.
Life has a way of getting between even the healthiest couples, and sometimes you just need a little boost to get back where you want to be. A healthy relationship is yours for the taking provided you know what makes it that way and how to ensure that it stays that way.