Description: Everyone deserves to be in a healthy, loving relationship. But what is a healthy relationship? What is the difference between a healthy relationship & an unhealthy relationship? How to build a really good one with a spouse? Read on to find out the answers!
One of the greatest experiences we can have in our lives is the unique bond with our beloved people. No matter if you are scrolling through the best dating sites review to find a soul mate or are already married, you still want a healthy, loving relationship that helps you feel more satisfied with life. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to maintain such a connection. That’s because we may not fully understand what a healthy relationship looks like and what an unhealthy one means.
In this post, you’ll find the answers to these key questions. On top of that, we’ll provide you with science-backed recommendations on how to build a positive, healthy relationship with your loved one.
What is a Healthy Relationship?
A healthy relationship is a broad term, and it doesn’t look the same for everyone since each person has their own unique needs. Besides, these needs can change throughout life. That’s why a first-time relationship that worked for you in your 20s might be nothing like the healthy relationship you want in your 40s. Furthermore, a relationship that doesn’t align with a traditional definition can still be healthy. For instance, people who practice ethical non-monogamy or polyamory may define a healthy relationship differently than those who practice monogamy.
However, all flourishing relationships have a few common features. So, what are the signs of a healthy relationship?
- You and your partner feel free to express your individuality;
- Your connection brings out the best in both of you;
- It encourages consistent development and growth;
- Healthy relationships are respectful, supportive, and positive;
- A couple can adapt to various circumstances while keeping their bond.
Now when we understand what a healthy relationship should be like, let’s take a closer look at an unhealthy relationship and do our best to avoid it.
What is an Unhealthy Relationship?
Unhealthy relationships are usually based on power and control, not love and respect. Your partner doesn’t have to physically harm you for your relationship to be unhealthy; they can use various controlling tactics or just behave inappropriately.
Here are signs of unhealthy relationships:
- Lack of productive communication – you can’t talk with your partner about difficult topics, there are too many misunderstandings, it seems that you are moving nowhere.
- Constant and excessive jealousy – when one partner possesses the other.
- Disrespect – it includes consistent criticizing, name-calling, breaking boundaries, etc.
- Dishonesty – it’s not a good foundation for relationships.
- Dependence - every person needs to have a certain level of independence. It’s unhealthy when one of the partners is constantly dependent on the other psychologically, emotionally, or financially.
- Manipulation - it can take multiple forms; the most common of them are convincing a partner to ignore their desires, provoking a sense of guilt, mind games, etc.
- Constant conflicts - if you and your partner are constantly fighting, it’s a bad sign. You shouldn’t feel combative all the time when you're with your spouse.
If you see these signs, do not ignore them! You should understand that they can escalate to abuse.
Even though your relationship is great most of the time, but sometimes unhealthy, it’s still not good enough, and you both have to take steps to improve it. In case your partner is ready to work and make shifts in their behavior, why not try to build a respectful, supportive and positive relationship?
Steps to Build a Healthy Relationship with your Spouse
The first thing you have to do is setting a focus on respect and effective communication, and soon you’ll enjoy a satisfying and healthy relationship.
Here’s a list of what you both should do:
Respect each other’s boundaries - you should feel comfortable when talking about your personal boundaries and know that they will be respected. Those are healthy relationship boundaries.
As soon as you feel your partner uses boundaries to control you, e.g., tells you not to hang out with your friends or requires you to share passwords, it’s time to communicate about it or rethink the relationship!
Develop your communication skills - healthy relationships start from healthy communication. It’s vital to be able to discuss what you both want and expect. You have to be honest with yourself and each other and ready to have uncomfortable conversations. Learn to open up about what’s bothering you, compromise over your disagreements, and compliment each other. There are lots of work to do, right? But it’s worth the efforts!
Listen effectively - listening and understanding what your soulmate communicates to you is the most important part of successful interaction. You should be genuinely interested in understanding what your partner is thinking, feeling, and wanting; it’ll make them feel supported and valued.
Build trust - it’s a foundation for your marriage; however, it doesn’t come right off the bat. Cheating or doing things that make a partner jealous ruin trust and relationships. However, you should never control or question each other; it doesn’t make sense. Build a relationship with a reliable, responsible, and respectful person you can fully trust.
Support each other - having a supportive spouse who you know always has your back makes your marriage really valuable. A supportive partner wants what’s best for you and doesn’t hold you back from achieving your goals. You both should be protective but not overly possessive. In a healthy relationship, you and your soulmate must support and treat each other as equals.
Practice fun couple activities - people who take part in fun activities together, might also find it easier to stay together. It increases effective interaction between the partners and has a bonding effect. So, do make time for a couple activities! Attend new interesting places where they are willing to enjoy or stay , play boarding games at home, or whatever, just have fun together!
Good sex must be one of the couple’s priorities - you both should feel comfortable to talk freely about your desires without fear of shaming, dismissive or disgusted reactions from each other in response. It’s all about respect and affection for each other. If you have been in a relationship for a long time, do try something new: experiment with sex toys, learn new poses or visit a kink party. It’ll refresh your relationship and make you closer to each other.
A healthy relationship can help you feel more satisfied and happy; just make sure you feel like yourself. While you can work to improve a special bond with your spouse, you never have to make huge sacrifices, or it’s not a healthy relationship you deserve.
Please share your experience in the comment section below!