Traits of Healthy Relationships
Whether you carry a lot of stress from those in your life like family and friends, life circumstances like finances and health, or work, your closest relationship can suffer. It can be tricky to maintain a happy balance with your spouse or significant other when stress is high. However, it is critical to acknowledge that this unique person to you is often that one person that sits with you on a daily basis, in the quicksand and on the mountain top.
Stressful situations can breed further tension into an already unhealthy relationship. Moreover, research reveals that outside stress can essentially drive a wedge between even the strongest of individuals. One study in particular notes that individuals in a relationship feel less connected and comfortable with his/her partner when stress from outside of the relationship comes about.
The takeaway here is to ensure that throughout time your relationship remains happy and healthy so that when stress comes and goes it is less taxing on the two of you. Below, find FIVE traits of a healthy romantic relationship that will help you focus on eliminating the tension from your most important relationship.
Open and Honest Communication
Communication is key to any good relationship. Openly and honestly discussing your opinions, feelings and thoughts can shed light on what is important to you and your partner. Often times, communication focuses on understanding feelings, identifying issues and seeking a fair solution together. Going without expressing one’s self can cause pent-up aggression and unnecessary conflict. If it’s difficult for you to talk about things, try writing them down in your alone time and sharing what you have written when the time is right.
Respect is an admiration of who your partner is and what he/she brings to the relationship. Finding ways to share appreciation for the things that your partner values will encourage her to do the very same for you, i.e. respect breeds respect. Expectations are often the rope we hang ourselves by, so avoid forcing your thoughts and beliefs on your partner. Instead respect her boundaries by meeting her where she is, accept her for who she is and at times accept your differences. Pay close attention to the things your partner says without judgement, your relationship will sail pass the days of uber stress.
Autonomy is in a relationship is indepence. Think of it this way. When you first met your partner, she was likely independent with no strings attached. What attracted you most to her was the very things that she was able to gain when she was with herself. Maintaining one’s sense of self, beliefs, unique thought and feeling processes can play a vital role in how you as a couple deal with stress from outside sources. Having things to call your own whether it be time, material objects or a place, can contribute to this independence. Working on a relationship always begins with working on ourselves. Take responsibility for your actions but also permit your partner the space to maintain who she is.
So many of you have heard that loving relationships often stem from a true friendship. Looking from a needs based approach, not all friends are compatible romantically though. However, those friendships that meet your romantic needs should also have a little flair. Fun brings about fond memories and enjoyment into your partnership. It’s essentially what bonds you to the other person! Maybe you both enjoy the movies or hiking or reading together. Maybe your partner has been wanting to learn to paint or you have been wanting to learn to drive a manual car. No matter what is fun for you, making time for things that bring each of you laughter and joy consistently can only infuse greatness into times hardship.
Trust is the firm belief in the reliability, ability, or strength of someone, whereas support is to give assistance to your partner. Being supportive of your partner is to offer encouragement when necessary, understand what is going on with her, being reliable when she needs you and staying true to your loyalty as a couple. When your partner feels like she can trust you she may feel comfortable to let down walls and share her concerns with you trusting in that you will not judge her. Knowing that you have your partner’s full support no matter what can help you ride the rollercoaster of stress that you may have settled into.
I hope these healthy relationship traits help you and your partner remain a steady fortress in the face of outside stress.
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC