How To Have A Healthy Relationship

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There are reliable tools that can be used to create a healthy relationship, many of which have not been taught in our culture. If you want to have a healthy relationship Read on.

Do not expect anyone to be responsible for your happiness. Too often relationships fail because someone is unhappy and blames their partner for making them that way. Make yourself happy first, and then share his or her happiness.
Do not do anything for your partner if it comes with an expectation of reciprocation. The things you do for your partner must always be done because you chose to do them and you wanted to do them. Do not hold your “good deeds” over their head at a later time. Keeping score in a relationship will never work: a person is less likely to notice and value all the contributions of their partner as much as their own.
Tell the unarguable truth. Many people are taught to lie to protect someone's feelings, either their own or those of their partner. Lies create disconnection in a relationship, even if your partner never finds out about it. The unarguable truth is about your feelings; your partner can argue about anything that happens outside of you, but he or she cannot rationally deny your feelings. Here are some examples: "I felt scared when I saw you talking to him at the party or at school," "I feel angry when you hang up on me," and "I felt sad when you walked out during our fight and didn't want to be around me."
Forgive one another. Forgiveness is a process of ending your anger or resentment towards another individual. It can have the power to transcend all offenses, great and small, and learning to forgive another takes patience, honesty, and respect. When given freely and sincerely in a relationship, forgiveness may heal relationships that are suffering. Forgiveness is an act of humility, not one of haughty feelings.
Make and keep clear agreements. For example, if you say you're going to meet your partner for lunch at noon, be on time, or call if you're going to be late. If you agree to have a monogamous relationship, keep that agreement and/or tell the truth about any feelings you're having about someone else before you act on them. Keeping agreements shows respect for yourself and your partner, as well as creating a sense of trust and safety. If a guy tells you to stop, stop.
Be Responsible. Here's a new definition: Responsible means that you have the ability to respond. It does not mean you are to blame. There is tremendous power in claiming your creation. If you've been snippy to your partner, own up to it, and get curious about how you might do it differently next time. If you are unhappy in your relationship, get curious about how this situation is similar to others from your past, and how you might create a better relationship for yourself rather than try to change your partner.
Approach your relationship as a learning experience. Each one has important information for you to learn. For example, do you often feel 'bossed' around in your relationship, or do you feel powerless? When a relationship is not working, there is usually a familiar way that we feel while in it. We are attracted to the partner with whom we can learn the most, and sometimes the lesson is to let go of a relationship that no longer serves us. A truly healthy relationship will consist of both partners who are interested in learning and expanding a relationship so that it continues to improve.

Appreciate yourself and your partner. In the midst of an argument, it can be difficult to find something to appreciate. Start by generating appreciation in moments of non-stress, and that way when you need to be able to do it during a stressful conversation, it will be easier. One definition of appreciation is to be sensitively aware so you don't have to be sugar-coating anything; so tell your beloved that you love him or her, and that you don't want to argue but to talk and make it better.
Review your expectations. Try to be as clear as you can about any expectations - including acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and attitudes, especially attitudes towards money. Make sure you don't expect your partner to fulfil every need in your life. One person cannot be everything to you. Everybody needs love, intimacy, affection, and affirmation, but your partner cannot alone give you all of that. You need to get some from your friends, from your family, but first and foremost, love yourself. Attempting to change someone else’s mode of processing or personality style won’t work -- and will create derailments.
Use communication to establish a common ground to understand different points of view and to create a mutual, collaborative agreement or plan. You can either choose to be right, or you can have a successful relationship. You can't always have both. Most people argue to be "right" about something. They say. "If you loved me, you would..." and argue to hear the other say, "Okay, you're right." If you are generally more interested in being right, this approach will not create a healthy relationship. Having a healthy relationship means that you have your experience, and your partner has his or her experience, and you learn to love and share and learn from those experiences.


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