I have to remember it is not love that has hurt me; but someone who could not love me in the right way – R. Y. S. Perez
For most couples it is not hard to learn to get along and play house. Pretty much each person settles into their routines and time continues to pass as they manage a household together.
However, the real challenge of staying married is ensuring your relationship continues to show signs of being emotionally healthy! All couples will face challenges and changes along their married life. Having a solid emotionally healthy foundation can greatly help.
Usually when you see a divorce within the first 5-7 years it usually means the couple couldn’t work the kinks out and play house very well. However, when you see a divorce after 14+ years, it usually means their emotionally healthy foundation has eroded!
So, if you are one of those who truly wants to make sure your relationship can get to the next level of greatness, then continually measure your relationship to these 5 signs of an emotionally healthy relationship:
Show support not discouragement – Your partner has hopes and dreams. Allow them to express those dreams and offer support and encouragement as you help them achieve those dreams. Do not offer snorts and snide remarks. Do not discourage another’s dreams; that is a recipe for disaster!
Show appreciation not criticism – Show your partner loving praise, not those remarks that take them down a notch or two. Be your partner’s best teammate and cheering section. Show them you notice their accomplishments and offer that loving praise. Tearing them down is a recipe for disaster!
Show empathy not indifference – When your partner goes through a real tough time, be that soft place for them to land and grieve the challenges right along side them. In other words, the focus is on them NOT YOU! Be a teammate they can rely upon. You don’t want to be that person they cannot rely upon. Or, they just might find someone else to rely on.
Aim for balance not chaos – No relationship is without its challenges and rocky times. Healthy couples will seek to make things right and aim for peace in the relationship. You don’t want to be in a relationship where someone thrives on chaos and is consistently chaotic.
Show PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY not a habit of BLAME – Being able to be self-exploring and self-protective at the same time is the healthy balance. Accept when you have made mistakes; do not externalize your problems onto your partner. Do not carry a rolodex of all the wrongs your partner made over the years and then continue to bring them up over and over again. Be sure that your partner has the ability to see her/his own role in the challenge. If not, you may be headed for a one-sided emotionally abusive relationship.
These five signs are not something to just look over one day and then decide where your relationship stands. They can be used as principles or guidelines to follow consistently to ensure your relationship remains emotionally healthy.
During times of challenge, these five signs can be used like a GPS to help you and your partner find a safe passage through the challenge.
Spend some time today to look over these five signs and then reflect upon them for a moment. Your relationship is very important.
ABOUT CHRIS SWENSON
Chris Swenson is a licensed Couple and Family Therapist currently helping people couples at his private practice counseling office in Sterling, CO (Rhino Wellness Center). To contact Chris, you can call 970-522-0796 or schedule an appointment online at www.rhinowellnesscenter.com