I did not grow up witnessing healthy relationships, in fact you can say I grew up witnessing all the wrong ways of building, creating, and maintaining a relationship. With that said it is likely that I could be incredibly wrong in my perception however this is what I believe a healthy relationship should look like having grown up watching all the wrong ways to have one.
- A healthy relationship is filled with honest communication. You cannot have a healthy relationship if both parties are not 100% forthcoming with one another in how they feel about the every day things. My husband and I are 100% honest with one another about everything, because we don’t want tension in our relationship, we want to be able to enjoy every moment of every day as best we can with one another. When I wasn’t giving my husband enough physical contact in the months after the baby was born he was honest with me about how he felt, and we took steps to fix the problem so that both of us were happy.
- Yelling should not be an every day event in your relationship. In fact it shouldn’t exist at all especially if you are following tip number one above. However, as we are all human yelling sometimes does ensue. It is important for you to recognize the triggers for why you yell when you do. For instance my husband and I will yell at one another if we are hungry or otherwise “hangry”. My husband is also not the best person to be around when he is first waking up, if you wake him up too forcefully or with a negative attitude (meaning you wake him up with bad news or in a disrespectful manner) he will often yell. When you can find these yelling triggers then you can do your best to avoid them. My husband and I will often stop our selves during yelling matches realizing how ridiculous we are being and ask one another when they last ate.
- Listening, its great to be honest, and not to yell, but if you are not listening then you are likely to miss something and cause problems down the line. Not long ago, I felt my husband was not hearing my side in regards to his helping me around the house. I had asked him to help me with the chores, but it didn’t feel as though he was assisting me or doing what I needed. Finally, after months of trying to get him to understand what I needed and becoming increasingly frustrated at his constant interrupting of me to argue. I looked at him and told him I did not want him to respond to anything I said, but instead to just listen to what I had to say until I was finished. We were able to come to an understanding with one another and the argument is no more.
- Understand each others strengths and work with them. My husband is an amazing chef, therefore he often takes over most of the cooking. I am great at organizing and researching, therefore I take care of most of the household paperwork i.e insurance, bills, payments, appointments, and the like.
- Understand each others weaknesses and help one another to grow stronger. Do not utilize one-an-others weaknesses as a means of punishment. I am terrible at remembering anything that is not written down, therefore my husband invested in a white board so we can record when all the bills are due and how much they cost. We also record our grocery list on there. In addition, I have a planner that I write my daily to-dos in. My husband is terrible when it comes to work politics therefore him and I discuss together different issues that come up at work and the best and most responsible way of handling them.
- Perform acts of kindness randomly and without request. My husband frequently brings me flowers, sometimes he purchases them, and other times he will pick them as he walks. He loves surprising me with them. I will often pick up some of his favorite food and drink items when at the store. He loves Shin-num-yun a sort of Korean ramen. I also take the time to massage his back and legs after a long night at work. Sometimes I do it in the morning to help him wake up in a nice way.
The most important part of any healthy relationship is first-and-fore-most honesty you cannot have a healthy relationship without it. Be sure to listen to your partner and do not yell or say things that are otherwise designed to tear them down rather than build them up. My husband and I are a team, we work together to help make each other better individuals. We walk next to each other rather than racing back and forth against one another. We are not two mountains pushed together, but rather the hikers climbing the mountain together.