Understanding the factors that go into building a healthy relationship can bring you and your partner closer together and help you avoid common pitfalls that can weaken your bond. Here are a few important elements to a happy relationship discussed in couples’ therapy:
Many of the unhealthy things people do to sabotage their relationships come from a place of low self-esteem and insecurity. If you are overly self-critical, you may find yourself being more critical of your partner as well. When you love and accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all, it’s easier to accept and love others. In addition to couples’ therapy, seeking individual counseling allows you sort your feelings, leads to better communication and helps you come to a place of self-acceptance, confidence and joy.
Shared Values and Goals
People in healthy relationships often have different interests, religions and cultural backgrounds. You and your partner may be miles apart in the way you grew up but share core beliefs and goals about what’s important to you, like the value of spending time with extended family and your methods of raising happy, healthy children. Working together toward common goals like buying a house or saving for retirement can strengthen your bond.
Trust is one of the most vital elements of a good relationship. Trusting yourself and your partner to do the right thing shows you care about and respect each other. Being dependable, respecting your partner’s boundaries and making sure your words match your actions can create a strong, long-lasting bond and allow you to be your authentic self.
Mutual Respect & Open Communication
It’s okay to disagree, but mutual respect is a must in a healthy relationship. All couples argue. It’s not necessarily what you’re arguing about that’s important — it’s how you argue that matters. Combative or abusive behavior like yelling and name-calling isn’t productive for anyone.
If you find yourself in conflict with your partner, one of the best things you can do is listen to what they’re saying. When they’re done, then you can talk. Sometimes, you just have to agree to disagree or seek couples’ therapy to improve your communication skills.
Agreement on Finances
Even if one person makes more money than the other, it is vital to have equal input about where your money goes. Large purchases should always be discussed before buying. If you’re the one who’s responsible for paying the bills, make sure they’re paid on time.
Don’t hide money from your partner. If you want a separate account, that’s fine, but be open about it. If you have an account with your own money to spend on what you’d like, it can actually cut down on conflict.
Sex & Intimacy
Healthy physical affection and intimacy are vital to maintaining a happy relationship. Make time for sex and be honest about what you like, what you don’t like and how you’re feeling.
Don’t forget to have fun! Finding the humor in everyday life and laughing with your partner can help you feel more joyful and less stressed.
If you feel couples’ therapy would be beneficial for you and your partner, contact one of the therapists at Kayenta Therapy directly.