You already know that to have a good relationship, you must feel pretty solid yourself. When you are coming from a good place of confidence and self-love, and only then, can you build a healthy relationship with someone else.
But what does a healthy relationship look like? What can you aspire to with your partner?
You can tell each other anything. That doesn’t mean you will want to, but you feel comfortable enough that you could. You know your partner won’t judge you. You know your partner won’t threaten to leave you. You know you are safe with your partner when you tell the truth. And he is safe with you when he tells the truth. When you’re both completely honest with each other, you can enjoy a liberating freedom in your relationship.
You trust each other unequivocally. If you’re with someone you don’t trust, it’s hard work. You can never really relax if you’re always wondering about your partner. And if you are with someone you can’t trust, then you must be in that situation because you don’t believe you’re worthy of someone you can trust. But you are. And in order to have a good relationship, you must both enjoy mutual trust. Totally and without reservation.
You don’t fight with vitriol, you argue. Every couple has disagreements, and if you don’t then you’re not paying attention closely enough. Because no two people think exactly the same on every issue. Some issues are not worth bothering about, but some are. And when you clash, that’s okay. Just don’t escalate to a nasty tone, withering sarcasm or ugly name-calling. Try to remain calm and state your point of view. Let your partner state his. Sometimes one of you will be persuaded, and sometimes no one will. That’s when you have to agree to disagree.
You enjoy common values. He plays golf and you knit. He watches baseball and you read. You get the idea. But people with different hobbies are often very successfully married. It’s when your core values are at odds that you have trouble. When you are in basic alignment about fundamentals—your personal values that you hold dear—then you have a solid foundation for your relationship. Even people of different religious beliefs can be successful when the values of their religions are similar.
You’ve got each other’s back. You may not always agree on everything but you trust your partner’s judgment. You understand that he thinks differently than you do on some issues, but overall, you respect him. You respect his integrity. You know that he fundamentally operates in a way you approve of, and vice versa. He respects you equally. There is no room for mental or emotional abuse, let alone physical, when both partners enjoy mutual respect. And you know you can depend on him to be on your side when the chips are down.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact