Relationship Wellness Month | Press Banner
February is Relationship Wellness Month. While working on a healthy relationship should be a year-round effort, this time of year is a great opportunity to evaluate, nurture, and improve areas in your relationship such as connection and communication.
When talking about relationship wellness, understanding and realizing what a healthy relationship looks like is important. If your relationship is missing out on target, it may be time to seek help to work towards making things better or to let go of an unhealthy relationship.
Elements of a healthy relationship
Trust: Trust is an important component of any healthy relationship. When you have trust in the other person, you can feel safe, secure, and be your true self. In a healthy relationship, trust comes easily and you don’t have to question the other person’s intentions or whether they have your back.
Independence: You know the saying “other half”? That’s actually not what makes a healthy relationship. A healthy relationship exists between two whole people who come together. Do you have interests and hobbies that you do not share with your partner? This is great and your partner should give you space to be outside of the relationship. Independence means being free to do your own things AND giving your partner the same freedom.
Feel the same: Does your relationship feel balanced? Do you both strive equally for the relationship’s success? Do you compromise equally and are both heard and your needs met? It doesn’t always have to be perfectly the same – sometimes you invest more (money, time, emotional support) than your partner and vice versa – but it should balance out overall.
Healthy conflict: Conflict is a normal and expected part of any relationship. In a healthy relationship, you should be able to discuss issues openly and respectfully, and to handle disagreements in a non-judgmental manner. If you’re looking for tools and skills to address conflict in a healthy way, couples counseling may help.
You have fun together: Are you and your partner having fun? Life can get overwhelming and couples can forget what brought them together in the first place. Taking time to have fun together is an important part of a healthy relationship.
Honesty: Can you be honest without worrying about how the other person will react? In a healthy relationship, you should feel like you share the full truth about your life and your feelings with one another.
Friendliness: In a healthy relationship, the other person will do things that they know will make you happy. Kindness should be given and returned in your relationship. They should be caring, empathetic, and provide comfort and support.
Accountability: Rather than being defensive or blaming and distracting, it is important in a healthy relationship that both parties take responsibility for their actions. If a mistake is made, you should genuinely apologize and take responsibility for the impact your words or behavior had, even if it was not your intention.
Does your relationship hit the mark or is it falling short? Sometimes life gets in the way and we can no longer be out of sync in our relationships. If you need help getting back on track, it can be helpful to seek help from a professional. Counseling isn’t just for couples in conflict. Couple counseling goals include improved communication, better problem-solving skills, improved intimacy, and overall satisfaction in the relationship for both partners involved, as you should be enjoying the relationship you are in. Every relationship can benefit from this.
Maaliea Wilbur is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Executive Director of TherapyWorks. With more than 10 years of experience, Wilbur can successfully support children, young people, adults, couples and families thanks to its broad expertise. Please visit mytherapyworks.com for more information.