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Healthy Relationships (March 2021)

EQUALITY is the core of a healthy relationship. It is based around each partner being equal. To be equal is to have a shared voice in the relationship.

The couple should both feel safe and secure within the relationship and be treated with respect so that there is a sense of comfort and nurturing that surrounds them. Neither one party has more control than the other, trust grows from a place of equality, love grows from a place of security.

In a healthy relationship there should be no violence.

A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP includes respect, trust, honesty, support, accountability, communication and as already identified, equality. It also means that money decisions are taken together, so that no one party benefits more than the other. There is a shared responsibility towards decision making and running the home, especially a mutual agreement on who does what around the house. Family decisions are made together. Where children are involved, a healthy relationship means RESPONSIBLE PARENTING; sharing the duties in looking after the children, the school runs, the activities and being a positive role model for them.

ABOVE ALL a healthy relationship means that each partner behaves in a non-threatening manner towards the other; allowing one another to talk together and act towards one another in such a way that each person feels safe and is comfortable to express themselves in everything that they wish to discuss, bring up or do.

Having RESPECT for one another means that each party listens in a non-judgemental way, being present in the conversation, valuing opinions and being emotionally connected, offering encouragement and understanding.

Being accountable in a healthy relationship is very important, to be able to accept responsibility for the part either has played in a situation and being able to admit to any wrongdoing, maintains stability and avoids misunderstandings or blaming.

COMMUNICATING in an open, truthful and honest manner is part of being in a healthy relationship, when this breaks down, there is opportunity for doubt and mistrust to creep in.

Supporting one another’s life goals and being respectful of these ambitions provides for a greater trust between the couple, it opens the pathway to communicate and share the rewards these objectives might bring.

Having the RESPECT to acknowledge each other’s right to have these ideas, without criticising or condemning them and being able to encourage and support one another in these ambitions is part of being in a healthy relationship.

It is also important to acknowledge that each person in the relationship has the right to their own feelings and opinions and these should also be respected.

Not every couple has only mutual friends; it is important to respect that each person in the relationship has their own friends, and that if these friends are deemed obstructive or unhelpful in the relationship, there should be open discussion about them, but not one partner should forbid the other from communicating with them.

In a healthy relationship being able to participate in activities of a personal choice is important, couples do not always have to partake in the same interest, encouragement and support to follow these pursuits lead to greater respect and trust.

FAIRNESS is something that each couple should strive for; to seek mutually satisfying resolutions to arguments or disputes, to listen and to be able reach a compromise if the situation requires it. Sometimes it is simply being willing to accept change.

A healthy relationship has NO room for intimidation, emotional abuse or threatening behaviour. Abuse of any kind should not present itself in a healthy relationship. The use of power and control in a relationship is NOT healthy.

Being in a loving, nurturing, healthy relationship is the most empowering and invigorating experience any person can imagine. The support and trust that is cultivated in a healthy relationship encourages personal growth and achievement. Happiness is achieved in a healthy relationship.

It is not always possible to achieve all these attributes of a healthy relationship, but to be able to work towards some of these goals will encourage equality and a deeper respect for one another.

If you feel that your relationship is not based on equality, have the discussion with your partner and if necessary, find a relationship counsellor who might be able to help bring your relationship balance back.

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