Healthy relationships – Not every trip to counselling for your relationship is a cry for help or a sign of conflict within the partnership. In fact, many couples reach out to the therapists at Horizon Plymouth for support as part of the maintenance of an already healthy relationship. When it comes to a strong relationship, one thing is abundantly clear: a good partnership takes work and doesn’t happen automatically. Couples counselling can be an important step in this journey of ensuring that you and your partner take the time to invest in each other in order to help circumvent any future problems or misunderstandings.
What does a healthy relationship look like?
There are many components of a healthy relationship, and it is important to remember that a trusting and mutually contented pairing will look different depending on the individuals involved. However, there are some hallmarks of healthy relationships that are required for longevity and happiness.
- A sense of trust and safety with each other
- Open lines of communication
- Mutual respect
- Clear understanding of consent (both spoken and unspoken)
How can I promote a healthy relationship?
Every partnership will have their strengths and weaknesses in the areas listed above (no relationship is perfect just as no individual is perfect) and working with one of the counsellors at Horizon Plymouth can help you to work collaboratively as a couple to identify your respective strengths and weaknesses and then work towards establishing support and intentional reinforcement for weak areas. This approach helps the couple to grow together in a unified manner. When working with a relationship counsellor, some of the areas that might be addressed to promote the features of a healthy relationship include:
- Compromise: A healthy relationship is a partnership, and if one individual is constantly demanding their way, this can upset the balance by making the affected party feel unheard or unappreciated over time. Collaboratively working towards a compromise for any issues that arise is a key factor in being able to jointly handle adversity as a couple.
- Boundaries: Just as in any professional relationship, setting boundaries helps to foster an understanding of the limits and tolerances of the individuals in an intimate relationship. Each person should clearly let their partner know what they are and are not willing to tolerate within the partnership while also respecting the boundaries of the other person. Ideally the conversation of boundary creation should be a collaborative one.
- Independence: Being able to find comfort and happiness in the presence of your partner while also finding the space to spend time away from each other fosters healthy dynamics within the relationship. Codependency can easily create a host of issues that can become toxic over time. Couples who have independence within a healthy relationship will be encouraged by their partner to spend time away from them doing the things that they love.
- Communication: Being able to express your joys, concerns, successes, and fears with your partner is crucial to a healthy relationship. Open lines of communication foster a sense of safety and trust between individuals, especially as they collaboratively communicate to navigate individual and life obstacles that are thrown at them. The impact of open and productive communication within a relationship cannot be understated.
Healthy relationships do not emerge fully formed by any means. They require intentional thought, work, and constant maintenance to grow and flourish. However, with the right partner, this intention should not feel like work and should grow into a gratifying and productive partnership with the one that you love. If you are interested in working with one of Horizon Plymouth’s expert counsellors in order to promote trust, communication, and stability within your current relationship, reach out today to schedule your initial consultation and begin taking some time to give back to yourself and your partner!