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  1. Whats a healthy relationship?

    There are lots of different types of relationships and it can be difficult to maintain relationships in our busy lives. Our colleague Mark has some tips around Maintaining A Healthy Relationship.

    Hello, my name is Mark Jeffery I am a therapist working for Horizon Counselling Services. The topic I will be writing about today is how to maintain a healthy and strong relationship.
    Embarking on a relationship with someone is difficult enough in itself; it looks very easy at first but can hold all the joys of navigating a minefield blindfolded. The following tips can hopefully help you and your partner maintain a healthy relationship together.
    So what is a healthy relationship? I hear you ask.
    Well that is a good question, because different people will define relationships in completely different ways. But for a relationship to be healthy and strong it will need a few key factors for this to happen.

    (1) Healthy Communication
    This is a must; we must establish Open, Honest and Safe lines of communication between each other these are a fundamental part of a healthy relationship.
    Getting to know each other is the first step making sure that you have an understanding about each other’s needs and wants, being on the same page is very important, it can defuse so many disagreements between you, but knowing you’re on the same page means you have to talk to each other.
    Speaking up in a relationship, having the ability to do this means that the both of your views are important, if something bothers either of you it is best to get it out in the open and talk it over, rather than hold it in and hope that things will change, this will only make any situation worse, if people don’t know something is wrong then they have no reason to do anything about it.

    (2) Respecting Each Other
    Your partner’s wishes and feelings have value here, but don’t forget so do yours equally. Letting each other know that you are trying to make an effort, and showing this can speak volumes with the two of you, this will breed a mutual respect between you, this becomes essential when trying to maintain a healthy environment you can both exist within.

    (3) Compromise
    Having a disagreement with your partner is a must, let’s face it, we don’t agree with everything everyone does all the time, that’s natural right and in a relationship this is also the same, but it is important that you can find a way through this seeking a compromise, if you disagree on something try and find that middle ground where you can both see a valid point that way you can build from there in a rational way to obtaining a resolution for it.

    (4) Be Supportive Of Each Other
    Offering that reassurance and encouraging to each other when you know the other needs it will build respect and trust. A healthy and strong relationship is about building each other up. Its also about showing equality for each person’s needs with no one person needs dominating the others.

    (5) Creating Boundaries
    Having boundaries between you does not mean that this is a sign of secrecy or distrust, they aren’t meant to make you feel trapped, they are a sign of what makes you feel comfortable, what you would like and not like to happen within the relationship, a boundary should encourage each of you to know that you are still two individuals and still need your own privacy and friendships at some point, knowing this can enhance a relationship and can be a very respectful point within it.

    I have written about what can create a healthy and strong relationship, so it would only be right for me to point out what isn’t a healthy relationship.

    Relationships are not healthy when they are based upon power and control; when they are not equal and have no respect within them. You may overlook these behaviours at first, however a partner being possessive, insulting, jealous, accusing, humiliating or yelling at the other person are at the root an exertion of power and control and are not healthy and should not be accepted within any relationship.
    Remembering here that abuse is always a choice and you deserve to be respected. There is never an excuse for this type of behaviour at any time.

    These are just a few things to take notice of and worked on well will enhance your relationship with each other, if you find you need help never be afraid to seek it out, there is help out there and it can be valuable in getting you back on track again.
    Take care of each other and speak to you soon.

    Mark Jeffery, relationship & young person specialist, Horizon counselling services.