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How To Build And Maintain A Healthy Relationship

Written by: Christy Roberts, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Building a healthy and successful relationship is a journey that requires effort, patience, and effective communication. However, along the way, many couples experience relationship pitfalls that can derail their progress and cause problems. By recognizing these common pitfalls, and taking steps to avoid them, you can build a strong and fulfilling relationship that lasts.

Romantic couple in love is dancing and smiling while cooking together in kitchen.

Firstly, it’s important to understand that a successful relationship is determined by how well it meets the needs of both parties. We have 2 core jobs in a relationship;

  1. To actively work to learn your partner's needs

  2. To actively teach your partner what your needs are

It’s about both working towards each other to learn and meet each other's needs.


Successful relationships are typically underpinned by friendship which for most people is a combination of affection, loyalty, love, respect, and trust.


Relationship Challenges and Pitfalls


Successful relationships are built on a foundation of trust, respect, and open communication. While every relationship is unique and may face different challenges, here are some common ones that can arise.


Communication Breakdown


One of the most significant challenges in any relationship is poor communication. When communication breaks down, it can lead to either conflict or shutdown and withdrawal. Misunderstandings and hurt feelings can be challenging to resolve if you have not learned the skills to effectively communicate and voice your emotions and feelings, in a healthy respectful way.


It's essential to establish clear communication channels and be willing to openly listen to each other's needs and concerns. Then express your own in a way that's respectful and non-judgmental, plus be willing to compromise and find solutions that work for both of you.


Active listening is key in this case, where you pay proper attention and repeat or summarize what the other person is saying to show or clarify understanding.


Lack of Trust


Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, and without it, problems will arise. If you find yourself struggling with trust issues, try to identify the root cause of your distrust. Go deep with this, deeper than the surface issue. Is this a pattern in your relationships? Has your partner betrayed your trust in the past, or are you dealing with unresolved issues from the past that are potentially triggering you?


Once you've identified the root cause of your trust issues, work with your partner to address them. This may involve setting healthy boundaries, being more transparent with each other, or seeking help from a professional Coach or Healer.


Neglecting Self-Care


Another common pitfall in relationships is neglecting self-care. When we're focused on our partner and our relationship, it's easy to forget to take care of ourselves. However, neglecting self-care can lead to burnout, resentment, and emotional exhaustion. To avoid this pitfall, make sure you're taking time for yourself on a regular basis. This can include practicing self-care activities like exercise, meditation, or spending time with yourself, friends and family.


Jealousy and Insecurity


Jealousy and insecurity can put a strain on any relationship. It can be challenging to manage these emotions, but it's important to recognize them, take responsibility, and work to address them. Working with a Coach or Healer can help you to understand and heal the root causes while building trust, learning to communicate openly, and working on your self-esteem.


Inability to Resolve Conflict


Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, but it's how you manage it that determines the strength and longevity of the relationship. When couples are unable to resolve their conflicts in a healthy way, problems will arise. You need to work on developing your conflict resolution skills.


It's essential to approach conflict with a problem-solving mindset and to focus on finding solutions rather than assigning blame. This can include active listening, understanding, and learning to express your feelings in a non-confrontational way, and being open to compromise and finding solutions that work for both of you. Expressing empathy, and using "I" statements instead of "you" statements can also be very helpful.


If you find yourself in a situation where you are both constantly triggering each other, this is a sign that there are old wounds in play. You need to take action and responsibility for how you are contributing to the conflict. Going silent and withdrawing is also contributing to communication breakdown. It’s important to learn how to express yourself and have healthy boundaries. I suggest you speak to a Coach or Healer who can help you to navigate, process and heal your pain, plus work with you to develop these skills, so you can show up more fully in the relationship.


I find it useful when I’m working with my clients to ask what they ultimately want in their relationship. Typically they want to get along, be there for each and enjoy each other's company. When you have an idea of what you are working towards, it makes it easier to take some of the steps needed to get there.


Taking Each Other for Granted


When couples have been together for a long time, it's easy to take each other for granted. This can lead to a situation where we stop appreciating and valuing our partners. To avoid this pitfall, make sure you're regularly expressing gratitude and appreciation for your partner.


Take time to notice the good stuff and celebrate each other's accomplishments. Consciously work to outwardly express your love and affection in small, meaningful ways.


Different Expectations, Values and Goals


Another common challenge in relationships is when two people have different expectations, values and goals. This can be especially true when it comes to things like finances, religion, lifestyle choices, family and the future.


To address this, it's important to have open and honest discussions about what you both want and be willing to compromise or find common ground when necessary and where possible. Finding ways to support each other's aspirations and values is an important aspect of having both your needs met.


Maintaining a Sense of Individuality


In healthy relationships, partners respect each other's individuality and support each other's personal growth. However, it can be easy to lose sight of this and become overly dependent on your partner, which can lead to co-dependency. It's important to maintain your own hobbies, interests, friendships, and your sense of self, as this can help keep the relationship fresh and exciting.


Navigating Life Changes


Life is full of changes and transitions, and relationships need to be able to adapt to these changes.

They can come in many shapes and forms, including:

  • A move to a new place

  • Losing or changing jobs

  • The addition of children to the family

  • Trouble conceiving a child

  • Building your own business

  • Losing a loved one

  • Retirement

  • Poor health or injury, and so much more!

It's important to be flexible and willing to work together to adjust as these changes arise.


External Stressors


External stressors, such as work, financial issues, or family problems, can put a strain on any relationship. It's important to support each other through these challenges and to work together to find solutions. Remember, you’re on the same team!


Tips for Maintaining a Successful Relationship


A functional healthy relationship is one in which both partners feel valued, respected, and supported. It is a relationship where both partners are committed to the relationship and work together to overcome challenges.


To help you dive deeper and support you towards having a more fulfilled relationship, I have developed a self-assessment activity called How Functional is my Relationship. Click on the link to get started.

I also have an Effective Listening Skills Activity. Reach out, and I will send it your way.


Here are some tips for having a functional healthy relationship:

  1. Communicate openly and effectively: be open and honest with each other. Communication is key to building trust and maintaining a healthy relationship. Listen to your partner, express your feelings clearly and respectfully, and work to resolve conflicts in a healthy way. Practice active listening, which involves fully concentrating, understanding, responding, and remembering what your partner says.

  2. Respect each other's individuality: and support each other's personal growth.

  3. Show affection, appreciation, and gratitude regularly: Show your partner that you appreciate them and their efforts. Say "thank you" and show your appreciation in small ways. This can help to strengthen your bond and make your partner feel valued.

  4. Spend quality time together: Make time for each other and prioritize the relationship. Spending quality time together is important for maintaining a strong connection. Make time for date nights, shared hobbies, or simply spending time together doing something you both enjoy.

  5. Remember, no relationship is perfect: and it's okay to have disagreements or conflicts. Over time, it’s inevitable that there will be ups and there will also be downs. What's important is how you work through them together.

  6. Give and receive emotional support: In a healthy relationship, partners provide emotional support to each other. They are there to listen, offer advice, and provide comfort when needed.

  7. Shared responsibilities: How balanced are the responsibilities in your household? Successful couples share responsibilities for managing the household, finances, and other aspects of their lives. They work together as a team to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

  8. Intimacy and affection: A healthy relationship includes regular physical intimacy and affection. Partners should feel comfortable and safe with each other, and they should enjoy spending time together. If you don’t have time, you need to schedule it! I work with a lot of clients in this area, so if this is a challenge for you, reach out.

  9. Healthy boundaries: Healthy couples respect each other's boundaries. They understand and accept each other's need for personal space, alone time, and individual interests. They are able to express their own feelings and concerns clearly and work together to find a mutually acceptable solution.

  10. Shared interests: Successful couples share common interests and hobbies, but they also allow each other to pursue their own interests. They support each other's passions and encourage each other to try new things.

  11. Growth and development: In a healthy relationship, both partners encourage each other's growth and development. They support each other's personal and professional goals, and they work to help each other become the best version of themselves.

  12. Practice forgiveness: No relationship is perfect, and forgiveness is an essential part of a fantastic relationship. Learn to forgive your partner when they make mistakes and be willing to seek and accept forgiveness when you make mistakes as well. If you keep being triggered by the past, you have healing work to do.

  13. Keep things fresh and exciting: It's important to keep things fresh and exciting in a relationship. Try new things together, surprise each other, and work to keep the romance alive.

To get started and support you towards having a more fulfilled relationship, take the How Functional is my Relationship assessment now. Click on the link to get started.


I also have an Effective Listening Skills Activity. Reach out, and I’ll send it your way.


Building a healthy and successful relationship requires effort, patience, and communication. It doesn’t just happen. Recognizing these common relationship pitfalls, as they arise and taking steps to avoid them, helps to build a strong and fulfilling relationship that lasts.


Remember to communicate openly and honestly with your partner, prioritize self-care, develop conflict resolution skills, set healthy boundaries, and express gratitude and appreciation on a regular basis. It’s all about creating a relationship that's built on trust, respect, and mutual love and support.


If you’re interested in improving the quality of your relationships, reach out now for a free discovery call to explore how working with a Life Coaching and Self Directed Healing Practitioner is a strong catalyst for positive change in your life and in your relationships.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Christy Roberts, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Christy is the Global Self Directed Healing Practitioner Trainer, an award-winning Coach, and Grief Educator with over 20+ years of Human Resources and Organisational Development experience.


She helps people journey through the toughest of life’s challenges, like grief, trauma, anger, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, fear, overwhelm, stress, and burnout.

Christy is passionate about unlocking our human potential, transforming mindsets, and supporting people to get out of their own way and live their ultimate lives by achieving the success and results they desire.

She provides Coaching, Self Directed Healing, Workshops, and Educational Resources that positively impact people, leaders, and workplaces.


As Founder of Creating Change, she is driven to make a change in our society and culture, so that we are more authentically connected to ourselves and living with passion and purpose.

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