I am a couples counselor. I work with people in relationships to help them resolve their problems and difficulties. But I wonder if people ever really ask themselves if their relationship is okay.
And if they did question whether their relationship was working, what would let them know it was? I believe it’s easy to tell if your relationship is workable. To know if yours qualifies, just ask yourself how long it takes the two of you to mend after an upset, argument or fight.
The Strongest Sign of a Healthy Relationship
The true sign of a good relationship is getting through the fights and misunderstandings in a short amount of time without residue. What I mean by residue is that one or both of you hold on to your anger or sadness and can’t let it go.
If you and your mate are good at this, having a fight and not holding onto it, then you have a healthy relationship. What makes it work is that the two of you have figured out how to get through the rough patches without going off the rails.
Myth: Healthy Relationships Involve No Fighting
Sometimes couples believe that in a good relationship there are NO fights. But when I hear this thought I wonder, “How can that be?” Humans are different. No two people are exactly the same or see or think the same way about things. Therefore, how could there NOT be misunderstandings or upsets between two very different beings?
Think of your own relationship. Do you and your mate see every situation the same? Probably not. You have your point of view and your partner has theirs. So what happens when you feel you have to be right and the other person is wrong? Do you have a disagreement? If you do, how is it settled? Does one of you get mad at the other and stay mad? Does one of you stop talking and go into another room to cool off?
The Key to Resolving Relationship Conflicts: Communication
These are your actions that you take when you are misunderstood or you get your feelings hurt. All of us have them, because all of us have feelings. And that’s normal. What isn’t normal is to pretend that nothing bothers you and you just stay pleasant to your mate even when you are upset.
So, you may wonder how does one show the upset and still have a good relationship. The trick is to understand what you felt during the mishap that got you upset. Figure out what feeling you experienced, (anger, disappointment, sadness, loneliness) and after calming down express it to your partner.
Let them know what happened to you. If you say it well, without blame, your partner might be really glad to learn more about the person they love. They might even say they were sorry and that they didn’t mean to hurt you. Then you might feel better and the two of you can move on.
And if you can do this, you are in a good, healthy relationship. No relationship is perfect, getting through the bumps and coming out the other side still loving your mate, well in my book that’s as perfect as we get.
Learn Even More About Making This Relationship the Best One Yet!
Check out Linda’s new book about getting the most out of your relationship: Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It may just be the best thing you’ve ever done for your relationship.