How to Have a Healthy RelationshipAll the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today. ~Proverb
Our relationships with the people around us are among the most important aspects in our lives. That’s why we go through such an emotional roller coaster ride when our relationship is in trouble and we crave to have that healthy relationship.
The possibility of losing the one we love and the relationship we’ve invested so much time in can be utterly daunting.
Take me for example. I consider myself to be in a loving, satisfying and healthy relationship with my partner. But from my perspective, it wasn’t always like that.
After we came back from a 3-month excursion in Thailand, we were faced with the laborious task of moving to a new city during the holiday season, and at the same time I was dealing with a severe flare up of my asthma. To exacerbate the situation, neither one of us had good paying jobs that covered all our bills.
Stress is one of the biggest contributing factors to relationship problems, and at this point, stress was having a considerable effect on our relationship. This is when I began to focus on how great things used to be between us, and began to worry about our future together.
I was delusional about what a perfect relationship looked like. I knew that life consisted of ups and downs but I had a difficult time processing what it meant for my relationship to have its plateaus as well.
The stress about money started to affect our relationship. Soon, maintaining a deep and satisfying connection with my partner became more and more challenging.
After one of my many restless nights of sleep, I was hit with the sudden realization that I was creating this.
I affected the health of my relationship by doing these two things.
First, I resisted my situation.
Due to the stress, I resisted the fact that my relationship was experiencing a plateau. I desperately attached myself to the idyllic moments of a blissful relationship that brought me pleasure and I was in resistance when those feeling vanished.
I lamented our relationship plateau and I dwelled on those feelings. It’s only natural for human beings to cling to what makes them feel good and to do everything they can to resist what doesn’t feel good.
I was fighting against what was happening—creating more negative emotions which made me act in a way that only created more of what I didn’t want. I riled myself up when I didn’t get a kiss hello or the attention I wanted.
During this time, I was relying on my external circumstances to bring me joy and happiness—something I’ve since learned isn’t sustainable.
When you resist your reality, you’re essentially adding more pain to your situation by constantly focusing on what has happened in the past. Ultimately, you’re creating a vicious circle of self-inflicted pain. When you focus on what you don’t want to happen, you’re not taking the necessary steps to get yourself out of that situation.
Similar to having a goal in mind, when you focus on what you want, you’re headed in a direction that will help you achieve your goals. When you dwell on your situation, you’re essentially walking around in circles—wallowing in self-pity and adding more misery.
Instead of resisting your reality, why not practice Acceptance. Acceptance is to let whatever happens be okay. When you are in Acceptance of your relationship (or any other life situation), you’re not clinging to a certain outcome of your “ideal relationship.” By allowing whatever happens to be okay, you’re not adding more pain and suffering to your life.
This doesn’t mean that you have to enjoy or like the outcome you’re getting. It simply means that you are emotionally okay with it and that you aren’t adding any extra suffering to it by fighting against it or resisting it.
The past does not create the present, but it is the present moment that creates your past.
What you focus on now, will create your past. The more I worried about our financial issues and whether or not we’d ever get to do the things we had only dreamed of, the more I was sidetracked from taking the necessary steps to achieve my aspirations.
Worrying about your past or your future is detrimental to your relationship—and to your life.
The only time you have is NOW. What you make of your relationship at this present moment will create your past. The more you focus your thoughts on the past or future, the more you’re missing out on right now.
Instead of focusing on what isn’t happening in your relationship, focus on what is happening, right now.
When you notice your mind drifting into the past or future, creating thoughts that don’t help you move in the direction you want to go– take a deep breath and breathe in the present moment (consciously allow your shoulders to relax from your ears).
Similar to how every day brings in new possibilities, every moment with your partner brings in more opportunities to connect in a deeper and more meaningful way. By taking advantage of the time you have now, you are focusing on creating a loving and satisfying relationship and by choosing to focus on that, you will create more of it.
What happened 5 minutes ago does not determine the state of your relationship with your significant other—the time right now is what determines what happened 5 minutes ago. Dwell on that.