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How to Have a Healthy Relationship

Photo by aeschleah
All 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 second self-sabotaging behavior I contributed to my relationship: I was not in the present moment.

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.

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About the author

Mika Maddela writes for the relationship advice blog, The Path to Passion, which helps people cultivate rewarding relationships through personal development principles. If you'd like to learn more about how to develop a better relationship you can sign up for updates from The Path to Passion.

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7 thoughts on How to Have a Healthy Relationship

  1. Mika – This is a very inspiring post! I especially agree with your take on self-sabotage and negative emotions. I hope to read more like this soon :)

  2. Thanks for a great post, Mika. Staying in the present is important in so many aspects of our lives – including our relationships! I recently had an issue with this in my new relationship…I was sooo focused on what was wrong, and forgetting about the many things that were right. Obviously this was super stressful and started a downward spiral…Until I remembered to stay present, be grateful for the good, and let love in.

    BTW, I checked out your site too – love it! Can’t wait to look around some more.

    – K

  3. Luke Skywalker

    I just recently lost the love of my life to a break up fueled by my own negative emotions and manifestations. All the factors you mention above that would hurt a relationship were symptoms of how our relationship came to pass. Now I realize so much about myself and am aware of so many of my issues as well as the notion of acceptance. I’ve been reading a book which also discusses the virtues of acceptance and your blog post makes a perfect handshake with the points in the book. Seeing this post in my email this morning was uncanny, amazing, and seemed to be just what I needed for my own reinforcement and development.

    These days all I can think of is how to get her back but it’s since been 4 weeks and 4 days since we’ve spoken or seen each other. Her wishes are to have space for the purpose of healing from the damage I she sustained during the relationship. Maybe the cost of all this is that I lose her. Maybe I have to accept that at some point. In the meantime, I can’t give up on the relationship. I love her so much and want nothing else than to be with her. The outlook isn’t very good.

  4. I resonate with so many things you wrote, Mika. What you resist persists. So true. I keep reminding myself every day to stop resisting and accept. Hard to do sometimes. But so worth it.

  5. As with so many areas of our lives stress can be a killer. We just went through a renovation and there were moments when I wondered what I ever saw in my husband. Dealing with the stress is the key and I also found that taking a good look at myself, my behaviors, my stress reactions helped me take responsibility for what I could. I think it also helped me see him in a more compassionate way when he was driving me nuts.

    Thanks Mika, great post.

  6. Ta

    What if you are not okay with it? If you cannot “numb” yourself to pretend that being treated in a crappy way is acceptable?

  7. I can’t agree with Mica that you should practice acceptance where you are allowing whatever happens to be ok, so that you are not adding more pain to your situation.
    This seems a convoluted way of conducting your less than satisfactory relationship.
    Where is the communication, talking with your partner,and listening with mutual respect about how best to resolve your financial problems etc.

    I had to read the article several times to try and find any reference to Mica voicing her concerns to her partner.
    It seems like reality hit them both hard when they came back from 3 months in Thailand.

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