According to research, people in long-term, committed relationships live longer – they experience lower levels of cancer, heart disease, depression and stress – however, this is only if the relationship is healthy and both partners are happy.
How can you tell whether or not your relationship is healthy?
If you and your partner are able to achieve the following, you are likely in a healthy relationship.
- Trust and respect each other
- Are able to be honest with each other without fear of being shamed or other consequences
- Maintain relationships with friends and family
- Have activities that you do separately
- Feel safe and secure
- Resolve problems in a fair manner
- Take care of each other, and also have good self-esteem on your own apart from the relationship
How can you tell whether or not your relationship is unhealthy?
The more times you say ‘yes’ to the following, the more likely it is that your relationship needs some work.
- Does your partner constantly criticize you?
- Do you feel pressured to change?
- Are you afraid of telling your partner your opinions or concerns?
- Do you feel obligated or forced to engage in sexual activity?
- Do you have no friends in common or a distaste for their friends (and vice versa)?
- Do you constantly get into arguments?
- Do you feel the need to always justify your actions? (e.g. where you go or who you talk to)?
- Do you feel controlled, manipulated, or like one partner makes more of the decisions or has more control over resources (e.g. money, food, car)?
- Do you feel pressured to quit activities you enjoy?
Strategies for communication when resolving conflict
Ensure that you speak up about your concerns and actively listen to your partner (no interrupting!). Stay calm, respectful, and pay attention to their body language. Aim to have most of these conversations in-person rather than over the phone or through text, as there are no visual cues and texting about these matters can lead to misinterpretation. Finally, fight fairly – do not use manipulative language (“If you loved me, you would….”) or strongly accusatory language (“You ALWAYS do this wrong….”). Be patient.
For more information, please visit this link.