15 Traits of a Healthy Relationship- A Great Checklist

I am hoping that I have made myself clear about the purpose of this blog in the past.  This blog is to document my healing process and learn how to deal with recovering from relationships that may have been toxic or abusive.  I use this blog to find solutions to the issues in recovering from a break up and to possibly provide resources for others.  This blog is not about anyone else, but myself.   I know that there are those who see themselves on both sides of the coin.  We all participate in behaviors that are negative and positive.

The exciting thing for me is that someday this blog will change.  I am looking forward to that, because it will be exploring a healthy relationship and how to have one.  I really don’t know how to do that.  In doing some research, I found a great list by Dr. Nancy Wesson entitled “15 Traits of a Healthy Relationship” (http://wespsych.com/15-traits-of-a-healthy-relationship/).  Here is the list and my notes as to what I think I can work on improving.

  1. Partners can manage conflict and differences without despair or threats. – We were initially really good about this. I am not sure where it stopped, but I think that overall we were pretty good at this on both sides.
  2. Both partners protect and nourish the relationship and make it a priority (not addicted to work for example). This was a difficult part for me because I take my job seriously and sometimes tend to focus on it a bit too much.  I can improve here.
  3. Both partners know how to be responsible for own needs and also for the care of the relationship. Huge fail here.  I put everything before myself and I need to allow myself to be myself and worry about my own needs.  Was totally unhealthy and I hope to improve.
  4. Both partners feel “special” to the other. Arguments or fights do not lead to abuse or threatened break-ups. I don’t know how I did here. I always thought she was special and tried to show it.  Probably some room for improvement here.
  5. Both partners can communicate wants, needs, feelings, and emotional issues with little or no shame. – I think I did ok, here. I was able to say what I needed to say and tried to say it in the moment.  When I started therapy back in May, this was one of first things I worked on.
  6. There is unconditional love if not unconditional agreement. I did love her unconditionally and still do.  Unfortunately I think I need to maybe work on expressing that better.
  7. The relationship feels and is nurturing, comfortable, and fun. – I have no idea how to maintain this. There was always fun, but I think maybe because of putting everything else first, it was not as nurturing as it could be.
  8. Both partners attend to the needs of each other willingly and lovingly.- improvement here needed. Frequently I resented her because I felt I was not appreciated.  Please understand this is a feeling, not a fact.
  9. The sexual relationship works well and is mutually satisfying. – The less said here the better.
  10. Both partners can and do keep agreements (maturity). – I really did my best here and think it went ok for the most part. Trust is a hard thing to have sometimes.
  11. Both partners are honest. – I could have improved here. I think that I could have pressed for solutions and I was not always honest about my feelings.
  12. There is no abuse: physical, verbal, emotional (ignoring). – There was certainly no physical abuse however based on her comments of “not feeling safe” I am guessing that there is some kind of behavior that caused this. Hopefully I will figure out what it was and not repeat it.
  13. Both partners have boundaries:
    • Each person can say “no” to requests from partner when necessary without feeling guilty and tell their partner when something feels not right or hurts them.– I can do this
    • People pleasing is kept to a minimum and neither one feels they are making a “great sacrifice” to stay in the relationship. Each person is able to do their work, attend to their children, care for other aspects of their life without threatening the relationship. – This needs some work. I think I am headed in the right direction though.  I do derive my sense of self worth from the person in my life and I need to focus on getting that from myself rather than others.
  14. Partners can hear feedback from each other that they may be projecting old relationship fears or issues onto the current relationship. – I am actually pretty good about this, in fact we both were.
  15. There is commitment: exits are blocked in the relationship. – I am thrilled with commitment.  I am determined to work out the issues and see what can be done to make the relationship work.

So as you can see there is room for improvement and I will focus on improving these things.   I hope to revisit this list later on and use it as a checkpoint to see how I am doing.

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