Are you wondering how healthy your relationship is? Sometimes it’s hard to get an objective look at your relationship with your partner. We tend to compare our relationships to people we know. Are we doing better or worse than those around us?, we might ask. But what if the relationships around you aren’t healthy? Maybe you’ve never observed a truly healthy and happy relationship.
Strong and healthy relationships are ones where couples choose to love and support each other. They give each other room to grow, help each other achieve their goals, and encourage each other through difficult situations.
A healthy relationship is built on trust. Someone who loves you will treat you with respect, kindness, and patience. They will be honest with you and value your thoughts and feelings. They will be faithful to you. And, of course, they won’t be violent, manipulative, or force sex on you.
An unhealthy relationship is just the opposite. It’s characterized by a lack of trust and support. Your partner may be jealous or possessive of you and will try to control you in a variety of different ways. Your partner may say they love you, but they put you down, criticize you, maybe even threaten you or make you do things you’re not comfortable with.
Often, people stay in unhealthy relationships because they feel they really love the other person and they hope things will change for the better. If your partner is unwilling to get outside help or wants you to keep problems in your relationship secret, that could be a sign they don’t really want to change.
Are good relationships even possible? Most people wouldn’t guess this, but research shows that 72% of marriages actually last a lifetime.1 And 80% of couples say they are happy or very happy with their spouse.2
Remember, it’s just as important to be a good partner as to have a good partner. Many relationships can improve when both people decide to prioritize each other and learn healthy communication skills. Why not reach out to someone you trust?
Our relationships can have a major impact when we are making a pregnancy decision. Some people may tell you what they think you should do. But it is important to take responsibility for your own life. Before you follow someone else’s advice, ask yourself: do I believe this is the best thing for me to do right now? If not, take your time – and get whatever support you need – to make a healthy choice.
Healthy relationships can lead to GREAT marriages. Wondering what level of commitment is right for you? Our center’s experienced mentors can help you evaluate what the next step could be in your relationship.
1. Kreider, R. M., & Ellis, R. (2011). Number, timing, and duration of marriages and divorces: 2009. Current Population Reports, 70-125. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p70-125.pdf (Accessed February 13, 2017.)
2. Based on analysis of numerous studies, authors estimate a median 80% happiness rate. Feldhahn, S. C., & Whitehead, T. (2014). Happily ever after. InThe good news about marriage: Debunking discouraging myths about marriage and divorce (pp. 50,61). Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah.