Some couples just seem to get it right. Right? And some of us are lucky to know a few couples like that. And in getting it right, there are many things they don’t do that helps them stand apart. And, often its those things that people don’t do that create a healthier, sustainable relationship.
Here are some of the things that healthy couples don’t do that rise to the top.
1. They don’t keep score. If you are keeping score then you are only centered on what you are doing, to the exclusion of your partner. If you are ‘up’ according to keeping score, then your partner is ‘down.’
2. Demand Sex. They recognize that sex and more importantly, sexual intimacy is a two way street. They have learned how to have a conversation about their needs, without putting demands on their partner.
3. Have consistent harsh set ups. Rather, they have soft start ups. For example, ‘is this a good time to talk?’ If not, when? They choose their timing. They start with something positive. They are aware of their tone and infliction – which goes a long ways.
4. Invalidate their spouse/partner. They don’t wait for the other person to finish so they can defend their position nor do they invalidate their partner or spouse by saying, ‘You shouldn’t feel that way.’
5. Disrespect their partner’s needs. They are respectful of how their partner/spouse feels about something and seeks to understand, not be dismissive – even if they don’t always agree with them.
6. Call them names. I am not speaking of a ‘slip of the tongue’ that merely everyone is guilty of but rather a way of talking to them through using derogatory, abusive, and negative words.
7. Nit pick. Sure, we all have those little idiosyncratic (and pesky) things that our partner does that gets on our nerves. I am talking deliberately going after your partner/spouse and picking at every little thing they do. All this does is taint the positive in the person.
8. Take a trip down memory lane- for all the wrong reasons. They don’t bring up things that happened in the past that strike a cord and keep the tension between them strong. If there is something that is still bothering them, they find the time to have a conversation to resolve what’s still bothering them.
9. Need to have the last word. (What is that anyway?) That’s for people who are still acting like a 10 year old. They are not bent on making sure they have the last word because that doesn’t prove anything.
10.) Have grand expectations. They don’t expect their partner to fulfill all of their needs and know they cannot do the same for them. They realize that a healthy relationship is one that is interdependent – neither independent or dependent. They recognize they – and only they- are responsible for their happiness and that one person can never fulfill another person’s every need.
11.) Give ultimatums. The ‘you better or else’ never enters their mind because one its a poor way of communicating their needs and two – all that does is undermine any trust that existed in the relationship. Its a sure fire way to quickly shut down any communication that might have occurred and puts the other person on the defense.
12.) Crowd them. We all need a little space. They realize that one of the greatest gifts in a relationship is the space that exists between two people. That’s where a lot of growth and safety is created. They have the ability to give their partner/spouse the space they need but do not feel threatened by that. This speaks volumes about the relationship. Space could be being in the same room but not having to talk, not always knowing what they are doing, time away from you and time with friends or time alone.
What are some of the things you do in your relationship that make it healthy and strong?
This blog was originally posted on Womensemergence.com