Healthy relationships fall in the middle between a co-dependent person (the giver) and a narcissistic person (the taker). The most painful lesson in life is the one that you never learn from. Unfortunately, too many people never learn their own dysfunctional relationship roles and get stuck in blaming their significant others.
If you are a co-dependent, you put others needs way before your own needs. This self-sacrificing behavior is most often due to low self-worth, guilt and a lack of self-love. The co-dependent person will eventually end up with severe resentment and blame. They often fail to learn their role in their unhealthy relationships. They get stuck in blaming the narcissist without learning the life lesson. Unfortunately, they keep attracting more narcissists until they discover self-love and learn their role in their failed relationships.
The high divorce rates show that there are more unhealthy relationships than healthy relationships in the U.S. Despite these statistics little is done in the U.S. to teach our children what constitutes a healthy relationship. The vast majority learn their relationship skills from their dysfunctional parents. In addition, children socially model 50% of all the behavior they see growing up in their family of origin.
A healthy relationship is one in where you give as much as you receive. A person feels comfortable asking for what it is he or she needs. They live in the present moment and do not assume their spouse knows what their needs are. In addition, their voice and desires matter just as much as their partners. A healthy relationship person follows their own dreams and goals and does not expect their partner to be responsible for their happiness.
Healthy relationships require that needs are clearly written out and expressed. In the book, “The Sex Starved marriage," by Michele Weiner Davis, she advises couples to spell it out on paper. "If I am a fly on the wall in your bedroom, what would it look like when your physical needs are met?"
Many co-dependents are too concerned with their partner’s physical needs than their own. While the narcissist is only concerned with one’s own needs. Don't make your partner guess your physical needs!
A healthy relationship requires a person to have self-esteem, self-love, and awareness. One’s focus is on knowing more about what you want to see in your relationship than what you do not want to see. People are able to communicate exactly what they need without the fear of judgment, rejection or being yelled at. Opinions are easily shared and respected.
A person in a healthy relationship knows that due to universal law there will be equal amounts of pain and pleasure in any relationship. The healthy relationship person learns to focus on the good things their partner exhibits rather than their faults. In addition, a healthy relationship consists of showing appreciation and gratitude. They do not hang out with negative people who complain about their unhappy relationships. Nor do they feel the need to change their partner since they accept them just the way they are.
A loving relationship brings way more joy and happiness to one’s life. Unfortunately, too many people never learn their roles and get to keep paying divorce lawyers.
Love starts with you!