Define Healthy Relationships

A healthy relationship in my opinion is defined by communication. Aside of communication I feel it is healthy when the emotional and physical connection is being reciprocated at the same level for all people involved in the relationship. Also a foundation of trust makes up a healthy relationship. All of the above is essential in my opinion.
EmbracingChange EmbracingChange
26-30, F
4 Responses Nov 14, 2012

Just a point of order.
A healthy relationship does not necessarily mean what one might think.

I'll give you an example. There is a dude in my social circle who I have very little time for (and I suspect that the feeling is entirely mutual). I have tall boundaries up in that relationship. I regard it as a healthy relationship. It is based on fact.

Extrapolating on that premise, I think that healthy relationships are based on fact. On truth. And I think that this applies across the various relationships we all have, including - if applicable - a marital or 'significant other' relationship. If it is based on truth, then it is healthy.

If it is based on bullshit, then it is decidely unhealthy.

Tread your own path.


It is comunication, but not just talking, not just sharing words. It is communicating emotionally, romantically, intimately, joyously. Your connecting at a lot of levels. You are involved with each other. And your doing this with energy and willingness. it is not done out of the sense of duty, obligation, boredom. There is energy and vitality to you as a couple. When your connected at that level with your partner or spouse, your interaction is noticably very connected to a lot of people around you. Your eyes link, and there is a connect, and you look for each other's eyes, because you like being there.Your not just 2 people side by side, your 2 people together.

Well, you've thrown a load of nominalisations into the ring - at least the "communication" wasn't capitalised.

What you may find is that in order to change things, you could do with hard choices, negotiation, honesty.

What are you going to do to change the situation you're in, whether he responds or not?

Negotiation is predicated on communication. Once communication is lost, what was once negotiation becomes brinksmanship.

Oh, so there would be world peace if only we could communicate properly. BS. The situation is normally in the SM, that both parties know only too well there's an elephant, but they are too fearful to act on that knowledge.

That just sounds completely cynical and bitter. The point of this post is defining a HEALTHY relationship, not stating that Communication is a relationship miracle worker and fixes all relationship issues. "The situation is normally in the SM, that both parties know only too well there's an elephant, but they are too fearful to act on that knowledge." is merely opinion and not fact. It is not always a case of BOTH parties knowing what is wrong hence why communication is essential in relationships.

"oh, so there would be world peace if only we could communicate properly." Frankly, hl42, that's what it sounded as if you were saying. You suggest negotiation as a path to resolution--my point is that negotiation doesn't work unless both parties come to the table.

Excellent. We now have the opportunity to really communicate - if you will - rather than exchange anodyne platitudes about communication. With neither of us knowing whether or not we have the slightest idea what the other is really talking about.

Perhaps you could consider that my intent here is positive and aimed at helping you. A key element of communication is the ability to listen, particularly to messages that are not comfortable. Yet I would not be doing you a service if I nodded my head at truisms, because I think you are not sufficiently focused on what needs to be done to change - if you're ready for that. Of course, if you want to pass the time while you figure out what to do, that's fine too.

Can I also reflect that, if you label someone who's trying to help you as: "completely cynical and bitter", you may indeed need to work on your own communications skills. Perhaps checking on what the person means first?

It's really helpful to have a compelling vision for what you want out of your relationship, and well worthwhile to be building that. I don't see that what you've written will help you get that compelling vision because I don't understand how you will know when you've got it. Do you? What actions will result from it? What meaning will those actions have to you?

I can communicate well with people who I don't like and certainly don't want a loving relationship with. Ironically, it's sometimes easier to do so. Of course, it's a great idea to improve personal skills in many areas, whatever the outcome. Of course communication is needed (perhaps you underestimate how hard understanding is) - and the danger I see here is that your focus is potentially a trap - because you can say, oh, if only we could communicate better, everything would be alright. That's not the experience of many people here.

As for your "Merely opinion, not fact.", of course it's opinion, I never said I dealt in fact. Whether my opinion is worth anything for you - or not - is up to you. I do not appreciate the "merely" because it's a put-down, which possibly you meant, yet is poorly communicated. If you want me to go away, please say so directly, I won't spend any more of my valuable time failing to help.

You took what I wrote completely out of context. First, I didn't say you as a person were cynical and bitter. I said what you wrote came off as cynical and better. And yes, a key element of communication is the ability to listen to the other side so it is hypocritical at best that you picked apart my post because I simply pointed out that that is your opinion and that I disagree with it and why. I appreciate that you are trying to help me, although I am confused as to what you are trying to help me with? All I posted about is what I define as a healthy relationship and disagreed with some of the things you wrote. I feel that you took my posts picke them apart and blew them completely out of proportion. I am not here to insult or put anyone down just have meaningful discussion.

Bitter* not better

Well, I took the trouble to read your profile before responding to your post here, and felt that you were not really here to pontificate - that's hiding behind verbiage. I'm glad to see that you've subsequently posted something more real that gets to the point.

People's experience here is that they make progress when they get clarity about issues, understand better, and are prepared to stand up for themselves. Typically this is an uncomfortable process.

You have responded to me disagreeing with what you said by throwing out numerous labels: cynical, bitter, merely opinion, and now, hypocritical. It's like you're allowed to express your opinion, I'm not, or you go defensive? You also use word like "completely" "essential" and so on.

So, this is not a problem for me, I have recovered from the SM, yet I'm wondering about a couple of things for you:

Are your current perceptions really getting to the heart of the issue? Do you know what you want? Are you open to some "alien" perspectives and opinions? I'm not talking about me, I'm not important, it's you and your H that matter. I found that reading CBT for Dummies helpful btw, this board is also a fantastic resource if you let it be, I'd really encourage you to use it and do not want to put you off in any way - if my style doesn't work for you, there are other very helpful people here.

Secondly, I'm wondering how you can get in more rapport with your H - clearly he has been through things no-one would want to contemplate, and that would make it far harder to get in tune with him yourself. Do you have any help or resources that will assist?

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I agree 100% - You need to be able to communicate first and everything else comes after...

Most definitely! Communication leads to all the other important elements. I'm not a psychologist but by simply observing others w relationship problems it almost always narrows down to failing communication.

I live in a sexless marriage too and I put that down to the fact that we cannot and do not really talk to each other enough. We are not open / honest / free with one another. It is very frustrating, but I am not willing to walk away just yet... I will keep trying.

I am in that same situation only ive tried the communication and the responses weren't enough to fix the issues just yet I guess. And giving up should only be an option when you feel confident that you have exhausted all resources to make it work. The issue I face is in my relationship is that the love and affection is still there. The only thing missing is the sex. So I ask myself, is that truly worth ending a relationship over when we are clearly still in love with each other and have no other issues? It is not only complicated but extremely frustrating!

Frustrating is definitely the right word to use here.... For me, I have no sex or affection. She says that she loves me, and I believe her, but she never shows it. I am a guy who needs the affection, that little touch, a cuddle, a kiss... I just need to know that she means it and wants me in her life.

There's a book, that at this moment I can't remember the title, that the chaplain that married us suggested and it was. Good read. Ah I think it was called love languages? Don't quote me on that though. And basically it talks about the different ways individuals communicate. For example some prefer physical affection, some prefer flowers or nice things done for them like maybe their wife grabbing their favorite beer or snack etc while at the grocery store that day because they thought of them. But then it also talks to you about figuring out how to make two people with different love languages compromise and meet each others needs. Perhaps your wife doesn't understand that you need the physical connection for you to know that she loves you.

P.s. sorry that is a novel length response! Ha-ha

Thanks for the suggestion and I will get myself on Amazon and see if I can find it... I have told her enough times that I need affection and she tries for 24 hours, but then all too easily slips back in to the old routine.... I do all of the things that I know (or think) she likes, so its really hard when I don't get the simplest of touches back...

Have you asked her how she feels about having a SM?

Not directly, but I do often ask why she doesn't ever seem to want to make love. She just says she doesnt think of it or is too tired or its time of the month or or or... Makes excuses, basically.

"The issue I face is in my relationship is that the love and affection is still there. The ONLY thing missing is the sex. So I ask myself, is that truly worth ending a relationship over when we are clearly still in love with each other and have no other issues?" If you are happy to live next 50 years without that ONLY thing... No problem...
According Maslow's hierarchy of needs sex is the basic physiological human need,going just after breathing,food,water and sleep...
To me (loving) SM is the same nonsense as a beautiful house with nice paintings on the walls and double glazing windows but with no roof... Only IMHO...

I guess that just depends on an individuals opinion of what is more important to them. I don't put sex before love and understanding. Therefore individuals can have varying priorities.

If you and your partner have the same order of priorities, you are in perfect situation... If your partner share his priorities with the majority of human beings, it is not so good...

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