What makes a relationship great? While this question is easily answered by the common do’s and don’ts, there are deeper issues around a relationship that needs profound attention.
These issues can make your relationship work beyond watching sunsets or playing with a puppy together.
If you extremely want to make your relationship work, you have to have an open mind because there are things in a relationship that most people find toxic but actually are the key ingredients for making up for a lasting relationship.
We’re not aiming here for a ‘perfect’ kind of relationship thing because that one doesn’t exist. We’ll be talking about the habits that are helpful in making your relationship work.
This means you have to be open, understanding and honest enough to admit your own flaws. If you have that kind of resolve as well as your partner, then there’s no reason why your relationship won’t work.
6 Habits That Most People Think Are Toxic But Are Actually Healthy:
1. The willingness to let go of unresolved conflicts.
John Gottman, a professor emeritus in psychology, says, “The idea that couples must communicate and resolve all of their problems is a myth.” Gottman’s expertise is mainly focused on marital stability and relationship analysis.
From his research, which involves thousands of happily married couples some of whom have been married for 40+ years, he found that the most successful married couples have persistent unresolved issues from time to time.
Some of these issues were even fought for over a decade. But what makes the couples stay together is their ability to allow unresolved issues to stay as they are.
They know well enough that disagreements arise from time to time but they managed not to allow these issues to ruin their relationship and happiness.
On the other hand, those couples who believed that all issues must be dealt with, almost always end their relationship up. A relationship is not a battle of the will. It involves acceptance of the other person whether they agree with us or not.
Trying to resolve issues is not always the answer. Rather, it’s knowing what types of battles are worth fighting for. And at times, to “live and let live” is the best strategy you need to hold on to making your relationship work.
2. Having the willingness to hurt the other’s feelings.
Keeping a relationship healthy also means not making the other person feel good. Not that you want to hurt them, but for healthier reasons that are beneficial to you both.
These reasons include being honest and truthful with each other. As we all know, the truth hurts, especially if we don’t want to hear it.
For example, if your significant other took an hour to prepare themselves to look good for you and when finally they emerge and ask you how do they look, what would you be your best response?
You might be caught between telling them the truth and not hurting their feelings if ever you find that they look awful. Telling them the truth is not directed to hurting their feelings, but it’s directed to improve themselves.
You’re not being authentic when you don’t tell them the truth. What you need is a little creativity in using the right sweet words so that the truth hurts less.
Another thing is, being honest with your emotions. Like, when you feel your partner is being unresponsive or cold, you need to tell them how their actions made you feel.
They may be defensive at first, but later on, they’ll realize their mistake and be more mindful of their actions. In a way, you’re helping them improve themselves, which can help them in their dealings with other people too.
Even if it hurts, honesty is key to a healthy relationship.
3. Knowing when to end it.
There are relationships that require some form of sacrifice, like fighting for your love when the odds against you are great. Or, being the stronger version of yourself because your partner is not as strong in some aspects.
But, there are also cases when giving your all is no longer healthy. It’s when you tend to lose yourself because the relationship is eating you whole.
Giving up your own needs and identity in favor of the relationship is a form of abuse; neither is suppressing your own pain and suffering in the name of maintaining a relationship is helpful.
You need to be willing to know when to end a relationship before the damage is too intense for you to handle. Ending a relationship might be the only way for you and your partner to be both happy.
4. Getting attracted to other people outside of the relationship.
Finding other people to be attractive and interesting is a part of our biological makeup. It’s part of being human. The difference lies in how you act on the attraction.
We used to believe that when we’re in a relationship, all our attention, eyes, ears, and all should be in our partner. Other people don’t count a thing.
However, this is not often the case. From time to time, some people make us turn our heads. And when we do it, feeling guilty doesn’t help.
When we feel guilty, we’re only suppressing these feelings, thereby giving them power over us and allowing them to dictate our behavior.
What you’d rather do is acknowledge the feeling, dictate your behavior for yourself, that is feeling them and choosing not to do anything. You may appreciate the attention or even the flirtation of others, but this only strengthens your commitment to the person you love.
Getting attracted is common, but having an intimacy with someone is not.
5. Being apart from each other.
When you’re in a relationship, it doesn’t mean you have to cease to be the person you used to be when you were still single. Meaning, you give up your friends, your interests, and other aspects of who you are because you spend all of your time in the relationship.
This kind of relationship is bound to fail because you’re losing the person your partner falls in love with in the first place.
Learn to continue to be the person you used to be. Have your own time and space. Go out with your friends or take occasional trips alone.
You need this space as an oxygen that you breathe. If not, you will lose the spark needed to make your relationship work.
6. Accepting each other’s flaws.
There are some flaws in others that irritate us while there are some flaws that we find cute. In finding the right person, make sure that their flaws don’t bug you.
This means you’re able to live with or even appreciate their flaws. Establishing an intimacy with a person is much easier when the two of you are able to accept and adore each other’s shortcomings.
Since there is no perfect person, you will only find someone closer to it once you find their imperfections complementing to yours. As the artist Alex Grey puts it: “True love is when two people’s pathologies complement one another’s”.
True love is a bit crazy and irrational. And you’re truly in love when you and your partner’s irrationalities complement one another and your flaws enamored one another.
Source: https://upliftconnect.com/six-healthy-relationship-habits-people-think-toxic/ by Mark Manson;