The focus of a relationship should be on the relationship. Then, each partner feels a sense of responsibility for maintaining the health of their union. In a sense, both partners are moving toward a positive place—a win, win if you will—focusing on building a healthy relationship.
Mutuality and intimacy are the two major players in a healthy relationship. And by strengthening the positive, the weight of the negatives diminish. For example, when one is in the middle of an argument, energy intensifies and couples may become polarized. However, if one partner moves forward in a tender way, the intensity diminishes immediately. This does not require either partner to claim blame. In fact, in healthy relationships, communication is strong enough for either partner to assert that though they do not feel responsible for any injury, they still want to re-establish intimacy.
Language is important here. It is not what you say, but how you say it. Never use language that is emotionally charged. For example, criticism can be phrased as a request. Never put your mate on the defensive. They will no longer hear what you’re trying to express as they immediately move into a defensive mode. Further, complaints should be crafted in a specified manner. Be personal and use feeling words. As an example “if this happens, I feel this way.” Always maintain mutual respect—each partner acknowledging and recognizing their equal roles in the power of their union.
Healthy relationships are relationships that are in balance. If you’re working all the time and don’t have time to listen to your partner, you are out of balance. Couples need to carve out a specific times for mutual activities, even if that time is simply a breakfast or a dinner. Being together intimately requires mutuality, remembering that that no partner can fulfill all the needs of the other and taking the responsibility to realistically meet your own needs. This requires each partner to come to the relationship as an adult.
Face conflicts honestly and openly. Never sweep under the rug hurt and injury, but rather confront conflict and anger in an open and empathic manner. This gives couples the opportunity to express in a healthy way both their wants and their needs. Then, discord can actually lead to an enhanced and more positive relationship. Physical intimacy can restore a sense of connection, which reminds couples that they love one another. Therefore, both physical intimacy and physical touching should be a priority in a relationship. Make time for one another. A simple touch or a passing glance keeps feelings of tenderness alive.
Always remember that a healthy relationship is mutual, whether it is physical intimacy, work or play, each partner must feel that they are an equal part of their relationship. When partners ask each other how they feel about a certain course of action, rather than offering a directive response, one is better served using a mutual approach. Therefore, the best phrase in a relationship is, “How do you feel about…”