A healthy relationship includes trust, respect, open communication, and honesty between the partners. There are some essential things to maintain if you want to keep a relationship happy and fulfilling, some small but salient things if ignored, might prove to be a crippling factor for the bond in your relationship.
Knowing what things to never ignore if you want a healthy relationship is a key part of keeping your relationship in good health.
We so often see lists of all the things we need to do to keep our relationship happy but it’s rare to see one that talks about the things that we might not see, the things that might be happening in our relationship right now, things that we might be ignoring that are taking us down a dangerous path.
I know that, when I was married, there were plenty of signs that I ignored, plenty of small signals that were there, ones that, if I had noticed them, would have showed me how unhappy my relationship truly was.
To that end, I’m going to share with you now 5 things to never ignore if you want a healthy relationship. Knowing them will help you have a healthy relationship, one with staying power!
Here Are The 5 Important Things To Never Ignore If You Want A Healthy Relationship
1. You Have Stopped Talking To Each Other.
Think about it. When was the last time your partner came home from work and you put down what you were doing and greeted them?
When was the last time you talked about something other than the children or work?
When was the last time you connected on any meaningful topic?
When was the last time you had pillow talk before you went to bed?
When was the last time you talked about an issue that really needed to be discussed instead of avoiding it?
Every healthy relationship ‘to do’ list talks about the importance of communication. And yes, it is so very important. But it’s important to not just discuss the ‘issues’ but also to talk about the good stuff. The stuff that makes you feel connected, that makes you feel interested in each other. The stuff that has always made you laugh together.
If you notice that you guys are no longer talking to each other, if your conversations consist purely of talking about the kids and/or fighting, then it’s definitely one of those things to never ignore if you want a healthy relationship.
2. You Are Kicking Things Down The Road.
If there is one thing I regret more than anything else in my marriage, it’s that I, we, kicked things down the road, we put off dealing with things that should have been addressed immediately.
I think we both knew that there were issues in our marriage but both of us hoped that, if we were patient and if life eventually got less crazy, we would be able to work through them. Because we believed that to be true, we tended to ignore our issues and focus on life and the kids. Over time, our issues got bigger because we didn’t address them. And then, one day, they were just too big and our marriage ended.
You know when you have a work project or a homework project due and you work on it regularly so that you know you will be able to pass it in on time and get a good grade or positive feedback. You know what happens when you don’t do that – when you procrastinate and get it done at the last minute? How does that work out? Not so great, I would imagine.
That was my marriage. We started out eager to work hard to be happy but, as time went on and things got harder, we started procrastinating, assuming that we would one day be able to get our project in on time, successfully. We didn’t.
3. You Are Making Decisions On Your Own.
I remember very well when my daughter came home from her second week of high school and announced that she wanted to go to boarding school. We had just moved to Boulder and she was at her first public school and she hated it. More than anything.
She went upstairs, did research on boarding schools, and within an hour, found two that she was interested in attending. Without even talking to my husband, I reached out to both of those schools to see if they might have availability for a last-minute entrant. One of them did. I made an appointment to visit that school over the weekend with my daughter.
I did all of this without checking with my husband. By the time he got home, I had created a narrative that I shared with him, one where it seemed like I asked him his opinion about what he thought about our daughter going to boarding school, but, really, I knew the decision had already been made.
What should have happened is that my daughter sat down with both of her parents and we could have all talked through what she wanted to do and made a decision together. If we had done that, I believe that my husband and I, because we were sharing the decision-making, would have stayed closer to each other instead of being driven further apart.
Instead, I took over and made the decision, leaving my husband, I am sure, not feeling like a part of a team. But he didn’t say anything and I did the same thing over and over. And he did too.
Making decisions unilaterally is definitely one of those things to never ignore if you want a healthy relationship.