What do Healthy Relationships Require?
Love is the primary motivator within the relationship. Freedom is also required for both parties in the relationship to be their own individual.
But what is the role of responsibility?
I hear this in coaching sessions a lot, “I was just trying to make her (or him) happy. I don’t know what went wrong.”
And that’s the issue.
You are not responsible for your spouse’s:
- Actions or behavior.
Marriages will go off the rails (sooner or later) when one spouse tries to control the feelings, attitude, behavior of their partner.
What are you responsible for in a relationship?
You are responsible for:
- Solving YOUR problems
- Your own feelings, attitude, behavior, goals, and dreams
You are also responsible to the relationship but not for the relationship (i.e., be honest, truthful, and trustworthy).
Skills to Learn In a Relationship:
Live in a relationship with values that protect and strengthen your marriage. Choose values like faithfulness (with sex, money, and time), honesty, forgiveness, holiness, loving God, and loving people.
- Listen, but not problem-solve for your spouse.
- Care about your problems instead of denying them or pushing them onto others.
- Lead yourself first before leading your family.
A healthy marriage/relationship requires LOVE, FREEDOM, and RESPONSIBILITY. These elements do not come easy because often, we did not develop these traits during our formative years, and we tend to be comfort-seeking, selfish individuals. With coaching, practice, and accountability, you can have a healthy relationship with your spouse that will be rewarding and fruitful.
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Cloud, Dr. Henry and Townsend, Dr. John (1999). Boundaries in marriage; Understanding the choices that make or break loving relationships. Zondervan Publishing.
Gottman, Dr. John (1999). The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work. Harmony Publishing.