Am I in a Healthy Relationship?

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Frequently, my clients and members of our website ask me, “Is my relationship healthy? How do I know if it is healthy?”

Just as physical health is on a continuum, emotional health and relationship health are also on a continuum. And, like physical health, each person may have different criteria regarding what constitutes health. For example, some people say they are very healthy if they get a cold or flu a few times a year, while others’ health criteria is that they never get sick at all.

For some, a healthy relationship is two people who never fight or argue, or who take care of each other and basically agree on everything, or are very easy-going and give in to each other.

For others, a healthy relationship is a relationship filled with sexual passion, while others believe that a healthy relationship is when two people can talk things out in ways that reach resolution.

Rather than looking for an external definition of a healthy relationship, I suggest that you look inside and define for yourself what is very important to you in a relationship. While your relationship may have all the traditional characteristics of a healthy relationship, if it isn’t what you want, then it may not be a healthy relationship for you.

Glenn, in his early thirties, was ready to get married and start a family. He had been in a number of long-term relationships that had ended for various reasons. When he consulted with me, he had been in a relationship with Katherine for 3 years. She was pushing to get married and he was resisting, but not understanding why.

Glenn and Katherine had much in common. Both were intelligent, emotionally open people, and they both wanted children. They had similar spiritual beliefs, handled money in similar ways, and enjoyed the same activities. Their sex life was good.  So what was in the way of Glenn wanting to marry Katherine?

“I don’t look forward to spending time with her. We don’t seem to click when it comes to talking. I love to delve deeply into feelings and ideas. I love sitting at the kitchen table and talking for hours without knowing how late it is. With Katherine, conversation is difficult. Everyone thinks she is so perfect for me, but I don’t feel “in love” and I think it’s because we don’t play off each other with our humor and we can’t get into in-depth conversations.”

Glenn had never before articulated how important this was to him in a relationship. Without this, the relationship was flat.

It was hard for Glenn to end the relationship with Katherine, because even though he wasn’t in love with her, he did love her and didn’t want to hurt her. But he knew he was not going to marry her.

A year after ending his relationship with Katherine, Glenn met Liz at a party. From the moment they started to talk, Glenn felt that, not only had he known Liz all his life, but that they could talk for hours. And talk for hours they did – and they still talk for hours after getting married and having children. Glenn says he is delighted with his healthy relationship!

So what does a healthy relationship mean to you?

A healthy relationship is one where: (you might want to mark the ones that for you constitute a healthy relationship)

  • We can talk about anything without fear of the other’s anger or withdrawal.
  • We support each other in doing what makes each of us happy.
  • We each take responsibility for our own feelings and are able to share love, rather than expecting the other to fill us up with love.
  • We laugh easily together and have a lot of fun with each other.
  • We have similar interests and enjoy much companionship.
  • We each contribute financially.
  • We each contribute with household responsibilities and/or childcare.
  • We find each other endlessly interesting and always look forward to spending time together talking and sharing ideas.
  • We have deep trust, respect, and admiration for each other.
  • We have a wonderful sex life.
  • We are both very affectionate and love to hold, cuddle, and kiss.
  • We share common spiritual values.
  • We have the same religion.
  • Other – add your own.

We each have the right to decide what is most important to us in a relationship. If you find that you are not in a healthy relationship, don’t despair! By doing your own Inner Bonding® work, there is a good possibility that you CAN heal your relationship.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to discover real love and intimacy? Click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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