Healthy Relationships: Adopting New Patterns of Belief
- Control and manipulation are the biggest signs of emotionally unhealthy relationships. If you hold on too tight, you’re controlling, manipulating, and trying to get your partners to do what you think is best.
- Hang on loosely; don’t cling and don’t demand everything you want. Break free from approval to make you feel good.
- Emotionally healthy relationships are filled with challenges and growth, support, and love. Never having conflict or friction is unhealthy.
- Toxic relationships are full of silence, anxiety, hopelessness and suffocation. They’re disconnected and distanced with no opportunity for growth.
- Creating healthy relationships means being honest about who you are and how you feel. You have to be authentic about your strengths and weaknesses.
- In toxic relationships, we hide what we really think, feel, and mean. To be healthy, admit you’re imperfect and loved despite flaws and weaknesses.
- Respect and gratitude. You’d relate to your partner differently if you saw them as a gift, a blessing, or a treasure. You’d treat them differently, with gentleness and kindness.
- Resist being angry, withdrawn or passive-aggressive.
- Communicate honestly and graciously. Be able to talk about your feelings.
- Focus on the needs and desires of your spouse, listen and put yourself in their shoes.
- Express physical and verbal affection to your spouse. This means hugs, touch and praise.
- Confront complaints in a gracious manner. Communicate with honesty regarding what’s gone wrong.
- Receive complaints and corrections without being defensive or hostile, meaning you’re open to input.
- Take responsibility for your behavior and apologize with sincerity and grace. Accept that you CAN be wrong.
- Serve and give to your spouse—or others—without expecting anything in return.
- Be able to do something for others even if it’s never reciprocated.
- Process anger, offense, and disappointment in a gracious manner. Deal with imperfect people in an imperfect world.
- Be vulnerable to reveal your weaknesses without fear or shame. Pray with your spouse by admitting you need help.
- Be joyful and faith-filled in the midst of difficulty by seeing the good in your spouse/people.
- Trust God rather than becoming pitiful, prideful, negative, discouraged, or depressed.
Do These Abilities Abide In You?
If not, you may have some emotionally unhealthy areas in your heart and it will damage your relationships. The Holy Spirit is powerful and can repair the places that are broken inside. He knows exactly what’s wrong. When we understand we’re damaged and let Him fix us, He does. Ask God to to begin healing and restoring you to good health, or your marriage will never grow beyond your limitations. He’ll help you grow into a place where you can claim all the abilities above. It will result in a stronger, healthier marriage.