5 Things Healthy Couples Don’t Do

I had a hard time understanding what a healthy relationship looks like. I came from a background where my dad was abusive and cheated a lot, and my mother doesn’t bother to communicate her problems to anyone. She keeps it to herself.

All I saw during my childhood were constant fights and just two people who were stuck in a situation they couldn’t get out of because they have my brother and me.

You see it everywhere: Instagram, TikTok, even youtube couples who seem to be “happy all the time.” If you look at the comments, you’ll find lots of “omg, you guys are my couple goals!” comments.

But have you ever wondered if they are the definition of a healthy relationship?

Social media has made us believe something that’s pretty much unrealistic. A couple who uploads their happy, smiley photos every day doesn’t necessarily mean they are fully content with their relationship. Secured couples like to keep everything private and share a lot less with the world.

It took me years to actually “get it” — of course, after several failed relationships due to my lack of understanding of the habits of healthy and happy couples.

1. They don’t depend on each other to make them happy

A couple who are happy in their relationship knows that they need to take full responsibility for their emotions. When they have a terrible day at work or a fight with a family member, they don’t just lash it out to their partner.

Instead, they take their time alone to make themselves feel better. They know they have to ask themselves first what’s going on instead of avoiding it.

Just a couple of days ago, I had this anxiety about my work life. I wasn’t happy, and it affected my way of communication with my partner. Rather than letting it become a long day drama, I decided to open up how I felt that day, and that has nothing to do with him.

In the past, that wouldn’t be the case as I didn’t see it unhealthy for lashing out to your partner. I was surrounded by people who normalized it. Later did I know depending on our partner to make us feel happy or take away all our pain is wrong.

What they do instead:

They constantly work on themselves. They learn how to see patterns in their emotions so when something terrible happens, they don’t instantly blame each other. They take some time to reflect. This is important to keep the relationship healthy because they know that they are in charge of their own emotions.

2. They don’t act passive-aggressive

People be so sick when they heard the one relationship advice, which is “communicate openly.” It’s so cliche but true.

I’ve seen many relationships, including my mom’s, wither away just because they don’t know how to communicate properly when a problem arises.

It’s hard, I know. No matter how well you know your partner, it’s still intimidating and frustrating sometimes to sit down and have tough conversations. But you know what’s worse? It’s when you don’t even try and act passive-aggressive towards each other.

Healthy couples know this won’t do them any good favours. It drains their energy, and both ended up exhausted, but nothing changes.

What they do instead:

They communicate clearly. If they think they don’t have the skillset, they put in the work to improve it. One of the biggest reasons why so many relationships fail is because there’s a lack of communication. So healthy couples know how important it is to build their strong relationship by getting good at expressing their feelings towards each other. By working on this, no issues are too hard to discuss and solve.

3. They don’t punish each other

Blackmail sounds like a big word here. But most couples don’t realize that they do it to each other sometimes, whether they’d like to admit it or not.

Even small things like, “oh, you can’t drive me to the grocery store? okay, then I won’t be cooking for dinner tonight” is considered bad habits to have within the relationship.

I’m not proud to say that I’ve done this in the past, where I asked my partner to either do this or I won’t be doing that. Now that I know better, there are still many ways we can do to redeem the issue. Rather than through blackmailing each other.

By making this habit long enough, either your partner or you will feel hostile at some point. You’ll end up doing things just because you don’t want to hurt your partner’s feelings. That’s where you’ll let them step in your boundaries.

People in a healthy relationship know how important it is to improve their communication skills so things like this won’t happen.

What they do instead:

When things don’t work out the way they want it, a healthy couple will try to solve it by having a calm and mature conversation. They don’t lash out their anger at each other because it’ll only make the relationship worse. Instead of blackmailing each other, they chose to understand the reason behind why their partner couldn’t fulfill their expectation and always willing to compromise if necessary.

4. They don’t keep score

Keeping a score is one of the bad habits that can ruin your relationship.

Imagine being with someone yet seeing them as your competitor. What’s the point? The primary purpose of you getting into a relationship is to build a life by working together. You both are partners, not competitors.

Yet, many couples don’t understand this concept. I’ve known people who keep proving themselves just because they want to be seen in public that they are better (earn more or have a better career) than their partners.

What they do instead:

One person does more chores for this week doesn’t mean the other person is expected to do the same the following week. A healthy couple doesn’t keep score. They do things and help each other because they want to. They might have expectations, but they don’t require it should be equal all the time.

5. They don’t try to change each other

Trying to change other people is mentally exhausting, and healthy couples know there’s no point in doing this.

They don’t force their ideas on their partner and put pressure that them should change if they want to be with them. They accept their partner for who they are.

It sounds so simple yet powerful. We can’t change people to behave or act in specific ways. Yes, you are welcome to give suggestions, but not to the point where you push your partner to change the way you want.

The best thing that a healthy couple in a relationship usually does is to work on themselves. They focus on their own life goals outside the relationship, whether it’s enhancing their skills to get a better job or starting a business.

Most of the time, by doing it, they’ll inspire each other, and the changes happen without one or another expecting it too much.

What they do instead:

When it comes to bad habits, they don’t force their partner to change them right away. They know it’s only putting pressure and resentment in the relationship. Instead of hammering them to change this or that, they chose to focus on themselves and what they can do to improve their lives.

Parting words

A secure, healthy, and stable couple knows the relationship is so much easier if they let it be. Maintaining it takes a lot of self-awareness and the ability to open up to each other instead of hiding it away.

Suppose you think that your relationship isn’t healthy or maybe even toxic. Try to work on yourself first rather than expecting your partner to do the fix. If things still don’t get better, then perhaps they aren’t the right fit for you.

I don’t want you to think that a healthy relationship, the one that lifts you up and constantly teaches you how to be the best version of yourself, doesn’t exist.

It does, and you 100% deserve it.

Anggun Bawi

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