5 Things Therapy Taught Me About Healthy Relationships

Coming from a broken-home family made me think that there’s no such thing as a right and healthy relationship. Either the man I date would cheat or leave me with some other girl. And my experience in dating the bad guys just made it worse.

However, that belief has changed since I decided to go for therapy. I became more aware that all of those beliefs I thought were true were just what society had told me. It’s not necessarily something that I wanted to believe in.

So when I worked to reframed that mindset, it’s easier for me to see what’s called healthy and unhealthy in the relationship. Which eventually taught me how to find the right person for me.

1. You don’t control each other life

I’ve had this one female friend who always needs to control the man she’s dating. It doesn’t matter whether he has a cheating background or not, she still does it. So as a result, her relationship never lasted longer than six months.

Then she asked, “What’s wrong with me? I’ve done everything to keep the relationship going.” I was brutally honest, telling her that being controlling and overly jealous isn’t what she called “work in the relationship.” It’s a recipe for disaster.

Which, of course, she denied it. And it’s not surprising because for so long I thought the more I control my man that only means, the more I care about him. I ended up losing that guy who I really liked because of it.

After I’ve worked hard to fix those bad habits, I learned that you shouldn’t control your partner’s life to keep them in your life, which goes the same with them. No one should control anyone. Easier to say but hard to apply in real life.

When you are in the right relationship, you let each other have the complete freedom to enjoy life in other areas too. Many couples who’ve done this also noticed that the intimacy between them has increased.

2. You can trust your partner fully

Trust issues are something that most people encounter when they are in a relationship. But many people also forget that they have full control over their emotions. So when jealousy or doubt arises, they shouldn’t act on it right away.

Sure, maybe you find your partner’s act lately to be a bit suspicious, but you’ll drive yourself crazy if you follow that jealousy feeling all the time. Either you talk about it to your partner or choose to throw away that feeling and trust your partner completely.

And that is what happens in the right relationship.

So no more over-thinking whether your partner is cheating on you or not. He said he’s busy to text you back because he was in a meeting? You trust him. You don’t waste hours thinking maybe he’s lying to you or intentionally didn’t want to talk to you. Because that one behavior won’t do anyone good favor.

3. You don’t have the need to please your partner all the time

Back then, in my past relationship, I always felt scared that I’d disappoint my partner. So I ended up saying “yes” all the time, even though sometimes things just didn’t feel right.

Now in my current relationship, I know it’s the right one because I have full freedom to say or do things that I feel comfortable with, not solely because my partner wants me to do it.

If I feel like I’m too tired to cook for the day or refuse to go to his friend’s birthday party, then I’d tell him “no,” and he respects my decision.

Being in the right relationship won’t make you feel pressured, and most importantly, they shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your hobbies just because they disagree.

4. There’s always open communication — especially when things get hard

I’ve seen couples who break apart because they refuse to sit down and talk about the problem in the relationship. They just go on with their day pretend everything’s fine. Until it’s too much, and one of them suggested they should call it to quit.

I believe open communication keeps the relationship healthy and stable. All arguments and disagreements can be solved if you and your partner are willing to talk it out. You also will have fewer misunderstandings with your partner doing this.

No matter how small the issues are, it’s still necessary to bring them up. Couples underestimate this and think it won’t affect the relationship. Eventually, if you keep it for yourself without a single discussion with your partner, then it’s just about time until it blows up and damaging the whole relationship.

People who are in the right relationship know this. Therefore, they make sure to communicate openly even if sometimes it feels uncomfortable.

5. You don’t have to be someone you are not around your partner

What’s the point of being with someone that makes you feel like you have to pretend all the time? For example, you tell him you like his favorite home cooks while you can’t even finish half of it. It’s mentally and emotionally draining.

My mom once told me that when you need to change yourself to be seen as “perfect” by your partner, then it’s not the right person for you. So it’s better to call it quit earlier than wasting more time. This also can prevent you from losing your identity.

Being in the right relationship means either you or your partner expect you to change. They don’t tell you what they wish you could be. They accept you for who you are. It doesn’t matter how many flaws you have in you, and your partner can’t make you feel like you have to change because otherwise, they won’t be with you.

It’s toxic, and you want to avoid someone like that.

Parting words

The right relationship doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and there are still lots of efforts needed from both parties.

It’s not every day that you find someone who deeply cares and loves you for who you are. Especially during this pandemic when it makes it harder for us to connect with other people in real life.

That’s why if you have one, make sure to nurture the relationship instead of sabotaging it. I know sometimes we might freak out when things are going well for a while. Especially, those people who have experienced being in an unhealthy relationship before will tend to think this way more often.

So if you can relate to those 5 signs above, then there’s no reason to overthink your relationship. But if not, then there’s always someone who’s right for you out there. And you can find them only when you make the space.

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