It is often said that for someone to differentiate real money from counterfeit, the person has to have spent a lot of time handling the original (real money) before they can spot the counterfeit. This principle can be applied in any facet of life, especially relationships. Although there are many types of relationships in existence, every one of them can be categorized into two major types—Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships.
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If a person wants to be able to spot the difference, they must have at least experienced healthy relationships, in the form of friendships and family bonds built over the years. Or have taken the time out to equip themselves with the necessary tools and knowledge to navigate through this thing called love. In today’s article, we will explore healthy and unhealthy relationships through the lens of romantic relationships. The goal here is for people to conclude what category their current relationship falls under, and make the necessary adjustments if it happens to be unhealthy. So let’s talk!
Relationships are a vital part of our existence because we need them to thrive. It is often said that God created man to have a relationship with Him, which isn’t further from the truth because that is the very thing Christianity hinges on—a relationship with Christ (Jesus). There is no one person on the planet who does not have a relationship with somebody else, good or bad. Relationships can range from work to family and everything in between. Whenever we come in contact with people, an exchange of some sort happens, hence in every sphere of the relationship spectrum, it is essential that we know we are in a healthy situation.
As it pertains to romantic relationships, a healthy relationship can be defined as a committed relationship, absent of any form of abuse, where the people involved are free to be the best version of themselves without constraints.
Attributes of a Healthy Relationship:
1. The people involved love and respect each other, they are not afraid to speak up about things that they are uncomfortable with. They don’t walk on eggshells, fearing to spark an argument at any given instant.
2. There is mutual respect; each person has a voice, and that voice is listened to and appreciated.
3. They lift and help each other achieve their goals and dreams. Both parties are also free to maintain their individuality, even if they are in a relationship with each other.
4. If they are Christians, they pull each other towards God, not away from Him.
5. They both can have disagreements without hitting below the belt, in an argument, it is not about who wins, but how the issue can be resolved. Forgiveness is also at the forefront of this relationship.
6. In such relationships, selfishness and isolation are absent, as well as cheating, lying, and secrets which could be harmful to the relationship, if exposed. Both parties try as much as possible to be open and honest with each other, no one is violent or controlling.
If you discover that the other person is always trying to control or monitor your every move, chances are you are involved in an unhealthy relationship.
A healthy relationship should leave you better off than you started, if you are always feeling depleted, used or underappreciated, take a step back and evaluate your situation. If you are both Christians, you should be growing spiritually, if one person is pulling the other person back, this can also indicate a kink in the relationship. As Christians our number one goal is to honor God, so if you are with someone who is pulling you away from God, press pause on the relationship and focus on God while evaluating if that circumstance is for you.
A healthy relationship involves two people who are full of joy, who want to build each other up, rather than tear each other down. If you find out that you have no joy, peace, or laughter, or if you discover you are always crying and depressed, in other words, if the other person brings you more sorrow rather than they do joy or peace, then that relationship isn’t healthy.
How can you tell if you are in an Unhealthy Relationship?
The chances of you being in an unhealthy relationship are high, if your partner is violent, disrespectful, a serial cheater, a pathological liar, greedy, they isolate you from your friends and family and you have no peace when you think about or are around them.
According to an article published on the University of Washington's website (depts.washington.edu), it argues that you are in an unhealthy relationship if you are putting the other person first and are neglecting yourself in the process, if you feel the pressure to change who you are for the other person, and if sexual boundaries are not respected.
It goes on to say, if you notice arguments are not resolved fairly, if you have no common friends, and if your partner attempts to control how you dress and criticizes your behavior, then you are in a toxic environment. Now, all of these traits, if found in your relationship, can do a number on your self-esteem, I for one, have experienced such behaviors with men, and it brought my self-esteem to an all-time low. I no longer believed in myself, I didn't see myself as beautiful or even smart, because of months spent in unhealthy relationships, where emotional and verbal abuse thrived.
A healthy relationship should boost your morale and make you feel like you are the best thing that happened to this world since sliced bread. You should be able to go home from work, get re-energized, and go out there to face the world again. Healthy relationships also help us to be very effective in the workplace. If you are constantly abused at home, when you go to work, you won't be able to perform at your best.
As humans, we are not perfect beings, and because of this, there is no perfect relationship out there. But because a relationship isn't perfect, doesn't mean it can't be healthy. Healthy relationships need to be worked on and cultivated, just as any other thing in life, it doesn't happen without effort. If you find yourself in a situation where you are questioning the actions of your partner, the advice here is to seek help.
Don't suffer in silence or isolation. Some relationships, if worked on can be salvaged. But in cases where the person you are involved with has become violent, you should leave; nothing of that sort is worth your life.
Have any experience or thoughts to share with us on this topic? Leave them in the comments section below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also remember to like, share, and subscribe, never to miss an update on Let’s Talk Nation.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.