By: Pat McGettigan, MS, Licensed Psychologist
Holy Redeemer Counseling Center
Good communication in a relationship requires both expressing thoughts, and feelings, and truly being open to listening to the thoughts and feelings of your partner. Good, healthy communication cannot occur if the relationship does not have a core foundation built on trust and mutual respect. When both parties can trust that their thoughts and feelings will be heard and respected, they are better able (through good communication) to support each other and work together towards handling life’s issues and enriching their relationship.
Significant relationships need to withstand the test of time and life's stresses. There will be joys, sadness, crises and celebrations in all relationships. They will come in all forms such as births, deaths, job promotions, job losses, relocations, divorce and illness. Healthy relationships can withstand and often grow through these life stresses. But, how does a relationship get to that point?
The foundation of a healthy relationship starts with honesty—without it the relationship cannot grow in a healthy direction. Honesty means being real and authentic, not only with your partner but even more importantly with yourself. Being honest with yourself allows you to be authentic with others and open to truly knowing them. It is also an indication of self-respect and respect for others.
Mutual respect in a relationship is critical. Each individual is different, and each of them may face the world differently. Many times it is those differences that help hold interest and vitality in a relationship. That is, if those differences are respected and celebrated rather than judged and criticized. In the fertile ground of honesty and mutual respect, trust is built.
When both people in a relationship know that they will be heard without judgement and loved and accepted for who they are then each can concentrate on living fully as an individual and as part of a healthy, committed relationship. The ups and downs and stresses will come—they are unavoidable. However, when they do, partners who have built trusting, mutually respectful relationships will be better able to communicate with each other and work together toward effectively resolving the issues.
Do you feel you and your partner have a healthy relationship? If you’re not sure or think it’s time to consider speaking with a professional to build a healthier relationship for the two of you, the Holy Redeemer Counseling Center is here for you. Our team includes certified and licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, licensed psychologists and licensed clinical social workers.
To learn more about the Holy Redeemer Counseling Center, visit our Webpage or call 215-914-4190.