Healthy Connections

Ending destructive life patterns

Secrets to a Strong, Successful Relationship

Gain better understanding and insight into your relationship.

Couple
Relationships are an important part of life. They are a way to connect, feel understood and be loved. Because of their significance, it is necessary to make an effort to create a strong bond. Relationships require work, patience and understanding. Above all, they need true commitment, good communication, mature love and lessons learned from past mistakes. Relationships can be weakened when these aspects aren’t fully understood or are taken for granted.

Commitment

It’s essential to truly understand what it means for partners to make a commitment to each other: 

  • Commitment: A statement of my intention to remain constant in belief and action to a single ideal without entertaining other options regardless of appearances, difficulties or conflicts which will arise in the pursuit of that ideal.

Communication

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Communication is key to a successful relationship:

  • Recognize when your partner needs closeness or distance, respect each other’s thoughts and feelings, notice your partner’s need for sexual contact and expression, and accept your partner “as is”
  • Make your partner feel valued and important, support each other’s dreams and goals, and Reassure each other of your love and commitment

Mature love vs. Immature love

A relationship requires mature and healthy love. It is important to recognize the difference between mature love and immature love.

  • Mature/Healthy Love: Waits, respects, gives the benefit of the doubt, listens, trusts, cares, accepts, takes pleasure in the successes and joys of the other, accepts love without question of motive or condition, forgives, lets go when necessary, says goodbye…but not perfectly and not always.
  • Immature Love: Needs, takes, demands, attempts to change the other, expects, has agendas, rejects sincere offering of love, keeps score, is impatient and intolerant of mistakes, talks but does not hear, substitutes sex for love, is jealous and afraid, quits, hurts …but not always and rarely on purpose.

Understand Past Mistakes

Strengthening a current relationship or getting into a new one requires learning from past mistakes and applying those lessons to present or future relationships. Study your patterns and get a “do-over." Be aware of:

  • Relationship laziness, parenting our partners, circular communication without resolution, focusing on children and ignoring relationship, lacking commitment and having the door always open, and blaming.

With a better understanding and insight into the way you interact and communicate with your significant other, you can create a strong, successful relationship.

Ann Smith is the Executive Director of Breakthrough at Caron. Leave a comment here or connect with her on Twitter, @CaronBT or Facebook.

Ann Smith is the author of the books Grandchildren of Alcoholics and Overcoming Perfectionism.

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