How do you have a healthy relationship with others?
It takes two people, who both know how to have a healthy relationship, in order to have a healthy relationship. Too often, one wants to have a healthy relationship with someone else who doesn’t know how to have healthy relationships.
Simple. You don’t take it personally and you avoid saying things you’ll need to apologize for. They may get heated, but if your stay calm it’ll be ok.
Afterwards, within minutes, resume normal relations as if the argument never occurred. Especially is they are still worked up.
How can one have a healthy relationship if they don’t know how to have one? How do they learn?
The best way is to learn from one’s parents when they are a child. Learning from them mostly by their example, and occasionally by their guidance.
When bad examples and guidance is learned by one’s parent(s), I think it can become a huge obstacle in a person’s life - in their ability to form healthy relationships. We’ve all probably heard the expression, “breaking the cycle”.
Those are just my general observations from my life experience. Of course, healthy people can come from bad parents and vise versa. But I suppose that people who haven’t learned how to have healthy relationships need to learn it from someone…usually a therapist.
Make the discussion or argument about the issue/situation/action, and not about the person. Even if it is a personality traits, the action is what causes friction.
There are classes you can take with your spouse on stuff like “how to discuss and how to argue”. My pre-Cana class, which was an Engaged Encounter, had a whole session on this. My husband and I didn’t really need it because of our age and the good example set by both sets of our parents, but it was useful information.
Marriage Encounter also covers these topics, and there are many self-help books. Probably also workshops on spousal communication.
As others said, the easiest way to learn this is from watching your parents or other role models when you were growing up. If you did not have any decent role models, I’d suggest checking a couple of self-help books on relationships out of the library, or even looking up articles in women’s magazines (they used to have a TON of such articles). And also seeing if your parish or diocese is advertising any workshops on this sort of topic. If you partner with a person who came from a healthy family background, they also will communicate healthy expectations and you can watch how their family got along.
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