Building a healthy relationship is such a worthy goal to have. So many people simply drift through life and the experience of their relationship suffers as a consequence.

They can be like two strangers living together, simply going through the motions of daily activity, without any real connection between themselves, and lacking any elements of a healthy relationship.

This can mean, a couple get together, and before they know it, they have children. Given the time and effort required to raise children, this is their priority.

Building a healthy relationship does not even come into the equation. Children grow up and leave home, and couples end up in the empty nest position where they wonder what to do with themselves, living in an unhappy marriage. There is no indication of any traits of a healthy relationship.

Before long grandchildren fill the gap. This is now their focus and life goes on in an accustomed manner, and any signs of a healthy relationship are non existent.

It is easy to identify people in this situation, especially as they get older. They are the ones you see in restaurants or cafes, sitting opposite each other with barely a word being said between them. They look lost and lonely.

Whereas when people have building a healthy relationship as their goal, their experience of life is totally different. It means this is their priority, everything else fits in around them. They see each other as someone special.

It means couples make time for each other, they do not allow the distractions of life, such as work and having children, take precedence over this primary concern.

They always communicate, knowing how the other is feeling and managing their life. They have meals together, and organize having special moments, such as going to the movies or the theater, and having time away together. They have a very healthy relationship.

Building a healthy relationship also means each person has total respect for the other. There is no place for nastiness, aggravation or resentment in such an arrangement.

These latter traits, are some of the characteristics of unhealthy relationships, that eat away at people, and can literally lead to ill health.

Not only that, people can just feel so awful generally, and many people get stuck in these situations as patterns are established,and they end up in an unhappy marriage.

It can make their experience of life very depressing. In my view life is too short to remain in such circumstances, especially when there are opportunities for building a healthy relationship.

They don’t know, or realize, they do have a choice. They don’t have to stay in these types of relationships. Alternatively they could see a professional to help them make the changes required to have the characteristics of a healthy relationship.

If a couple were to do that, it is crucial they be clear about their motivation in order for there to be any satisfactory outcome.

Other aspects of building a healthy relationship include acknowledging each person in the relationship is of equal status.

This means there is no one in charge in the relationship. It is a partnership between two equals. I realize there will be some who will disagree with this view based on beliefs you may have, according to your understanding of scripture, or whatever.

When I shared this view with a group of Mormons I was asked to give a talk to, I got a standing ovation in response.

When each person holds the same status, it follows there is no longer any room for set roles in the relationship, which is usually to the woman’s disadvantage with no signs of a healthy relationship.

Now the building of a healthy relationship is demonstrated by each person sharing in the domestic and parental responsibilities.

No longer, when men are involved in these activities, is it viewed as helping, which has an inference that it is the man helping the woman do what is viewed as her responsibility.

I’m sure you will agree with me, when we talk about building a healthy relationship in this way, it makes such a difference to how we all can experience life.

This is to everyone’s advantage. It is a true win/win. This leads to us all having a more satisfying, richer and fulfilling life.

Author's Bio: 

Leo Ryan is a counselor with over twenty years experience in the field dealing primarily with relationships. He has given many talks, seminars and workshops on the subject, as well as being interviewed by all sectors of the media about his work. He is passionate about people having great relationships, and his website is dedicated to that purpose. He is the author of the ebook "How to Have An Extraordinary Relationship."