Being in love can be one of the most phenomenal feelings in the world. To maintain that feeling I believe there are 5 pillars to a healthy love: Respect, Trust, Personal Identity, Communication & Vision. No relationship is perfect, so what happens when one of those pillars starts to crumble or falls all together? Can it be fixed? Yes, it can.
I have been the victim and wrong-doer in a series of unhealthy relationships. When I first began dating I had a very naive mindset on how love works. Unfortunately, this allowed other people to define what love was and I learned some very unfortunate lessons. What I’ve come to understand is that love means something different for so many people, and sometimes what is masqueraded as love is anything but. That being said, no one is perfect and there is no relationship in the world that is perfect either. So, where do we draw the line between a healthy relationship and one that is inevitably going to fail?
At the core of every good relationship, I believe there are 5 pillars the couple must keep strong together. As I mentioned earlier I believe those 5 are inclusive to Respect, Trust, Personal Identity, Communication & Vision. I also believe that, at some point in the relationship, one of those pillars is going to fall apart. So how can you rebuild it back to its former glory?
“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Respect in a relationship means to show consideration and be thoughtful of your partner. Whether its their feelings, their opinions or their actions. People who respect each other are more able to trust and support each other to the fullest.
So what happens if you lose respect in the relationship? You need to identify the behavior that is considered disrespectful. Emphasis on the word behavior. Yes, if your partner has lost respect for you it is going to make you feel a whirlwind of emotions. The important thing here is to figure out the exact action being displayed or words being said that cause either of you to feel disrespected. Only then can the couple work to fix that behavior and slowly build back respect.
Trust is a very important part of a relationship. When there is trust, it shows that the couple has confidence in each other and find their partner to be reliable. This is what allows people to drop their guard and feel safe with their partner, emotionally and physically.
“Trust starts with truth and ends with truth.”– Santosh Kalwar
I’m sure you’re all familiar with the saying “If we don’t have trust then we have nothing.” This statement is not wrong, simply misleading. It is true that without trust a relationship cannot flourish to fruition. But, trust can be rebuilt in the relationship depending on the circumstance. The biggest way to rebuild trust is to be honest. In most cases, the reason the trust was lost in the first place is because there was a lack of honesty between the two. Note: Using honesty to rebuild trust means you have to be consistent with it and prove to your partner why you should be trusted again.
It is completely normal to adapt some traits from your partner such as body language, sense of humor, quirks and so forth. But this should never sacrifice who you are as an individual. In order to have a healthy relationship you both should maintain separate identities in the relationship. Self love and the preservation of who you are allows you to love your partner better while also tending to your happiness.
If you find that you no longer have a sense of self in your relationship you need to take a breath and consider who you were before and how that person correlates to who you are now. Then proceed to make adjustments that allow you to gain some of that control back over yourself. When someone is more codependent than the other, their partner should never try to manipulate or take advantage of them. If both partners show they can control themselves consistently, it will also demonstrate a sense of reliability and trust.
Good communication allows a couple to stay on the same page even through indifference. When a couple communicates effectively through their problems it turns heated arguments into a level headed conversation. This not only strengthens the level of respect had between the two, but also builds trust. Effective communication always entails compromise.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”– C.S. Lewis
In order to improve communication within your relationship there is one thing that will strengthen the effectiveness of it. Humility. As humans, we often let pride or vanity cloud our judgement and keep us from giving an inch. When you allow yourself the room to be wrong and remain humble, you’ll find that you’re able to empathize and understand your partners feelings better. Then the conversation shifts from the “I’m right. You’re wrong.” mentality to an open dialogue.
Any good relationship has a vision for the future, some sort of end goal. Let’s call it a “purpose.” After all, there needs to be something worth fighting for. There will be pain in the relationship, so what is it that makes that pain worth it. Your purpose will also tell you how much you should sacrifice for someone, after all is said and done will the choices you made be worth the value of the relationship?
Without a vision for the relationship, you will find yourself more prone to “throwing in the towel”. Your relationship has not found its WHY for existing. If you are lacking a vision for where your relationship is going, talk with your partner. This is not something you can decide alone. Get on the same page with each other, and you might even find out you don’t want the same things from each other. Either way, it will only help you two to decide what to do next.
At the end of the day, sometimes even if you try to work on all of these it won’t be enough. If there’s one thing I learned from my relationship fumbles its that it takes two people to fix the relationship. No matter what obstacle is standing between them. If its one sided, then nothing you do will change the outcome. However, if its worth fighting for, then focusing on these 5 pillars may lead to building a happy and long lasting relationship.
“Never leave a true relationship for few faults. Nobody is perfect, nobody is correct and at the end, affection is always greater than perfection.”– Anonymous