Healthy Relationships and Mental Health

January 3, 2023

One of the most important and powerful ways to improve your mental health is to work on improving your relationships. Healthy relationships are characterized by trust and honesty. In a healthy relationship, there is not a need to question the other person’s motivation. You respect each other’s privacy and never put each other through a “test” to prove loyalty. In a healthy relationship, you can share the full truth about your life and feelings with each other –you don't have to hide things.

 You may not always like what the other person has to say, but each of you respond to disappointing news in a considerate way. Healthy relationships promote independence and mutual respect. In a healthy relationship you support each other’s hobbies, friendships, families and career choices. Having independence means being free to be yourself and giving your partner that same freedom. It means valuing each other's interests, beliefs, and opinions. Each of you can have boundaries and you respect each other’s boundaries.

In a healthy relationship you celebrate each other's achievements and support the other’s hard work and dreams. Good relationships experience equality between partners. The relationship feels balanced and everyone puts the same effort into the success of the relationship. One person’s preferences and opinions do not dominate the relationship You hear each other out and make compromises when you don’t see eye-to-eye. You feel like each person’s needs, wishes, and interests are just as important as the other’s. There may be times one puts in more (money, time, emotional support) than the other and vice versa, but the outcome always feels equitable and even.

Healthy relationships are characterized by encouragement and fun. In a healthy relationship, each of you do things that you know will make the other happy. Kindness flows both ways. Each of you shows compassion for the other person and the things they care about. In a healthy relationship You can let loose, laugh together, and be yourselves —the relationship doesn’t bring your mood down but cheers you up. No relationship is fun all of the time, but the good times should definitely outweigh the bad.

-Jerry Strausbaugh, EdD, LPCCS, Executive Director

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