5 signs you have an emotionally healthy relationship, according to psychology

We’ve all heard that 50% of marriages in the US end in divorce. This figure alone paints a bleak picture of marital success rates, but delve a little deeper, and the landscape becomes even more complex. 

Research does indeed suggest that around 40-50% of first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. But here’s where it gets more interesting: 60-67% of second marriages do not stand the test of time. 

Anyway, only a small fraction – about 5% – of divorced couples believe that their marriage couldn’t have been worked out. This suggests that, in many cases, the core issue wasn’t insurmountable differences but rather the lack of emotional health within the relationship.

Emotional health is the cornerstone of any lasting relationship. It’s the soil in which trust, respect, and deep connection take root and flourish. 

But what does it mean to be in an emotionally healthy relationship? Do you think you have an emotionally healthy relationship?

Let’s find out. 

Today, we dive into five signs to watch out for. I wish I’d known these earlier; you don’t have to. 

1) Effective communication

In researching this post, I delved into some intriguing statistics about divorce. 

One figure stood out: 31% of couples who ended their marriages cited incompatibility as the primary reason. 

Adding to this, it appears that most decisions to divorce are far from mutual; only 21% of people report that the choice to end the marriage was a joint one.

Given that people typically date for two or more years before tying the knot, how could they possibly not realize they are “incompatible”?

Communication difficulties play a pivotal role here. 

The importance of communication is widely acknowledged by relationship experts. For instance, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Madissyn Fredericks aptly encapsulates the essence of it when she states:

“Without communication, you have no foundation to build a healthy relationship on. Open communication gives each partner the opportunity to be vulnerable and listen to the other. A healthy relationship allows the space for difficult conversations and disagreements to be had with minimal avoiding or attacking.”

It’s a two-way street where both partners actively engage in sharing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. It’s not just about speaking but also about listening, understanding, and empathizing. 

Sound familiar?

If so, that’s a good sign. 

The importance of communication in maintaining relationship health cannot be overstated. It’s the bedrock upon which trust, intimacy, and mutual respect are built. Without it, even the strongest of bonds can fray and eventually break.

2) Mutual respect

Another essential ingredient for a healthy relationship is mutual respect. 

A study from UC-Davis, which surveyed college students about respect in their relationships, discovered a strong connection between the level of respect and the degree of satisfaction in these relationships.

So, what does respect actually look like in a relationship? 

It’s about recognizing and valuing your partner’s individuality, their choices, and their boundaries. It shows in listening attentively, communicating openly without judgment, and showing appreciation for each other’s unique qualities and contributions to the relationship. 

It’s about supporting each other’s growth, not just as a couple but as individuals with their own dreams and aspirations.

3) Conflict resolution skills

In a Forbes survery, 31% of people said too much conflict or arguing was one of the main reasons for their divorce. 

This underscores the vital importance of conflict resolution skills in relationships. 

If you can say yest to most of the below questions, you are and your partner are probably pretty good at it. 

  • Do you engage in open and honest communication, even when topics are difficult? Are you both able to remain respectful, even when emotions run high? 
  • Do you listen to understand rather than just to respond? 
  • Do you work together to find solutions that are acceptable to both of you?

If you can’t honestly say “yes”, it’s not the end of the world, through – developing these skills is possible. 

Start by actively listening to your partner and validating their feelings, even if you don’t agree. It’s not about winning an argument; it’s about understanding each other and finding a middle ground.

Sometimes, you need more than communication and conflict resolution skills, however. You need this next thing, too. 

4) Shared values and goals

This is a huge one! 

No matter how adept you are at communication and conflict resolution, it’s challenging to maintain a relationship where your goals and values significantly diverge. 

This concept is backed by experts like therapist and author Dr. Barton Goldsmith. In a Psychology Today post, he emphasized, “you must ensure that the individual and couple goals are in alignment. This alignment is critical for creating harmony and allowing you both to reach your dreams.”

Aligning on key aspects like family values, finances, sex, parenting styles, and career choices is crucial. Why are these particular areas so vital? 

Research by Forbes revealed some of the most common reasons cited for divorce. 

  • Lack of family support was at the forefront, with 43% indicating it played a role in their divorce. 
  • Lack of intimacy came in at 31%. 
  • Financial stress contributed to 24% of divorces. 
  • Parenting differences accounted for 20%.

And career choices? 

This, perhaps surprisingly, was the topic of most arguments divorced couples had. 

Look, you don’t need to agree on everything, but having shared values and goals in important areas certainly makes things a whole lot easier. 

5) Interdependence

“The healthiest way we can interact with those close to us is by being truly interdependent. This is where two people, both strong individuals, are involved with each other, but without sacrificing themselves or compromising their values.” – Dr. Barton Goldsmith

In relationships, striking the right balance between maintaining one’s individuality and fostering a sense of unity is a delicate art. True interdependence is about understanding and respecting this equilibrium. 

It’s not about losing oneself in the relationship or becoming overly reliant on a partner, like so many of us do without even realzing it. it. 

Instead, it involves supporting each other’s personal growth while simultaneously building a strong, cooperative partnership.

In an interdependent relationship, partners recognize the importance of their individual dreams, aspirations, and values. They encourage each other’s pursuits, knowing that personal fulfillment contributes to a healthier, happier relationship. This respect for individuality ensures that each person remains a whole, independent entity, not defined solely by the relationship.

At the same time, interdependent partners understand the power of their union. They work together, combining their strengths to face life’s challenges. They communicate openly, share responsibilities, and make decisions together, respecting each other’s opinions and differences. 

It’s a partnership where two individuals coexist harmoniously, neither overshadowing nor undermining each other, but instead, elevating the relationship to a level where both partners thrive individually and collectively.

The bottom line

So there you have it folks. 

If you can relate to these signs in your own relationship, well done. You are likely on the right path. If not, remember that it’s never too late to develop; awareness is the first step. 

As always, I hope you found this post valuable. 

Until next time. 

Picture of Mal James

Mal James

Originally from Ireland, Mal is a content writer, entrepreneur, and teacher with a passion for self-development, productivity, relationships, and business. As an avid reader, Mal delves into a diverse range of genres, expanding his knowledge and honing his writing skills to empower readers to embark on their own transformative journeys. In his downtime, Mal can be found on the golf course or exploring the beautiful landscapes and diverse culture of Vietnam, where he is now based.

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