I believe this to be absolutely true! I don't believe that there is one other thing that has a greater impact on our health, happiness, and well being. I stole the title of this post from Ester Perel. What is it that helps us develop high quality relationships? We all know the answer to the following questions, but I am going to ask them anyway, because we need to remind ourselves of their importance. Are there specific relationship skills that we need to develop? Do we need to establish guidelines and boundaries with regard to interacting with each other? If so, than are these boundaries discussed, and do we reach an equitable compromise with regards to these boundaries and guidelines. What is acceptable and unacceptable behavior? What is acceptable with regards to meeting or keeping in touch with our ex-partners or our ex-wives? What interactions and secrets are acceptable? The list of potential trouble spots might seem endless. We can see, just by looking at some of these questions how complex things can be, and the difficulty of just defining what is expected of us. To make things more complicated, expectations and boundaries may change over time. It is no wonder that there is so much potential for conflict in relationships. How do we find a way to simplify all of this so that we can learn to relate with each other in a loving, thoughtful and respectful manner, with less stress. Research seems to show that there is a relationship between are ability to define and live by personal boundaries, and the degree of compassion that we experience toward each other. Having the ability to be able to understand what it is like to be in the place of the other, is something that really makes things much simpler. If I understand what is important to you, and what you want and need, than I am in a better position to help you feel comfortable. To do this we need to have effective communication. It is like the old saying,what comes first "the chicken or the egg", Good communication allows us to develop good boundaries for our relationship, which then help us know what is expected of us. On the other hand good boundaries helps us to develop better communication. We all know that mutual respect is a prime ingredient of a loving relationship, and we all know that conflict will occur in all intimate relationships. How can we be respectful as we create a conflict. Almost sounds evil, doesn't it, Then it is a "necessary evil".Do we need specific rules for dealing with conflict? I believe it is important that we develop a rule to be open and honest with each other, even if it will cause some conflict and tension. I have said before that a certain amount of tension is necessary for closeness. If we do establish a rule that we are to be honest with each other, are we being fair if we are conflict avoidant. Are we being disrespectful if we do not let our partner know what is going on within us. I want to stress that being open and honest is different from, "Nit Picking". "Nit Picking" can often be the result of being conflict avoidant. Relationships are not only about understanding, but they are about respect, thoughtfulness, and a willingness to be grown up and deal with conflict responsibly. If we do not talk about things that are important to us with our partners, there is no possibility of having a relationship that will improve the quality of our lives. I will stress again that, Not only is our happiness dependent on our relationships but so is our physical and emotional health.
The Quality of Our Relationships Determine the Qualities of Our Lives
Click here to view and print forms for your appointment.Click Here