Healthy relationships maintain an equal balance of power
Being good friends is the most sustaining feature of successful long term relationships. At the start of romantic relationships, it is quite common to have a very active sex life but sex in itself will not sustain your relationship. Healthy relationships maintain an equal balance of power and responsibility. When things start to go wrong in relationships, it can often be an indication that one person in the partnership has become parental towards the other.
Good communication and frank sharing of the difficulties are the qualities that will produce better foundations in your relationship. Learning to be graceful when your partner pulls you up about your behaviour is a way of avoiding negative feeling and lingering resentment. Love is the absence of need. When we are in need we can be a slave to another. When we need others to validate ourselves we give our power away.
Love is the unqualified wish to help another person to get to where they want to get to. However, in meeting someone else’s need it is important to not expect something in return.
We are living in a material throw-away society and for some, it is tempting to seek a new partner as a way of seeking a boost, rather than working on the difficulties within an existing relationship. When we decide to address difficulties, we choose in that moment to take responsibility to grow and to mature as a person.
Counselling and psychotherapy can offer the basis of a mediated space where you can both explore the tensions in the relationship within a confidential and private environment. Learning to listen to each other again can be challenging if relations have deteriorated to the extent that communication has broken down. Therapy can challenge us to accept people as they really are, not how we want them to be.
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About Noel Bell
Noel Bell is a counsellor/psychotherapist based in London who has spent the past 20 years exploring and studying personal growth, recovery from addictions and inner transformation. Noel draws upon the most effective tools and techniques from the psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural (CBT), humanist, existential and transpersonal schools.