5 Things Done Differently in Healthy Relationships. ~ Laura Brown

Via on Aug 20, 2014

Source: http://wolfeyebrows.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/vintage-couples/

One of the things I am quite frank about is the fact that I have had my share of screw ups in the romantic department.

If there was a mistake to make, I made it. If there was something I was told I shouldn’t/couldn’t do, I did it. And I suffered a great many heartaches because of it.

I began to correlate drama and dysfunction with love and romance and nothing could be further from the truth.

Part of why I consider being a relationship specialist my calling and why I am so dang good at it is because I have been there, done that and burned the t-shirt. This includes the hard work on my relationship with love to get to where I am today.

Where am I today? Married to the man of my dreams after a long road of off and on, long distance dating with two kids and another currently taking residence (and causing me to waddle rather ungracefully around the house) in my womb.

Here is what I have discovered those in healthy relationships do differently:

1. The past cannot be erased.

Many people will tell us that we must release the past or leave the past behind us. While that is a novel idea, it’s complete and utter B.S. We will never forget or release the past, and why should we? It brought us here.

Everything we have encountered, whether good or bad, was a learning experience designed to aid our evolution. People in healthy relationships haven’t suddenly forgotten or “released” their wounds, they have transformed them. They have learned to honor their past and all it entailed as necessary steps to take in the ladder to their personal evolution.

They bring with them the appreciation for each moment and respect for where they have come from and what they have gone through into their current relationship. It adds a richness and depth that would otherwise be lacking if we truly had an ability to push a button and drop our pasts down the chute.

2. It’s not always 50/50.

Sometimes it’s 80/20 and that is okay. What is not okay is if it stays in this place of imbalance. We all go through things that leave us gutted or otherwise unable to be fully present in a relationship.

Instead of complaining and throwing a tantrum, those in a healthy relationship understand that sometimes we need to give a bit more while our partner puts focus on other things. It could be a job or personal issues that requires their attention. If talked about openly and honestly, then it’s okay to give a bit more while our partner’s attention is diverted elsewhere.

What is not okay is if this imbalance becomes a part of our everyday existence. One person cannot be the backbone to the entire relationship; the very definition of partnership implies the participation of another for a common goal.

3. Honesty Counts.

And, honestly, this has been the hardest part for me. As a rather independent woman who made her own money and did her own thing for so many years, it became difficult to imagine that suddenly I was supposed to share where every penny went or had to tell my partner where I was going.

My rebellious nature would kick in and “it’s none of your damn business where I’m going” flew from my mouth more than a few times. This, however, does not a healthy relationship make.

While I was playing secret squirrel, my husband was telling me about where the money he made went, into what savings, toward what household project. If he was leaving he would say where he was headed and approximately what time he would be home. It wasn’t done with the feeling that he needed to, but the feeling that it was the respectful thing to do. I took note.

When we are in a healthy partnership, it’s time to open up about these things. Whether it’s where we are headed on a Saturday afternoon or just how many new pairs of shoes we bought as we try to stuff the evidence in the closet.

It took me a long time to realize that I needn’t view it from an adolescent-like perspective and fear that someone was encroaching on my space. We can still be independent and open—those in healthy relationships get that.

4. Silence is deadly.

Still ignoring your partner when you are upset with them? Don’t! Please for the love of all that is holy do not keep up with this dangerous trend; it destroys more relationships than I can even number!

Those who are in healthy, long-term relationships understand that the key to anything ultimately boils down to communication.

Unless you are Paris Hilton, my guess is that nothing at all in life is going to get solved by pouting in the corner with your arms folded around your chest. There will be times when we are upset with our partner. We will argue and disagree and sometimes we may even say hurtful crap to one another.

That’s the nature of the beast. It’s how we handle those tension filled moments that determines whether we continue on the road of a happy and healthy relationship or take a detour down break up avenue.

We have to be willing to talk about what is bothering us. Is it good to sometimes wait until we have cooled our jets? Sure, no one wants to have a finger in their face and most will check out if our voice is raised.

Talking calmly, however, about what is bothering us is essential for working through issues. Our partner cannot possibly know how we feel and what to do about it unless we create a space where we each can safely share our feelings.

So stop the silent sulking and talk!

5. Separate but together.

People who enjoy reasonable health and sanity in their relationships get that a relationship cannot be that which makes their lives full but rather an addition to their already full life. So many, and yes I am looking at my ladies here, find someone they are interested in and suddenly drop their friends like hotcakes and start to devote their every waking moment to their new paramour. Then when the relationship starts to die a slow death due to a lack of space, their entire world falls apart.

When we are in a functional and healthy relationship, there is an understanding that we each must have our own goals and passions. We should have time away for ourselves to explore our own interests. Nothing is sexier than a man or woman who is passionate and capable of holding their own.

Conversely, there is no greater turn off than the stench of clingy desperation. Make your life full and explore what you love—your relationship will be all the more rich for it.

Most importantly, those who are in healthy relationships understand that it all boils down to respect and love. Respect and love for the self, for their partner and for the relationship.

There is a desire to love their partner to such a degree that they feel the ultimate freedom that comes from security.

Healthy doesn’t mean problem-free by any stretch of the imagination; my husband and I clear the emotional pipes from time to time with a good ol’ spat. But, thankfully, we have learned a few healthy habits that allows us to do so in a fashion that doesn’t undermine the integrity of the relationship.



How to delight in eachother:

5 Hallmarks of a Healthy Relationship.

All Healthy Relationships Have Hiccups.

Mindful offering:

Om Necklace

Bonus: Keep the love healthy:

Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Apprentice Editor: Karissa Kneeland / Editor: Cat Beekmans

Photo: Wolf Eyebrows at WordPress.com


Bonus: 2dc3057577641ee9a73d395b77521d4c

About Laura Brown

Laura Brown is a wearer of phenomenal shoes, drinker of delicious wine, and diviner of relationships. She is the owner and Relationship Goddess of Modern Sibyl, a contemporary hub for receiving modern intuitive readings and relationship coaching to reach your highest romantic aspirations. Stay up to date through her Facebook page and receive free daily intuitive tarot readings by following her on Instagram.



33 Responses to “5 Things Done Differently in Healthy Relationships. ~ Laura Brown”

  1. tmellon02 says:

    #3 and #5. And don't forget. LOTS of Sex. Also, no matter how frustrated you get, speak to your partner as though they are someone you don't want to hurt. Consciously.

  2. englishthistle says:

    Almost every relationship I've had has felt like a competition. Who was more interesting, more fun, had more friends, etc, etc. Trying to best each other doesn't make for an equal and honest situation. Definitely time for a change!

  3. Laura B says:

    Absolutely @englishthistle! A relationship should be mutually supportive and not a constant struggle to one up one another. Don't get me wrong, healthy competition is ok; it sometimes is just what we need to get our asses in gear! BUT it should not be a constant nor should you feel that you are each struggling to out do one another. That's exhausting and hardly supportive!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!! <3

  4. EA says:

    wow this is a very timely meditation. my partner of 2 years and I are in the midst of a cross country move; prior to this time I had held down the finances in our relationship. Now I’m beginning graduate school and he’s had a difficult time stepping up into a position of equality. How can I support him emotionally during this time while reestablishing my independence? We both realize the stress of moving yet we both acknowledge an balance in our partnership that if left unresolved could deteriorate our hard won commitment.

  5. handyman says:

    Acceptance of each other helps a lot. Embracing the differences

  6. "the ultimate freedom that comes from security" … very well-put!!
    I find #5 especially relevant for me right now. Another way to put it might be, "don't expect your partner to meet all your needs." But I like the way you put it too.

  7. Guest says:

    Great article Laura!

  8. Veri S. says:

    Agree with most of the article (and the aforementioned need for plentiful soulful sex) but disagree that 'arguments' (fights?) are inevitable. I am in my healthiest relationship ever and we have never had a fight/argument. We don't raise voices, call names or innuendo. It has provided a much safer environment for us both to open up to each other more than we thought possible in previous marriages (one each). There are ground rules and you don't even come close to the edges of them if you want to sustain a healthy, private space into which your relationship can grow. Intimacy is the key and when you feel free to unleash anger on your partner simply because they are near, it's the most destructive thing I've ever witnessed. Apologies may be forthcoming, but damage is cumulative, even when easily forgiven (as that often leads to increased intensity/frequency as the permissive environment allows). Best to treat your partner with the same courtesy, respect, forebearance and forgiveness that you did on that first day you spent together in each other's arms, wondering how you ever lived your life without that one. Negativity, cynicism and blame are pure poison, even when sugar-coated.

  9. Ironfeep says:

    These are all fantastic! Thank you. I especially love how you directly related “honesty” to simple acts of transparency and openness. It took a lot for me to learn that being honest wasn’t just a matter of answering questions truthfully, but initiating openness and being forthcoming about what is going on internally and externally throughout the day. It helps keep your partner on the same page and that’s important.

  10. angel says:

    Good read!!

  11. wolfhalton says:

    My wife and I are relationship coaches. For a sports analogy: A relationship is like a sports team. Each player has specific skills and talents that overlap. It would be crazy for teammates to fight each other over the ball, or over anything else. Most sports teams have a coach to help the players get better at the game. Most people in relationships do not have coaches and this is why it is basically a random chance that the relationship succeeds. It is not your fault that you are always finding yourself in bad relationships. You are not trained for it, and there are probably very few that you know whose relationships you want to model. My suggestion: find a relationship coach – if not me, then somebody. There are simple strategies that bring out the best in your significant other, just like there are specific strategies that have been getting you the results you are getting.

  12. megimp says:

    I believe this advice when I feel heathy but right now I feel needy even with all the years of therapy I ve had

  13. someone says:

    What if your partner just cuts of arc because she felt like she was being used, but all of a succeed she starts dressing sexier, and act like she wants you but when you ask if you can have sex she denies and denies.

  14. Fuscatus says:

    I agree entirely with this, though this understanding comes with age. A relationship doesn’t work with just anyone. I find that there should be a parallel sense of being with the other person, not just a few things in common. I have a unique perspective, being nearly too empathetic and possessing a sense of personal accountability that is nearly unbreakable. No one can fix everything, but if the people in the relationship can agree that some life lessons are meant to be learned individually, they are both better off. Thank you for your words, Laura. All would benefit from having them added to their perspective, even those in healthy relationships.

  15. “People in healthy relationships haven’t suddenly forgotten or “released” their wounds, they have transformed them. They have learned to honor their past and all it entailed as necessary steps to take in the ladder to their personal evolution” <<<<<THIS!!!!! Also, the silence is deadly thing. Yes, you must talk things out! 9 times out of 10 I've found the real "problems" are misunderstanding/miscommunication. The people we love/love us don't intentionally harm. It's great to reach that awareness. Builds trust. Thank you for a great perspective.

  16. Be happy , happiness itself is a state of mind , full of sensations and various emotions , also defined as well-being , success, contentment and satisfaction.

    Many great article, congratulations !

  17. marcos says:

    Every relationship needs a good dose of pepper to stay alive and strong

    keeping live flame which connects both part of the process

  18. Crystal says:

    Thank you for clarifying! Its good to finally let something else in.

    There’s a word for clingy relationships called fusion, which is something like not having a separate sense of identity yet so it’s like a child still learning to have a safe place with mom. When there is that security established the child/person feels safe enough to go out and form their own sense of self. Yes security and trust are a must, or you pull each other down. I went through that in so many relationships without realizing or at at the time able to reach out for outside help. You think if you really love each other you’ll be able to work it out together, but it’s like constantly trying to fix the other person without having your own life straight. A tug o war. Nuts! Starting to have my own life its showing just how much it was actually needed to get out of the house and find my own sense of self. There is more to offer then. You don’t know how bad a situation is until going until experiencing something better. Thanks for the clarification of what having a healthy relationship is, it feels like lifetimes getting to a point of that even being possible. Yea unless you can put down the defenses and talk about things sometimes, itl’s frustration until that trust is there.

  19. mermaid says:

    I came to you to find who I am and found the road that would lead me to the answer
    You have been down that road all too many times to tell me that it would be easy, so you did not
    I went down the road and was going for a long time hoping to return and tell you who I am
    but while I was searching for the right words I could tell that you already knew the answer
    I wanted to ask you who you are and you have looked at me in a way that made words irrelevant
    So I will let go of the words for a while and close my eyes and let the silence talk instead

Leave a Reply