I’ve had my fair share of relationships: bad ones, terrible ones, okay ones… And right now, I’m in a beautiful relationship that’s been going on for 7 years.
Needless to say, we’ve experienced a whole lot of things together. And I guess I’m (finally) learning a thing or two from my (numerous) past (and current) mistakes.
Now, I’m in no way pretending to be a relationship expert trying to teach you anything. I’m only keeping track of my progress and setbacks for my own benefit, and sharing here what I’m learning. This way, if (when) I forget these valuable lessons later or lose my way for some reason, then I can come back to this and remember.
Now if, along the way, what I’m learning can help you too, then great!
Now, here are 6 things you should never do in a healthy relationship.
1. Check your partner’s phone, emails, or messages
People in healthy relationships don’t check their partner’s communications.
Don’t get me wrong, I have access to my boyfriend’s phone. I know his password to all his electronics and he freely lets me use his phone, laptop, or even social media accounts if I need to.
However, I respect his privacy. I never take his phone without asking him first, and I always do it when he’s around. That way, he feels comfortable enough to not only share all those things with me of his own will, but he also feels free to have his own life without worrying about me watching his every move.
We both need to have our own lives so that we can be better people for each other, and have a healthy relationship.
No matter how fusional we are in our relationship (and God knows, we are), he is still an individual with his own needs. And what he needs to flourish, is some level of privacy.
2. Tell your partner what to do
People in healthy relationships don’t tell their partners what to do.
Yes, I have opinions, and yes, it is important to be able to share said opinions with my partner. (If not, I would be really sad. But that’s just me, I guess).
So, my boyfriend might ask me what I believe he should do regarding X or Y situation. And if he does ask me, (and only if he asks!), I try to answer honestly.
However, there is a difference between saying “You seem unhappy/happier when you do this” or “this option appears to suit your personality more”, versus saying something like: “you should do this because-mama-knows-what’s-best-for-you”.
Be humble, how many times in your life did you think you were right about something only to later find out you were wrong?
Don’t play with your partner’s life. You already have yours to worry about, and it’s more than enough. Tell them what you think but let them make their own decisions. That’s how they learn.
And once they do make a decision, learn to respect and accept these decisions as their own.
3. Expect your partner to make you happy
If you are unhappy in your relationship, then you should change something about it, not wait for your partner to change for you.
Of course, you might need to have a few conversations with your partner about his behavior or actions if they are hurting you. But understand that you may damn well be unhappy because of your own beliefs, not their behavior specifically. So that conversation should address your partner’s behavior, but it should also address your own issues. It goes both ways.
Now, suppose you are unhappy in your relationship because of something specific your partner does, then you should perhaps reflect on your ability to either:
- accept it;
- find ways to positively encourage (aka, no nagging!) new behavior from your partner;
- understand them better and change your own perspective on the topic;
- or just move on from the relationship.
4. Give your partner ultimatums
In healthy relationships, people don’t give their partner ultimatums.
Ultimatums are so disrespectful! Even with children. Just don’t do it. Ultimatums don’t make you stronger or more assertive; they are just a way for you to manipulate people into giving you what you want.
People give ultimatums to their partners because it frees them of the responsibility of changing their own behavior. Not only does your subconscious know that change is hard (so you try to avoid it at all cost), but it’s also “easier” to put the responsibility of your unhappiness in someone else’s hands rather than take charge of your own life.
Don’t give your partner ultimatums; instead, give yourself ultimatums. Don’t tell them: “if you don’t do this, I’ll leave”. Tell it to yourself, and then enforce your decision.
Bet you don’t think it sounds so easy, all of the sudden, right?
5. Criticize your partner on the way they deal with their finances
Oh boy, finances. One of the hardest issues to face in a relationship. I cannot tell you the number of mistakes I’ve made on that front.
Oh well, at least I’ve learned a few things. Hopefully.
One of the main mistakes I did was to constantly nag my boyfriend about the way he was (not) handling his finances, which, ultimately was affecting our own finances as a couple. His carelessness was putting a huge strain on him, on myself, and our relationship.
Do you know what I should have done instead of nagging and blaming him? All the things mentioned above, i.e., try to communicate better with him to understand his perspective (which to be fair, I was doing), adjust my own behavior… But above all, I should have left when I felt I was at the end of my rope. I didn’t do that. I stayed, and I nagged. And it led to our descent into hell.
Finances are a private matter. Yes, you should have joint accounts for the necessary things of a couple’s life. But beyond that, your partner is responsible for his own life, his relationships, his health… and his finances. That’s not your job, that’s theirs’s.
6. Take responsibility for your partner’s life and decisions
In healthy relationships, people don’t take responsibility for their partner’s actions.
Your partner, no matter how fusional you two are or how intricate your lives are, is and remains their own person. You are never responsible for other people, except maybe your children? And even they are their person.
Your partner is not an extension of yourself; your partner is a fully formed human being with ideas, opinions, and capabilities.
Don’t rob them of the (necessary) joy of leading their own lives. Don’t take on the weight of their mistakes on your shoulders. And don’t take credit for their accomplishments either.
Be proud of who they are, love them, give them your support… but don’t baby them.
It will only weigh you down and create resentment on both sides.
What unhealthy behaviors have you discovered you had in your past relationships? Have you experienced what it’S like to be in a healthy(ier) relationship? Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment 😊