The Balancing Act of Healthy Relationships
May 27, 2010 · Posted in Communication, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships · Permalink

21524-004-AB750978This piece from Straight Talk On Relationships explains how keeping your partner accountable while maintaining a loving attitude towards them is a mandatory part of a successful relationship.

ACCOUNTABILITY AND CHERISHING: A NECESSARY BALANCE IN RELATIONSHIPS

In my work with women, I often stress the importance of not settling in their relationships.  Too many women end up taking poor treatment, staying with active addicts or trying to coax a philanderer back to their bed.  I work with the women to set limits, hold their partners accountable and to ask for what they want rather than getting resentful for what they’re not getting.  The other side to this is to also be cherishing.

Holding our loved ones accountable for their behaviors is vital for both women and men; it’s a necessary component in any relationship. Many people, however, struggle with holding others accountable.  This struggle intensifies if the other person is at all volatile, controlling or intense.  Some people just wish others would act better and in the mean time they settle for what they’re given.

Not holding others accountable, however, does not help your relationship—nor does it help your partner, child, friend or whoever it is that you’re not holding accountable. Saying nothing about poor behavior sends the message that the behavior is fine.  It also sends the message that you will take whatever kind of treatment they give you.

When people don’t stand up for themselves, it results in a loss of respect — a loss of respect by others and for themselves.  The bottom line is you cannot have healthy relationships without accountability.

Equally as vital to relationships, however, is cherishing.  If a relationship is all about accountability, but has little cherishing in it, it won’t last.  Sometimes women, especially, will go from being kind at all costs to the extreme opposite end of only sharing about what they don’t like.  They become the relationship police.  They don’t ever want to be taken advantage of again so they are constantly on their partner about what they are doing wrong.  This will not work.

We need to remember that relationships are meant to fuel us.  They are meant to add to our lives, not zap us of energy.  We need to have the strength to call others out on the actions they do that hurt us while also appreciating the kind acts they do that fuel us. Too much in one direction or the other will hurt our relationships.  We need to find the balance.

Be loving and strong at the same time.  You will feel better for it and your partner will respect you more.

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