A healthy relationship is a stable relationship. We all know couples who fight like cats and dogs one day, only to be as passionate as newlyweds the next. They are either on the brink of divorce or boasting about their renewed love to all who will listen.
Those couples do not enjoy a stable relationship; their partnership rarely is long-term, or, if it is, it is fraught with drama, tears, and unhappiness. No one enjoys being in a bipolar relationship. It can make you feel anxious, fearful and unsafe. We all have the right to enjoy a relationship that is smooth, loving and makes us feel safe. “Stable” does not mean “boring”. “Stable” is satisfying, life-enhancing and the foundation for a strong and loving relationship.
Here are 9 handy tips to help you build a stable relationship:
1. Both of you are stable people
In order to create a stable relationship, the two partners need to be stable themselves. This means that they have actively worked to become self-actualized adults. They have learned and integrated important life lessons. If they have unresolved issues, they have worked on these through therapy or with a trusted mentor. They have created lives that are fulfilling and enriching. When stable people come together, the relationship that follows is naturally balanced.
2.You and your partner are compatible on a core level
Creating or maintaining a stable relationship necessitates that both partners share common core values.
This means that they agree on certain important points, such as how they view money, politics, family, education, fidelity, sex and its frequency, lifestyle choices such as healthy eating, exercise and smoking.
Couples who are at odds on any of these points can find themselves with friction in their relationship, creating instability. For instance, you feel that treating your body in a healthy way is important. You work out frequently, stay away from processed food, and do not smoke. If you have a partner who sits around all day smoking cigarettes and eating candy bars, this is not going to promote a feeling of stability in your relationship. Your basic lifestyles are oppositional. Maintaining a stable relationship would be difficult in this case.
3. You disagree in a healthy manner
Couples who enjoy a stable relationship communicate with kindness and respect.
When they do fight, they avoid criticizing each other or bringing up past mistakes. They stick to the subject and listen to each other’s side of things. They allow each other to express themselves without interruption.
They work hard to understand how the other sees the source of disagreement. Couples in unstable relationships try and show each other why they are right and the other is wrong. They shut down their partner or shut down themselves, so the discussion does not move towards resolution. They are disrespectful to each other, using terms like “shut up!” or “You can’t do anything right!” Their arguments go around in circles, and they only end because one person becomes exhausted with all the yelling and screaming.
4. You both prioritize each other
As you go about your day, your thoughts turn to your partner. If you have a big decision to make, you consult with your partner. You seek your partner’s opinion on your own projects and plans. Your partner’s happiness and well-being is a number-one concern for you.
5. You express gratitude towards each other in small ways each day
To keep your relationship healthy and stable, you find ways to remind your partner how much you love them and how grateful you are that they are in your life. From brewing his first-morning cup of coffee, to a fantastic neck massage before he goes to bed at night, you show your gratitude through physical touch, verbal and written communication, and a soft, unexpected word of love.
6. You are deeply committed to the relationship
Both of you agreed prior to marriage that divorce would never be an option. This knowledge lends a stability to your relationship, allowing you to work through moments of difficulty knowing that even during the rough patches, you will always have each other to rely upon.
7. There is a foundation of trust between you
A stable relationship sits on a bedrock of trust. You and your partner are 100% honest and genuine with each other. There is no jealousy between you. You can be open, vulnerable and authentic with each other. Whatever fears or emotions you share with your partner, you know he will always love you and care for you.
8. You accept each other completely
Couples in stable relationships accept each other for who they are, right now, today. They did not fall in love with the other’s potential, they fell in love with the other as they were. Whatever transformations happen in the relationship—physical changes, illness, life challenges, you both accept and do not try to change each other into the partner you “wish you had.”
Both of you seek to continue to grow and develop as human beings. You are invested in each other’s mental well-being. You share with each other the life lessons you learn as you move forward, and applaud when your partner meets challenges he sets up for himself. You both recognize that the gift of life and love is precious, and you keep this at the forefront of your mind so that you never take these for granted.