Building Healthy Relationships
The people you surround yourself with can influence your health and well-being. That’s why it’s important to have healthy, positive relationships in your life.
Good relationships encourage a happy and healthy life. Bad relationships can prevent you from becoming the best you. Not all relationships are healthy. Even healthy relationships have their ups and downs. You can work towards building strong and positive relationships with others.
- Talk with each other.
Honest and open communication is important in any healthy relationship.
- Be flexible.
Relationships change and grow over time. Your friend or partner may not be the same person that they were when you first met them. Change can be good. It can make your relationship even stronger.
- Be someone people can count on.
Follow through with your promises. This builds trust. Trust is important to any relationship.
- Fight fair.
Every relationship will have problems. But disagreements don’t have to turn into fights. Discuss, don’t criticize.
- Keep your life balanced.
You may want to please others, but don’t forget to think of yourself. You need to have a life outside of your relationships too. Allow time for each of you to do your own thing.
- Be yourself.
Don’t feel like you need to change who you are to please others. Be true to who you are.
Even healthy relationships don’t go well sometimes. Here are some tips that you can use when you find yourself in an argument:
When we listen, we connect more deeply to our own and other’s needs and emotions.
- Worry more about finding a solution than “being right.”
It’s not always about “winning” an argument. Conflicts can also strengthen relationships. Always remember to be respectful of the other person, even when you disagree.
- Focus on the present.
If you’re holding on to past grudges, you won’t be able to see the current situation clearly. Don’t look to the past and assign blame. Instead, focus on what you can do right now to solve the problem.
- Pick your battles.
Arguments can be draining. Consider whether the issue is really worth your time and energy.
- Be willing to forgive.
Resolving a conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive.
- Know when to let something go.
If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to move on.
Avoiding Abusive Relationships
Some negative relationships can be dangerous. Abuse can be physical, emotional or sexual. All abuse is wrong. It is harmful to you and your growing baby. No one deserves to be hurt or treated poorly. If someone in your life is making you feel unsafe or hurting you in any way, do not keep it to yourself. If they hurt you, they are also hurting your baby.
Does your partner, friend, or family member:
- Make you feel scared?
- Threaten you, your family, friends, or pets?
- Get possessive or jealous over you?
- Hit, push, or choke you?
- Make fun of you in front of others?
- Threaten to kill you or them?
- Take things from you without asking?
- Keep you from spending time with others?
- Blame you for how they act?
- Pressure you for sex when you don’t want it?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this may be abuse. You need to protect the safety of yourself and your child. Don’t wait for things to get better, they won’t.
Here are ways to help:
- Tell someone. Find someone that you can trust. You need to tell someone. Find a friend, elder, family member, clergy member, or home health worker. They want to help you and keep you safe.
- Visit a clinic. Head to your local health clinic and try to talk to a mental health worker.
- Get out. Get out of the abusive environment. You do not deserve to be treated this way. It is not your fault. Ask a friend if you could stay with them.
- Look at our resource guide for domestic violence.
Tip for Dads:
You aren’t always going to agree with Mom. You may not always get along. If this is the case, try not to take your frustrations or anger out on your partner.
- If you find yourself in a heated argument, take some time for you and your partner to cool off.
- Come back to the issue after you two have thought about it or see if you can discuss the topic without getting defensive.
- If you know your partner has been having issues in other relationships, offer to listen.
- Sometimes she may just need someone to talk to.