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Key Differences Between a Healthy and an Unhealthy Relationship

If you’re married and contemplating divorce or are having issues in your marriage, you may have questions about the key differences between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship. There are a set of five markers that can assist you in ascertaining whether or not you are in a healthy or an unhealthy relationship:

  • Open communication
  • Mutual respect
  • Mutual trust
  • Mutual support
  • Sexual relationship

If your relationship seems to have devolved to become rather unhealthy, but you would like to make a legitimate and reasonable attempt to repair it, you should consider seeking professional therapeutic support from a marriage counselor or some other type of relationship specialist.

Open Communication

One of the most essential elements of a healthy relationship is open and honest communication between a couple. Of course, there can be occasions in which communication between a couple is not open or honest. Provided these are isolated incidents, a relationship might be classified overall as being healthy.

Mutual Respect

A healthy relationship is marked by mutual respect between the parties. They may have disagreements, but such conflict is addressed and resolved in a manner in which each party to a couple demonstrates respect.

Mutual respect must be real and not fanciful. The reality is that gaslighting is a common occurrence in relationships in this day and age. Gaslighting is defined as a form of psychological or emotional abuse in which a person in a relationship makes the other question their memories, perception of reality, even their sanity. Gaslighting between partners illustrates a lack of mutual respect and the existence of an unhealthy relationship.

Mutual Trust

In a similar way, a healthy relationship is identified by mutual trust between the partners. Trust is demonstrated in both directions. You trust your intimate partner and your significant other trusts you as well.

In addition to trust between the parties being complimentary, it is also consistent. In other words, a healthy relationship is marked by parties consistently trusting one another. There may be isolated occasions in which a partner has questions about a partner’s veracity. Again, such an occurrence is not commonplace. Moreover, a healthy relationship is marked by the parties being able to discuss a trust-related issue between themselves – open communication as was discussed at the start of this article.

Mutual Support

In a healthy relationship, in a healthy marriage, the partners provide mutual support to one another. There is no significant imbalance in this arena. For example, as a general rule in a healthy marriage relationship, one spouse’s sole purpose is not to support the aspirations of the other spouse.

There can be times within a marriage where there is something of a support imbalance. By way of example, if one party is pursuing a higher education, the other spouse may be placed in a position to provide more support to the matriculating spouse that is being received back at a particular point in time. However, this type of situation is not a permanent status quo in the marital relationship. It is temporary, transitory.

Sexual Relationship

As a general rule, when it comes to a marital relationship, the sexual component of that relationship is part of an overall consideration of the health of that marriage. Many experts are of the professional point of view that problems in other aspects of a marriage can negatively impact the sexual relationship between spouses. Having said that, if issues do arise in the sexual relationship between spouses, those types of problems can impact other aspects of a couple’s relationship, including:

  • Communication
  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Support
Your Legal Rights in a New Jersey Divorce

If you have found that your marital situation has devolved to a point of being unhealthy, you may be considering a divorce. If that is the case, the nest step in the process is to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced, understanding New Jersey divorce attorney, like a member of the legal team at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen.

You can schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled New Jersey divorce lawyer at our firm by calling us at 201-845-7400.

Client Reviews
Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
Peter is an exceptionally great attorney. He handled my child custody case and was able to ease any of my concerns with honest answers. He always took the time to explain the pros/cons and was always available to answer any questions that I had… I would highly recommend this attorney to anyone who is looking for one. Jessica Cruz
Peter Van Aulen is a very compassionate, honest and straightforward person. He was there for me at my lowest point with a genuine concern not only for my situation, but for me and my child's well being above all… He is fair and he is strong and when push comes to shove he is there for you. Cathy Dodge
Our cousin used Peter's law office to help with a sticky custody situation. He was extremely responsive, very nice and most importantly did an awesome job with the court! He is awesome. Lawrence Polsky

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