We all want to live a healthy life. Happy, strong, loved and nurtured. And while many of think we can do it alone we can’t. Healthy relationships are important to a healthy life.
Relationships can be of any sort – a romantic relationship, a familial relationship, a friendship. Having a healthy relationship of some sort is essential for a healthy life.
But I can do it alone you think. And yes you can. Being able to stand on your own is important but you do need people by your side to be truly healthy.
There are 5 elements of a healthy life and how your relationships align with those elements is very important.
1. Alignment of morals and values.
We all have a set of morals and values that we live by. Things that we believe are important in our everyday lives. It essential for a healthy life that anyone we have in our lives, whether a partner or a friend, shares some, if not all, of our values.
Because to live a healthy life, to live in integrity, is important. And if someone you are sharing your life with doesn’t have values that are aligned with your then you won’t be living a truly healthy life.
For me an important value is telling the truth. I have been in relationships where men would lie to me. As often as not they said they were trying to protect me but the truth is that lying made me feel insecure and uncomfortable. I would never lie to them…why can they lie to me.
All of those relationships are past now. I knew that to live a healthy life I needed to be in a healthy relationship, one with shared values.
2. Alignment of physical health.
Of course an essential part of living a happy life is maintaining physical health. While the goal is to eat well and exercise each of us do that to a varying degree of success. For a healthy life is important is that the people in your life have similar beliefs about physical health.
I have a client who is involved with a man who is in a different physical place than she is. She is vibrant and active and physically fit. Her man has back issues and would rather not exercise more than necessary and has less than ideal eating habits.
She loves him but she struggles with the relationship because they just can’t do all of the things that she wants to do together. He does try but he just can’t. She finds that she isn’t living a truly healthy life because he is holding her back from the physically active life she seeks.
3. Alignment of mental health.
Good mental health is an essential part of a healthy life. In this crazy, jam packed and exhausting world we live in many of us struggle with depression, or worse. And part of winning that struggle is being in a healthy relationship with someone who is in a state of mental health that complements ours.
I have a client whose partner suffers from depression and has for years. My client says that she understands the depression but I am not sure if she has really accepted it. She doesn’t understand why he can’t ‘suck it up’ and rally on the days when he is depressed. This causes friction in their relationship and some days she wonders if they will survive it.
For a healthy relationship to stay healthy it is important the partners understand and accept each other’s mental health, that they are willing to support them not matter what.
4. Alignment of community.
An essential part of a healthy life is a healthy community, a community outside of your immediate family that shares ideas and interests and values. For a healthy relationship it is important that this sense of community is shared by both parties.
A friend of mine sent her kids to a Waldorf School, an alternative school that has very strong beliefs about food, education and media consumption that are quite contrary to modern way of doing things. She believed strongly in these beliefs and jumped into the community with a full and open heart. Her involvement in this community was a huge part of the healthy life she was living.
Her husband, on the other hand, just didn’t get the whole thing. He thought the educational concepts were whacko and that the other parents were weird. He refused to attend community events and if he did go he was crabby. What she needed to be healthy and happy he just didn’t, and wouldn’t, accept. And without that acceptance the relationship crumbled.
5. Alignment of finances.
Ah yes. Money. It often comes down to that.
Healthy finances are an essential part of a healthy life and if two people in a partnership are not aligned on finances the relationship will not be a healthy one.
A client of mine married someone who was very wealthy. She didn’t come from a lot of money but he had a lifestyle that he wanted to maintain and she was happy to spend money to maintain that lifestyle. The issue was that her husband was very frugal and cautious about where the money went in the attainment of that lifestyle but she, because she didn’t have much experience managing money, spent frivolously. This spending was a significant source of friction in their marriage and they were forced to separate.
A healthy life is very important to all of us and the healthiest lives are in healthy relationships.
The most important parts of our lives, morals, physical and mental health, community and finances all require balance and alignment between partners in order for us to live the healthy lives that we want.
To achieve that balance it is essential that people in relationship communicate clearly what is important to them and do whatever it take sot come to a place of understanding, support and acceptance of the 5 important pieces of a healthy life.