The key to healthy relationships

I used to think that Communication is everything, that communication is key to happiness and satisfaction in a relationship. It just struck me today that perhaps it’s not. Perhaps the most important ingredient in a satisfying relationship and marriage is Partnership.

You see, it’s not enough merely to communicate your needs and wants:

Can you make sure the sheets are folded?

Can you wash your cup before putting it back to the cabinet?

Can you pick the kids up from school?

Can we have this for dinner?

Can we talk about us?

I love that we communicate often - this is healthy.

Is it? I mean, is it really healthy? What if your communication is a one-way street? What if it’s just you communicating what you want and need to be done, and your partner merely obeys of fulfills your verbalized wishes?

Communication is defined as “the imparting or exchanging of information or news”. See that? “Imparting” suggests a one-way medium, while “exchanging” suggest two-way.

So much as you may think that communication is always a two-way medium, sometimes it could be very lopsided. Sometimes it could just be one person talking and another doing your bidding but not communicating in return.

The “happy pill” in a relationship is one where communication transcends into partnership:

Let’s do this together.

We’ll pick up dinner then head to the park.

I’ll cook and you’ll wash.

What’s on your mind? Let’s talk about it.

Do you want to do this? Let’s explore the options.

In order for the Partnership to thrive, the verbal suggestion of “Let’s”  has to come from each side frequently enough, and not merely from one party.

How do we cultivate this partnership kind of communication? By encouraging it often enough. We don’t like to be told what to do; we are however, more likely to budge and change when gently reminded and encouraged from time to time.

Every little thing counts. Every little thing you do goes a long way. Don’t be quick to give up. Keep up the good work.

Remember, whatever you prioritize grows; whatever you neglect fades. Prioritize your spouse and edify each other. Prioritize partnership and grow together.


Picture taken in Death Valley, California. Left: my boots. Right: his shoes. We walk together. 

Picture taken in Death Valley, California. Left: my boots. Right: his shoes. We walk together. 

Angeline TanComment