6 Healthy Relationship Do’s And Don’ts That Can Make Or Break Yours

As far as lists go, healthy relationship do’s and don’ts are one of the most important because healthy relationships, and the love that is a part of them, make the world go round.

For every “do” there is a “don’t” associated with it. Understanding the difference between the two is a key part of really knowing how to be in a healthy relationship, one that is full of love and romance and respect and, well, all of it!

#1 – Do: Express your feelings.

Expressing your feelings in a relationship is very important. Many of my clients say I don’t have to tell him that I love him. He knows. Yes, he might know but that doesn’t mean you can’t tell him.

Furthermore, if you are angry or sad or lonely because of something that your partner did, tell him. He needs to know how he made you feel so he can learn what you need from him and you need to express your feelings so they don’t get trapped in your body. Feelings that get trapped in your body are toxic.

Don’t: Be passive aggressive.

It is very important that you express your feelings but it is VERY important that you not be passive aggressive in how you express them.

Passive aggressiveness is a tendency to engage in indirect expression of hostility through acts such as subtle insults, sullen behavior, stubbornness, or a deliberate failure to accomplish required tasks.

If your partner did something to upset you it’s not okay to given him the silent treatment, to sulk, to do to him what he did to you, or act in any way that isn’t straightforward about how you are thinking.

If your husband is always home late for work tell him how upset you are. Don’t ignore him when he gets home and then tell him that you don’t want him home anyway and that he might as well just stay at work forever. This will only make matters worse and will never get you what you really want – that he come home at night for dinner.

#2 – Do: Be understanding.

People are human. And sometimes they make mistakes. And if they do it’s okay. They are human.

If your husband promised you that he would put up the curtain rods on a rainy Saturday afternoon and if, by the end of the day, that didn’t happen, it’s okay to be upset. But it’s essential that you talk to him about it and understand why it didn’t happen.

Yes, perhaps he just chose to watch football with your son instead or maybe he just forgot. Either way, he is only human. Express your disappointment that the job wasn’t done but forgive him and try again on Sunday.

Don’t: Take things personally.

If your husband promised you that he would put up the curtain rods on a rainy Saturday afternoon and if, by the end of the day, that didn’t happen, don’t take it personally.

Don’t think If he loved me he would have put up the curtain rods. That simply isn’t true. He didn’t put up the curtain rods for a variety of reasons but none of them was because he didn’t love you.

#3 – Do: Be honest.

An essential part of being in a healthy relationship is honesty. Truly, a healthy relationship cannot exist if partners aren’t honest with each other.

If something has happened or you are feeling some way, it is essential that you let your partner know so that you can process it together. Sharing everything is a big part of maintaining a healthy, intimate relationship.

Don’t: Keep secrets.

Keeping secrets will kill a relationship. Period.

Even those little pesky secrets, the ones that you keep because you want to ‘protect your loved one,’ are insidious and destructive and will only cause trouble.

Don’t keep secrets. They always get out and when they do the harm that they cause is often worse than the secret itself.

#4 – Do: Maintain a healthy sex life.

A healthy sex life is an essential part of every relationship. The only person in the world that you are having sex with is your partner and that should be treated as the very special thing that it is. Make sex a regular and enjoyable part of your relationship.

Don’t: Pretend that the sex is okay when it isn’t.

If the sex you are having with your partner isn’t okay then let your partner know. I can guarantee you that your partner would rather know the truth and be able to do what he can to make the sex more enjoyable than to find out that you have just been pretending all along.

Once again, be honest!

#5 – Do: Appreciate each other.

 You have a partner who you have chosen for a variety of reasons. He is handsome or smart or kind or practical or handy. For whatever reason you chose him to be yours.

Now that he is yours, appreciate everything that you have. If your man fixes your cabinets for you without asking, or helps your neighbor solve that tax problem or looks just so in his new green sweater, TELL HIM!

You know how good it feels when he tells you.

Don’t: Take each other for granted.

Unfortunately, often times once we settle down into a long-term relationship we start to take each other for granted. The things that we fell in love with them for are things that we just assume will always be there, not matter what we do.

I know that when I was married I just assumed my husband would always be there, no matter how I treated him, which wasn’t always very well. And guess what. He left me!

So don’t take your guy for granted. If you love him make him feel that way. Every day.

#6 – Do: Laugh with each other.

Laughing is an essential part of every healthy relationship. Remember when you first fell in love, the hours you spent together, sharing and laughing. And didn’t if feel good?

It is so important that the laughter continue. Make sure you spend time together doing what you both love, enjoying each other’s company and laughing.

Don’t: Laugh at each other.

One of the things that happen when couples are together for a long time is that they aren’t always kind to each other. Those things that bug us about our partner often are revealed in unkind ways.

Do you ever find yourself laughing at your partner because he is letting people take advantage of him again? Or sarcastically commenting on how well his shirt and tie match? Do you talk to your friends about the stupid things that he does?

If you do any of these things, stop. If you have issues with your husband or if he does something that bothers you, tell him, don’t laugh at him. Because that kind of laughter just isn’t funny.

Being in a healthy relationship can be really amazing but it can also be a lot of hard work. It is very important that you follow my healthy relationship do’s and don’ts to keep yours going strong.

It is important that you are always honest with your partner, in a kind way, that you don’t take things personally and that you don’t keep secrets. It is also key that you have a sex life that pleases you both, that you love and appreciate each and that laughter is a priority.

If you are reading this, I am guessing that you have a healthy relationship that you want to keep healthy. You CAN do it. Start today.

How Healthy Is My Relationship? Take this quiz and find out.

How healthy is my relationship? It’s an important question and a good one to ask yourself regularly.

Long-term relationships start strong but without regular tending they can weaken over time. Much like managing your apps on your phone or keeping your status fresh on Facebook, it is important to always be checking your relationship for updates.

Healthy relationships are important to a healthy life so yourself regularly How healthy is my relationship?

So, what questions do you need to ask? Let me suggest the following:

#1 – Can you talk about anything?

Being able to talk about anything is the key to a healthy relationship.

Can you tell your partner when you don’t like something that he does? Or that seeing his mother EVERY Sunday is more than you would like? Or that you really don’t like extra sausage on your pizza? Or that that thing he likes to do in bed is just a little bit much for you?

Being able to be honest with your partner about everything in your life and relationship is a key to keeping it healthy.

#2 – Do you enjoy the sex?

Having a healthy sex life is an important part of every healthy relationship.

If your sex life is something that you just put up with, don’t really enjoy, or even dread, then it’s time to act.

Talk to your partner about how you feel and figure out together how to make things work for both of you.

#3 – Do you like each other’s friends and family?

Liking each other’s friends and family is another really important part of a healthy relationship.

Like it or not, when someone becomes part of a couple their partner’s previous relationships come along too. And if you don’t get along with his friends and family it can cause a huge rift. He will want to spend time with all of you and if he is forced to choose he will resent it.

So check in to see if you are both on board with liking each other’s friends. It’s important that you do.

#4 – Do you respect each other?

Of course it’s important to like and love the person with whom you are in a relationship. What is even more important is that you respect them.

If you are in a relationship with someone who you can’t respect, for whatever reason, who you regularly are critical of and treat with contempt then you are not in a healthy relationship.

Respecting the person you are with, respecting the choices that they make, the values they uphold, the way they are in the world, is an essential part of being happy together.

#5 – Do you laugh and have fun together?

Laughter is the number one aphrodisiac that I know of. People who can laugh together, often, will stay more attached, emotionally and physically, then those who don’t.

Do you and your partner laugh together and have fun together. Do you laugh often, even in times of stress? Do you like to do the same things? The things that make you happy? Do you have inside jokes that only you share?

Make sure that you and your partner enjoy life together. You will be glad you did!

#6 – Do you want to spend time together?

This is a big one. Do you and your partner actually make an effort to spend time together? Or do you make excuses to not have to do so?

A client of mine would come up with every excuse in the world to not spend time with her husband and volunteering at the kid’s school was a great way to do that.

Guess what! He found someone else, someone who wanted to spend time with him.

#7 – Do you feel good about yourself?

Feeling good about yourself is key to a healthy relationship.

If you don’t feel good about who you are in the world, if you don’t feel like you need someone to ‘complete you,’ if you know that you will be just fine alone, then you are in a place to have a healthy relationship.

People who are needy or clingy or fraught with insecurities do not make good partners. So take care of yourself and be all that you can be so that you can be a contributing half of a healthy relationship.

#8- Do you have plans for the future together?

People in healthy relationships share their plans for the future.

They think about tomorrow, next week, next month and even next year.

They do so because they are invested in being together and part of being together is making plans for the future.

If either one of you isn’t interested in talking about the future then you are not in a relationship that has one.

# 9 – Do you know each other’s love language?

Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages speaks to the belief that everyone has a way that they express and receive love and that everyone’s language is different. And, often, people express love in the ways that THEY want to be loved as opposed to in ways their partners want to be loved.

We might feel loved when we get a piece of jewelry but our partner might feel loved when we do a chore for them. So if we give them a piece of jewelry they won’t feel loved, even if we might, but if we take out the trash then all is good.

Does that make sense? Check out The 5 Love Languages here for more information. Everyone just wants to be loved.

So how did you do on my questionnaire?

Can you answer the question How healthy is my relationship? in an affirmative way?

If yes, YAY!

If no, make an effort to tweak the things that seem a bit off and see if you can bring your relationship around to a healthier place.

Make an effort to communicate. Make sure your sex life is good. Enjoy life and each other’s friends and families. Respect each other and plan together. And read more about the 5 Love Languages. They always help!

So get to work NOW! Make your relationship a healthy one…

Why Are Healthy Relationships Important To A Healthy Life?

Why are healthy relationships important to a healthy life? Why is it so important that we share our lives with people who make our lives better? The reasons are many and they are worth noting.

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.

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.

Why are healthy relationships important for a healthy life?

Because 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.

Are you questioning whether your relationship is healthy?

Let me help you figure it out, NOW, before your relationship suffers.

Email me at, or click here, and let’s get started!

What a Healthy Relationship Needs to Stay Healthy

You have been in a healthy relationship for some time now and everything seems to be going great! And you are reading this because you are wondering what a healthy relationship needs to stay healthy. Good for you!

I believe that there are 7 components of a healthy relationship. Pay attention to these 7 things and safeguard your relationship from the things that can tear you apart.

#1- A healthy relationship needs good communication.

Really, there is nothing more important for a healthy relationship than good communication. Nothing.

It is important that we tell our partners when they aren’t making us feel good. It is important that we tell our partners that they are important to us. It is important that we tell our partners how much we love them.

I can’t tell you how many of my clients find it almost impossible to be honest with their partners about how they are feeling. They are scared of making themselves vulnerable and afraid of the outcome.

Just last night a client was telling me that she felt like all of the hard work that she and her husband had put into saving their marriage was slipping away because he was busy at work and she was lonely. She said she was just going to try to find interests of her own. I suggested that she tell him she was worried that the results of their hard work was slipping away. Be honest with him about how she was feeling.

She did and he got it and they made a plan for time together this weekend. Together.

#2 – A healthy relationship needs just the right amount of sex.

Every happy couple has a sex life that suits them. There is no exact formula for how much sex a couple must have to be happy. Instead, each couple needs to decide what is best for them, to talk about it and play around and meet each other’s sexual needs in a way that makes everyone excited.

I have a client whose husband wants to have sex EVERY night and, while she really likes having sex with him, every night just doesn’t work for her. She used to just rebuff his advances, which made him feel bad, but on my advice she talked to him about it. She explained how she felt, they agreed that she would be the instigator and that she would instigate often. That worked for both of them and they are happy.

So tick this one off of your list. Talk to your partner about your sex life and make a plan to make it work well for both of you.

Sounds fun, right?

#3 – A healthy relationship needs some inside jokes.

What really? How can that be? That is such a little thing.

Happy couples are like a little islands unto themselves. Sure, they have families and friends and jobs and responsibilities but they also have things that they only share with each other. Inside jokes.

Imagine this. You and your spouse are at a family BBQ. Tensions are flying over something. Politics, perhaps. And then your father in law says something, something that he ALWAYS says and that you and your spouse have whispered about in bed at night. You meet eyes as the statement is made and you just connect. You smile and nod and go on with the day with a warm feeling in your tummy.

Connection is what real love is about. And having a secret is super fun. So having an inside joke, a combination of the two, can’t be beat for keeping couples close.

#4 – A healthy relationship means keeping promises.

Promises. They are usually made with such good intentions but when they are broken there can be disastrous consequences.

Promises have to do with trust. If you make a promise and don’t keep it then trust is lost. It’s better to not make a promise that you can’t keep then continue to break ones that you do.

I have a client whose boyfriend kept promising her that she could meet his kids. And yet every time a meeting was set up there was always an excuse about why it couldn’t happen.

Eventually she stopped wanting to meet his kids, and, ultimately, she stopped wanting to be with him.

Her trust in him had been lost. And without trust what is there?

Make your promises carefully. Remember how important they are for maintaining trust. And love.

#5 – A healthy relationship means not taking each other for granted.

Let me state that one again. Don’t take anyone for granted.

When we first fall in love our attention is completely focused on that one person. But as time goes by we get distracted by life and we can start to neglect the one we love. We know they are there, and we assume that they will always be there, so we stop tending the relationship. And the consequences can again be disastrous.

This I can tell you from personal experience. My husband, no matter how awful I was to him, always promised me that he would never leave me. I didn’t mean to but because of this I took him for granted and while I planned to make changes to my behavior I never quite made it happen.

And, guess what. He left me.

So pay attention to that person in bed next to you. One day they just might be gone and where would you be then?

#6 – A healthy relationship needs quality time and shared interests.

Yes, we are all busy, with lots on our mind and all sorts of pressures. But it is important that you take the time to have quality time with your partner. Time that is spent together doing things that you both love.

In my marriage we divided and conquered. My ex-husband worked hard and I took care of the kids. Any free time we had we spent focused on the family. We had nothing left that was just us. As a result, we stopped being the two of us in a relationship but being two of us working parallel to each other, raising our children, managing the business of our family.

So find something that you both like to do together and do it. REGULARLY. Don’t let that love slip away in the hustle and bustle of life.

#7 – A healthy relationship means making your partner a priority.

Yes, yes, I know. There are so many important things in our lives these days. Making money is one of the first that comes to mind. Making sure our children grow into successful adults is another. And then there is exercise. And friends. And hobbies. And your phone.

And all of these are important. But one thing that you realize, when you no longer have a partner, is that none of these things really matter because you, well, you don’t have a partner.

So make your partner your priority. Every day.

Work is important but so is getting home for date night. That Saturday morning 15 mile run? Go for it but if you could instead spend the morning alone with your spouse, consider it. A movie night with the girls? Bring your husband instead. Movie negotiable. The phone? Put it down.

Consider all the good that could come from making your spouse a priority. Connection, laughter, physical affection, good will, sex, happiness. Arguably more life enhancing than the money and the muscles and the children with a perfect score on their SAT.

100 years ago the author George Sands said: There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.

No truer words have ever been spoken. Love is what makes the world go round and it is important that we recognize that and take action to preserve it, no matter what. That we do what needs to be done to keep a healthy relationship healthy.

So pick up the phone, call your person, tell them you love them, make them laugh and invite them out to do something fun.

Do it now. Don’t wait!