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The “X” Factor – 10 Factors for a Healthy Intimate Relationship

One important element to a heaIthy midlife is a healthy relationship. Relationships don’t stay strong by happenstance, they take focused attention. I have found that as we move through midlife transition, it’s more important than ever to pay careful attention to each other.

I recently read a Web MD relationship article, posted by Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD. She stated that for couples to have a an intimate and healthy relationship, they have to know what one looks like.

Here are the 10 factors she identified for a healthy relationship

  1. Genuinely liking and respecting each other
  2. Doing things just to make each other happy
  3. Enjoying and valuing time together; and actively working to make it happen
  4. An ability to show – and accept – affection
  5. A strong sense of commitment to the relationship; a willingness to stick with the relationship through momentary conflicts and periods of disinterest, or even dislike
  6. Effective communication and problem-solving skills
  7. A commitment to work through conflicts and disagreements in a respectful manner; along with an ability to forgive and accept forgiveness
  8. Realistic and agreed upon expectations of each other; with a willingness to live up to those expectations
  9. A shared philosophy of life—including values and priorities. This is very broad and very important. For instance, it includes shared attitudes about family and friends; and a shared philosophy on parenting (for those with children).
  10. A satisfying sexual relationship

The article also notes that when struggles exist, it’s important to remember that a relationship problem is a two person problem that requires a two person solution. Sometimes we get so caught up in the situation we starting thinking in terms of “me and you” instead of us. Just remembering this one factor can make a big difference in your relationship.

As I read through these factors, I could so relate to each and every one of them. As we all deal with midlife trials that pull our attention away from our partner, things like aging parents, aging children, financial issues, career challenges, body changes, etc… We need to be there for each other to make it through the difficult times and joyfully embrace each other as we share in the wonders we experience as we age together.

When struggles exist, it’s important to remember that a relationship problem is a two person problem that requires a two person solution.

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