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Lania Desmond

Dysfunctional Relationships vs. Healthy Relationships

How would you describe your relationship? If you knew that there were very clear distinctions that separate a dysfunctional relationship from a healthy one, would that make a difference to you? If so, read on. Discover the differences and take the little test at the end. You might be surprised by what you learn.

Many relationships are dysfunctional because they contain “faulty programs” downloaded from past relationships. Most people are not consciously aware of this, but in fact, it has been shown to be true. This is why people find themselves dealing with the same types of issues over and over again no matter how many partners they may have.

Whether it is money, sex, jealousy, fidelity, or any number of other issues, to some degree or another, the theme is the same for them in the current relationship as those of the past.

A dysfunctional relationship has certain qualities about it. These qualities are as follows:

  1. A sense that you have to fit into someone else's perception of what is right or wrong in order to be loved.
  2. You feel confined.
  3. There is always something to fix in the relationship.
  4. You feel like you're settling.
  5. Who you are is diminished in the relationship.
  6. Your needs are not met in one way or another.
  7. You're never going to be good enough.
  8. You feel trapped.
  9. Being there is not what you really want, but you're afraid to leave.
  10. You find other ways to satisfy yourself to keep your mind off how unhappy you are in the situation.
  11. When it's good, it's really good, but when it's bad it's horrible.

These are just some of the signs of a typical dysfunctional relationship.

On the other hand, a healthy relationship has these characteristics:

  1. You feel honored.
  2. You feel more alive.
  3. There is nurturing and support for you to become more of who you are.
  4. There is strength coming from your partner allowing you to explore ways to expand into new territories.
  5. There is trust.
  6. The goals are the same, even though the ways of expressing them may be different.
  7. Each brings healing into the other through depth and security.
  8. The relationship causes you to create a new dynamic based on the future rather than on what has been known in the past.
  9. There seems to be a knowing about the other person that goes beyond this time and space, as if you had known each other before.
  10. Your partner is more than you would have known to ask for.
  11. You wonder how you ever got this lucky.

The differences are dramatic! Take this simple test to see where your relationship falls regarding these distinctions.

Answer these questions by using a scale between 1-10. 1 being not at all and 10 being all the time.

  1. To what degree do you experience support from your partner?
  2. How would you rate the amount of time you feel safe in your relationship?
  3. How much of the time do you feel motivated to expand your boundaries within this relationship?
  4. How honored do you feel in the presence of your mate?
  5. What level of enjoyment do you experience as a result of this relationship?
  6. How much of yourself do you allow to be expressed within this relationship?
  7. What level of compatibility do you have in common with your significant other?
  8. How would you rate the goals and objectives you have in life with those of your mate?
  9. How close are your principles and ideals of how a relationship should be with those of your partner?
  10. How willing are each of you to communicate openly and honestly about your needs and desires within the relationship?

It should be relatively easy to determine how you rate the quality of relationship you are in by answering these questions. Take the time now to evaluate what kind of relationship you truly desire. Balance that with the answers you gave. What’s there? What’s missing?

No, there’s no “standard” score here to measure your relationship. It is much more powerful for you to evaluate it for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

In the SoulPoint for Couples Series, a uniquely dynamic process is employed. Couples gain a deeper understanding of the causative factors that are being played out in their relationship. Many times they feel a deeper bond with one another and a greater sense of compassion, as they heal old patterns and reclaim the joy and innocence that originally brought them together. Sometimes, however, they learn to move beyond the relationship, gaining the insight to create a new path.

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