I believe there are really important factors to having a healthy relationship, one which will stand the test of time, of stresses and of the challenge’s life brings. Two of those factors are respect and trust! 

A major key factor in a relationship is first and foremost to respect yourself, your values, standards, opinions and boundaries. Because If you do not respect yourself, you will teach others to treat you with disrespect by the way you behave, speak and treat yourself. Remember to value yourself and know you matter!

What you think and feel is just as important as what your partner thinks and feels! When you do what is truly best for you in your heart, it is ultimately best for everyone even if they don’t like it. It is important both inside and outside of the relationship, to act in ways that you respect yourself which teaches others including your partner to respect you.

Confucius stated “Respect yourself and others will respect you.”  

So, an important component of a relationship, yet often overlooked is respect and yet a lack of respect is a common reason why many relationships are not as successful as they could be! Receiving respect from your partner is important because it helps you to feel safe and to express yourself. To know you matter and are valued! You could even say it is the glue that holds a relationship together!

In a relationship respect plays such a crucial role in the acceptance of each other, in having good communication, building trust and wellbeing. While the absence of respect leads to conflict, hurt feelings and even destructive behaviour. Respecting each other and each of your needs, opinions and choices, improves a relationship and takes it to greater heights of success.

So, what does it mean to respect each other? It means to admire your partners abilities, qualities, and achievements, to care about your partners feelings, wishes, opinions and rights, to avoid harming them or disrespecting their values, those things and people who are important to them and agreeing to recognize and abide by certain guidelines that build the trust and respect for each other. Such as being truthful, communicating your needs clearly, sharing the things that are important to you, sharing your true feelings, being reliable and accepting of each other including your differences. Trusting that your partner is a competent and capable person and avoiding trying to control them.

Webster defines the word “respect” as; to prize, cherish and value. So, if we can learn to value your partner and develop the skills of patience, problem-solving and compromise. If we can really listen to our partner with the intention of understanding their perspective and views, it’s okay not to agree and yet we do need to be willing to listen with an open mind and an open heart. Be willing to trust and be genuine with each other, supportive of each other.

Keeping secrets from your partner is destructive (unless it is their birthday present or a pleasant surprise). Secrets tend to be discovered at some point or another and inevitably feelings are hurt and damage is done. Lies set up emotional blocks, usually leading to more lies and I have never heard of secrets or lies building trust in a relationship. Usually they do a lot of damage.

Respect and trust allow each of you to feel safe, secure and valued. This encourages feelings of acceptance and the freedom to be confident in being who each of you are, being your authentic selves. When you do this in a relationship you build a strong bond.

If you can lay out your standards in plain view for your partner to see from the beginning that is ideal and if you didn’t, there is no time like the present, be clear, be honest. How can they respect your boundaries if they don’t know what they are! Also, if you have well-defined preferences and standards, your actions and words will demonstrate this. Respect and trust support open communication which is an important key in sustaining a meaningful relationship.

“The fundamental glue that holds any relationship together is trust.” Brian Tracy

Remember both of your feelings and emotions are valid. They let you know if something is unbalanced between you and your partner. Trust that your partner can handle what you are feeling and that they can be respectful. When we respect and trust each other we are not constantly seeking the other person’s approval because we know that we can communicate openly. We trust we will be heard and that our partner will do their best to understand even if they don’t agree. That they will treat us as an equal. We know they will tell us the truth even if it is not what we want to hear. We see each other as equal, honourable people who have a high sense of integrity. This allows your relationship to grow and growth is essential to everything and everyone.

It can help to view yourselves as a team, which means you are two unique individuals bringing different perspectives, talents and strengths into the relationship. Each person has their own personality which brings the flavour, the excitement and the thriving into the relationship. We can all learn ways to make our relationship healthier. Healthy relationships help us feel better about ourselves and about our place in the world.

Healthy relationships need to be based on mutual respect and trust for each other. When we respect, trust and are proud of each other we are accepting and have a deep fondness for each other and for who we really are.

Nadine Hanchar helps individuals and businesses build better relationships, discover new choices, new perspectives, and create success. Nadine is a counsellor, consultant, speaker, and trainer with over 35 years’ experience helping others professionally. She is a bestselling author and creator of the PEP Personality Process. Nadine specializes in working with trauma, abuse, relationship issues, and communication. Learn more at ProgressivePlus.com and connect with Nadine on FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.