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Evaluating Relationship Health

Let’s start by saying that’s it’s perfectly normal to question whether you’re in the right relationship.

Often people tend to get spooked when they experience doubt in their relationship.

In actual fact, it is healthy to sometimes question the suitability of your partner.

It’s worth checking in with yourself about how your relationship is faring for a few reasons:

  1. You can address fixable issues early in your relationship rather than leaving them too late when too much resentment has built.
  2. Evaluating your relationship allows you to step back and appreciate the quality of your relationship.
  3. You may realise you need to work towards ending your relationship, which will save you unnecessary time and pain down the track.

So if you’re on the pursuit of finding out whether you’re in the right relationship, read on, as it’s actually more simple then you think!

So many articles on the web list things like; arguing too much, no sex or passion, not sharing the same values, etc, as indications that a relationship is ‘not right’, however, it’s actually more simple than that. Sure, sometimes these things may resemble an underlying problem, but, not always. Many happy relationships exist without passion, for example, and if both partners are happy and satisfied, then it is not a problem.

We are often quick to criticise our relationships perhaps because our society holds an ideal view of relationships. Take weddings for example – most people believe that their wedding day is supposed to be the “happiest” and “best” day of their lives. Sometimes I even hear the word “perfect” thrown around. As such, when wedding bells start to ring, we hold ourselves to these unrealistic expectations that everything should be “perfect”. And, what if they’re not? Does that mean your relationship will fail? Of course not, but according to Instagram and other media platforms your relationship is doomed.

Ironically, the opposite can be true with perceived flaws in a relationship.

That is, perceived flaws in a relationship can sometimes also be associated with strengths in a relationship – not always – but sometimes.

For example, if you have quite heated arguments this may indicate a few positive things about your relationship, including that you share open communication, love and passion.

So, what is really a “problem” in a relationship?

A problem in a relationship is only a problem if it is felt like a problem with the exception of one situation: Emotional, physical or verbal abuse – if you’re experiencing any type of abuse, it’s best to speak to a psychologist, your GP or call free confidential helpline, 1800 RESPECT.

If you’re not experiencing any abuse, any other perceived problem is entirely individual to the relationship and dependent on the couples needs and cultural & family of origin.

For example, one couple may struggle with a lack of intimacy, because they grew up in affectionate families and consequently crave physical closeness in their romantic relationships; whereas, another couple may not be phased by a lack of intimacy, because they were distant from their parents growing up and consequently place higher value on practical support within their relationship.

A close up photo of a man and a woman in a relationship holding hands.

So, how do you know you’re in the right relationship for YOU?

It’s quite simple.

What do you mostly feel in your relationship?

To answer this question, consider the predominant emotions you experience in the relationship.

For example, you may predominantly feel:

If you mostly feel relaxed, happy or content, chances are you’re in a relationship suited to you.

It might sound simple, but you’re supposed to feel mostly good in a relationship. It’s important that a relationship adds value to your life rather than takes away.

However, if you’re feeling mostly (or often) anxious, frustrated or resentful, it’s important to ask yourself whether you’re in the right relationship and consider whether it’s time to seek relationship help.

I’m not saying that if you feel mostly anxious, for example, this means you’re in a bad relationship. Feeling negative in a relationship can mean a number of things. The relationship dynamic may need some work, you or your partner may carry some vulnerabilities from past trauma or low self-esteem, or your relationship may not be the right fit. You will be able to nut out what’s what and what to do next by starting with individual or couples therapy.

How can Peaceful Mind Psychology help with your relationship?

Our team of Melbourne-based psychologists take an interest in relationship counselling.

We are passionate about improving relationship wellbeing via couples therapy, addressing low self-esteem in relationships, helping individuals overcome relationship insecurity and supporting individuals to build the self-esteem and resources needed to leave an abusive relationship. Contact us today if you’d like to be matched to a psychologist suited to your relationship needs.


Additional resources

If you’re looking for additional resources or reading on ways to improve your relationship, the Relationship Institute of Australia has free couples resources available.