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Emotional Wellness Blog

Healthy relationships are good for your health

by Don Norum

Do you or your partner:

  • Try to convince the other person you are right?
  • Interrupt to express your point?
  • Fail to listen to your partner's ideas?
  • Give in to make peace?
  • Refuse to give in?
  • Talk more or louder to win the argument?
  • Walk away and refuse to talk about it?
  • Fail to compliment each other?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions your relationship and your physical health may be suffering. Frequent relationship tension and conflict can cause unhealthy stress reactions, which cause unhealthy physical symptoms.

One research study by Lois Verbrugge and James House of the University Michigan shows about a 35 percent greater chance of getting sick in unhappy marriages.

Healthy communication is the first step to a healthy relationship. This starts with putting more importance on listening and less emphasis on convincing your partner of your point of view. Experiencing each other listening and understanding shows a caring for each other's needs that motivates a desire to work it out your differences.

When one feels strong about something it is hard to listen to another point of view. Listening to honestly find something of value in your partner's point of view will go a long way in successful communication that will address both of your needs. Convincing the other person you are totally right may make you feel good, but a win at the expense of your partner is not good for your relationship.

Here are some examples of how to improve communication:

  • Listen to your partner without interrupting.
  • Express your point of view without putting down your partner's ideas.
  • Try to find something you can agree with about what your partner is saying.
  • Look for a resolution that can take both of your needs into account.
  • Stick to the issue without going off on tangents.
  • If the discussion gets too intense, calm down and try later.

If you think you have stress in your relationship, consider talking with your family doctor or call Behavioral Health at 414-773-4312 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.