Relationships and Mental Health
Relationships are the connection and bond based on feelings between two or more people. Relationships are at the core of society and many things revolve from it. How healthy or unhealthy your relationship is affects particular aspects of your life. Your perception of the world and the factors therein can be greatly molded by your experiences in a relationship. There is therefore a definite link between relationships and mental health.
On a personal level, you have a mental picture, no matter how vague, of how you envision your ideal relationship.
Factors that can affect your mental picture include:
Your parent’s marriage- the kind of environment that you grew up in has the ability to shape your expectations in a relationship. If your emotional well-being has been marred, (abusive homes, parents who have divorced or anything else) it pops up in the relationship if not adequately addressed.
The media- what you listen to and what you see is your teacher. Watching particular programs on television including your idols and those you look up to, can give you a sense of how your relationship is supposed to be.
Spiritual beliefs- whether you are a Christian, Hindu or Muslim, relationships tend to have a pattern of an ‘acceptable’ spiritual direction. There is a ‘how’ to the approach given in a relationship, its expectations and even ‘how’ to resolve matters of conflict.
Factors in a Relationship That can Affect your Mental Health Negatively:
Poor Foundation- basically, the foundation of your relationship is determined by your motives to get into it in the first place. If having a low self-esteem or seeking happiness is what drove you, you will only get more miserable. Your partner cannot solve your problems even if they wanted to. They can help you but you are the only one who has the higher power to get it done.
Physical abuse- scars on your body and in your heart are not a good recipe for a healthy relationship. You should know that resulting to violence in a relationship is usually a sign of a deeper problem.
Verbal abuse- this is torturous to your psychological well-being and can make you have a perceived sense of low personal worth because you are constantly stripped of dignity and respect.
Factors in a Relationship That can Affect Your Mental Health Positively:
Sufficient attention- you must create an environment where you and your partner listen to each other and have open channels of communication at all times.
Supporting each other- make your shoulder warm enough for your partner to lean on whether or not they are in the wrong.
Dealing with problems- I have always found that imitating the ostrich and burying my head in the sand does not alleviate my issues one bit. In the correct timing, (like after cooling off after a fight) discuss lovingly and identify the root of the disagreement.