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One of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship is the maturity and emotional health of each partner. A relationship is as healthy as the least healthy person involved.

If you or your partner behave immaturely, there may be poor boundaries and wavering emotional health. Many problems can arise that would never normally exist. Immaturity can drive a never-ending series of problems and needs to be addressed immediately.

Emotional immaturity is so pervasive that most people take it as the norm (or don’t even recognize it). They think, “That’s just the way it is.” But, that passive acceptance itself is an unhealthy, immature, simplistic and defeatist.

Simplistic irrational attitudes underlie most distressing emotions that, over time, can severely cripple an otherwise good relationship.

If you or your mate is depressed, anxious, worried, angry, insecure, or jealous, work at minimizing or eradicating these emotions now. The longer one is experiencing distressing and unhealthy emotions, the more they become justified and ingrained into our lives.

I’m not talking about emotional perfection. But, if these qualities show up in abundance and are sustained over time they will strain a healthy relationship to the point of breaking. The problem is that many people don’t address the problem until it’s severe. They hope it will magically go away, but that’s just self-delusion.

If you or your partner have any of these unhealthy emotions it’s important to deal with them sooner rather than later, preferably with a professional therapist/counsellor.

Why the need of a counsellor or therapist?

Because an unhealthy emotion blocks the individual from figuring out his or her problem. It distorts perception and understanding. If the person could have figured it out in the first place, the problem likely wouldn’t exist now. Hence the need for outside assistance.

Emotional pain can make one self-centred and selfish (another sign of emotional immaturity). Selfishness will never create a healthy state of living. This is the me-me-me mentality. Selflessness doesn’t work either because you just give up on what you want.

Strive for self-interest where you focus primarily on your own emotional health and happiness while keeping the interests of the people you most care about a close second. When you are happier, healthier and stronger, you can give even more to the people you value.

An example: If you’re in an airplane with a child and there’s a depressurization and the masks drop, you apply the oxygen mask to yourself first, then the child. It’s important that you are conscious in order to assist the child. In almost any situation, you take care of yourself first, then others. This is not only logical but emotionally and psychologically healthy.

Work towards being a little bit better every day in such a way that will not only make your happier but inspire and benefit others within your orbit.


How to Keep It Healthy

  • Consciously and actively work on being happier and more positive.
  • Every morning consider how you can be a positive and supportive influence on your partner.
  • Graciously accept compromise and assertively work toward your goals and self-care.
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Daniel Rutley
Daniel Rutley, Psy.D. is a Clinical Psychotherapist in private practice in Mississauga. He is also the best-selling author of Escaping Emotional Entrapment: Freedom from negative thinking and unhealthy emotions. He specializes in depression, anxiety, anger, habit control and relationship issues.