As I wrote in a previous post, I separated from my husband about a year ago when I realized that our relationship needed help. I was not able to verbalize it well at the time, but I knew there were serious problems in the way we related. I wanted to find healthier ways to communicate and interact. Over the ensuing months, I devoured books on relationships. I found many books that helped identify the problems, and a few had helpful suggestions for countering those dysfunctions. What I really wanted, though, was something that helped me understand healthy relationships.
I knew the best way to effect change is to have a clear, concrete picture of the desired change. If I expected to succeed at changing our relationship into something better, I needed to know what that better relationship should look like. Because my faith is so important to me, I wanted something that would help me put Biblical principles into practice in ways that would create and nurture a healthy relationship.
After months of searching and reading and assimilating copious amounts of information about relationships that I discovered “The Emotionally Destructive Relationship” by Leslie Vernick. This book is a goldmine for anyone searching for guidance in developing a healthy relationship based on Judeo-Christian principles. Those not interested in the faith aspects can still get lots of insight and help in creating emotionally healthy relationships, but the relationship issues are explored from a thoroughly biblical base. Even though the title suggests differently, the focus of this book is the pursuit of healthy relationships. I finally have my clear, succinct picture of a healthy relationship in the definition she gives.
An emotionally healthy relationship is a mutually respectful, mutually honest and mutually caring and committed relationship. I needed this simple standard to use as a measure. Whenever my intuition says something is “off” in an interaction with anyone, I can quickly compare the situation with this definition and adjust my thoughts, expectations and actions accordingly.
Leslie Vernick is my newest Author Crush. Everyone of the books I’ve read, () have been chock-full of helpful, faith-friendly insights and suggestions. Visit her website to get a taste of her counsel. Or download samples from Amazon.