Great relationships aren’t all built the same way and they don’t all look the same either. However, while generalizations about what makes a “perfect relationship” are usually fallacious, there are a few common threads that are essential to any good relationship. If any of these three pillars of your relationship breaks down the whole thing will collapse. Let’s take a look.

Trust

Trust is important because it’s allows you to give each other the benefit of the doubt. It keeps your stress level under control, allows you to share each other’s burdens, and allows you to concentrate and focus outward on the world rather than attempting to micromanage your relationship. A tactic that is sure to drive each other crazy and lead to your relationship’s destruction.
No matter how much you talk to each other, there is no way that you’ll ever know everything about each other. More importantly, there are likely to be things in your lives that neither of you will want to share with each other, whether that be because you don’t think it’s important, or because you don’t want to think about it. Really trusting your significant other means giving each other space to act independently with the expectation that they’ll do everything in their power to do what’s best for both of you. This ties in strongly with…

Respect

Respect is vital in your relationship because it’s what validates your partner’s trust. That means that the fact that you respect your partner will help you to behave in a manner that makes you deserving of trust.
Respect in a relationship means being conscientious and considerate of the needs and wants of your partner without specific prompting. It’s important to give credence to the thoughts, ideas, and goals of your partner, and not dismiss them as pointless, vain, or boring. It means treating your partner with the same dignity that you would like to see extended toward yourself.
In order to be able to respect your partner, it’s also worth noting that self-respect is included under this heading. It’s very difficult to respect, trust, and communicate with your partner if you don’t understand the value of your own contribution to the relationship and how you yourself deserve to be treated.

Communication

The third pillar that your relationship rests on is communication. It is by far the most important component. As long as you communicate you can build trust and respect. If you fail to communicate your relationship will stagnate and die. Communication is way to nurture and feed your relationship.
Communication can be achieved in two ways: verbal and nonverbal exchanges. While we all dream of the day when we will be so in sync with our partner that we can have entire conversation without a word, you should not expect such an exchange to actually work. Some couples may be capable, but the vast majority of couples have not yet reached that stage of enlightenment.

Due to that fact verbal exchanges are paramount. Gestures like words are often misunderstood. You can’t expect your partner to read your mind and gestures, and respond accordingly. During this exchange it is important that the other partner really listen and try to understand where the partner is coming from.
Responses to the first partner’s verbal exchange can come in the form of verbal and nonverbal communication, but there should be a response. A grunt is not an effective response to a question. Depending on the situation you can either agree or answer the request or question with a nonverbal method of communication. If your partner complains that you never help clean the house, you can respond by taking out the trash. In that way you show your respect for your partner.

Relationships crumble every day. It is the responsibility of the people in the relationship to make the relationship work. If you neglect your relationship, you could be left with nothing but memories. On the other hand, if you respect, trust, and communicate with each other you might be together for many years to come. Hopefully with work you will never need a divorce and child custody lawyer.

About the Author: Alan Brady is a freelance writer who researches and writes about issues that impact families. He currently writes for Attorneys.com, which helps people find local divorce and Child Custody Lawyers.