Relationships are the most important pursuit in life. They can make us, or break us.

Relationships are certainly lifes motivation whether they be spiritual in nature or human interaction. They are the most important pursuit in life as far as I am concerned. Without relationships life would be devoid of any connection to anything, one would certainly perish. Everything in our universe seeks and develops a relationship with something from the day it is created to generate an energy of purpose and cooperation. As long as the energies are in harmony, everything is smooth sailing. However, the moment one energy collides with another energy, the forces of nature are at odds with one another and destructive events take place. That same logic applies to human relationships.

I have been blessed to have wonderful bonds with many people and I have also been associated with acquaintances which were not going to grow or flourish. Bad encounters are not worth dwelling on, but valuable lessons can be learned from them. Without relationships we would struggle to progress in life. Everyone desires a sense of acceptance and camaraderie with someone who respects and supports them in their endeavors. My idea of a relationship boils down to either productive or destructive. Destructive relationships develop when some form of abuse is imposed on another person, productive relationships are desirable and develop when mutuality and love for one another flourishes and forms an unconditional bond.

What qualifies me to comment about relationships? The fact I have lived a few decades and experienced, witnessed, and survived the ups and downs of relationships provides me with the insight to share what I have learned. First lets look at destructive relationships and then we can move on to productive relationships.

Destructive relationships come in many forms. I have chosen seven unpleasant traits which dooms many relationships. The seven traits are; physical abuse, sexual abuse, controlling behavior, emotional abuse, jealousy, lack of trust, and financial problems. Destructive relationships lead to emotional and physical duress which can become violent or deadly if allowed to continue. The longer we allow ourself to be abused, the greater the toll on our overall well being. Abuse in a relationship will eventually lead to the breakdown of our will to get the most out of each day. My focus on destructive relationships is to encourage those being abused to seek qualified professional help to overcome abuse and chart a course to recovery.

Physical abuse occurs when someone takes advantage of another persons physical weakness and exploits that weakness to the perpetrators benefit. Physical abuse can be tricky to overcome due to fear and a diminished sense of confidence. Sometimes a series of abusive attacks happens before one can have the courage to take the necessary measures to avoid further abuse. Victims often feel trapped with no place to go and many do not have the financial means to escape and start over. At this point one has to find a way to seek help in order to resolve a very serious threat. Under no circumstances would there be any justification for anyone to remain in a relationship which physically abuses them. Physical abuse in no way contributes to happiness and it will evolve into submissive behavior and possibly life threatening consequences if allowed to continue.

Sexual abuse or spousal abuse falls somewhat in line with physical abuse, it is the forcing of undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another. Most victims know each other. The debilitating affects of such abuse is extremely emotional and can cause long term interference in ones daily life. Signs of withdrawal in behavior patterns can be stimulated by various social activities that trigger flashbacks, esteem issues, what ifs, and whys. The effects of the abuse can be dealt with by understanding the emotional effects of the trauma which occurred. There is no place in any relationship for sexual abuse. Few people, if any are able to overcome the devastating results of sexual abuse on their own. The emotional and traumatic effects of such abuse is best referred to a qualified professional who understands legal rights and begins the road to recovery.

Controlling behavior is carried out by people who are self centered and insecure, they stymie any attempt to lead a happy life. Different choices and ideas which strongly conflicts with how another person perceives things often sets in motion actions which seek to force one persons demands upon another. Some people have a need to be in control at all times and they become tyrants. When there is no give and take, the tyrant becomes overbearing and life becomes miserable. That is where things head south and unless the controlling person is reigned in, the relationship cannot flourish and will likely come to an end.

Emotional abuse is non physical abuse imposed on a persons sense of self worth. Humiliation, ignoring, instilling fear, and threatening consequences, are some of the traits a person exhibits when they emotionally abuse another. This kind of abuse is brutal and no one should expect to be in a relationship with a person who has no regard for another persons self worth. Emotional non physical abuse can occur in private surroundings or even worse at public venues. Either way, it is humiliating. It is sometimes difficult to escape this kind of abuse because the abuser always has an excuse for their controlling behavior. Help is always available, muster the strength to get out of the relationship and move on with life.

Jealousy is the resentment of one person against another because of the real or perceived ability to overshadow the jealous person. Jealousy is caused by low self esteem or insecurity. When a competitor is perceived to be better equipped, or they may actually be better equipped to initiate something the jealous person deems unreasonable, trouble ensues. A jealous person will become controlling, suspicious, demanding, and will often pout in order to get their way. Trust issues become a problem because of the belief that a person has to continually prove their loyalty in every circumstance. A person may feel controlled and unfairly chastised for behavior that drew uninitiated attention. Jealousy can lead to physical violence, or resentment, and can spiral into other forms of abuse. There is no benefit from remaining in a relationship where jealousy rules every move a person makes.

Lack of trust is the inability to have faith in a person to conduct life according an ingrained code of honor held by the one who is giving the trust. Lack of trust is a deal breaker in relationships. Relationships will suffer in every aspect if the foundation of trust is not earned based on the example of how one conducts their life according to a code of honor and ethics. Events that took place long ago often spark issues of trust, If one cannot move past those events, the relationship will suffer and become fractured. Trust issues create heated exchanges and result in a variety of negative emotions. Lack of trust issues that cannot be resolved should be a conduit to dissolving the relationship because nothing productive will ever become of a relationship which lacks trust.

Financial problems will certainly lead to disagreements about money management. The biggest problem I see is the unwillingness of a couple to come together in agreement about how finances will be managed. If one person is a spender and the other is a saver, friction between the two will develop. Credit card debt and living beyond ones means will put a strain on the relationship. Spending more than what is coming in will eventually create a deep hole that will be difficult to climb out of. How to manage finances is a conversation that must take place prior to any meaningful, committed relationship. If a conversation about financial goals does not take place with shared responsibility and agreement, consider the relationship to be a rocky road ahead. Financial problems cannot be overcome if each person is to stubborn to agree on a solution.

Abusive relationships are brutal for the victim, they are full of duress and tension, they are hard on family and friends. Seek out help that is available to restart a meaningful relationship with those who cherish goals of friendship, love, encouragement, and spiritual enlightenment. Destructive relationships create isolation, depression, and illnesses can creep into ones depleted physical and emotional body. There is nothing more physically and emotionally draining than being in a relationship which saps every last ounce of happiness. Dig deep, gather confidence and have the respect for yourself to move on. Nothing good will come from remaining in a relationship that does not respect a persons desire for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life is short and not worth wasting precious days on those who do not value the benefits of productive relationships. My firm belief and suggestion is, if you are being abused, seek the help of qualified professionals and friends to determine the right course of action. Your well being or your life may depend on it.

The second type of relationship is directly opposite of a destructive relationship, it is a productive relationship which is the motivation that propels us to live happy lives. Productive relationships are the ones which form a network of positive people, friends, and family who help us navigate through our journey in life. Productive relationships throughout life help us grow into the loving person we are capable of being. I like these seven traits which greatly contribute to productive relationships; communication, listening, love, respect, sharing, trust. and intimacy.

Communication is an open exchange of thoughts, messages or information. Communication must be two way in order to have an even exchange. The moment one person monopolizes the conversation and refuses to listen to the other person, it becomes one way communication and the benefit of an even exchange is lost. Being able to communicate openly and honestly will reap great benefits. Showing a degree of concern and a genuine interest in the person we are communicating with opens meaningful dialogue which can resolve conflicts or continue enjoyable conversation. The ability to effectively communicate emotions and feelings greatly enhances the chances for happiness.

Listening is the ability to hear and absorb what is being said without being distracted or disengaged. The ability to be tuned in to anothers communication and internally interpret what is being said before further communication takes place is a valuable trait. Listening is often the cornerstone to solving relationship issues. Without a cognizant focus on listening, we can be distracted, distant, and not in the present conversation. This can often lead to argument, alienation, and a real misunderstanding of what is really being said. The art of listening is one of patience and compassion. Many arguments and issues can be diffused by patiently and actively listening before speaking.

Love is a genuine commitment to an inner feeling or an outward expression of a deep commitment of compassion and affection. Love in a relationship is unconditional, it creates an atmosphere of cooperation along with equal amounts of give and take. Loving relationships trust one another and they confront each other with respect. Compassion is the glue that holds us all together in times of prosperity and despair. Admiration for another person opens many opportunities to show loyalty, compassion, and affection in wonderful ways. Love is the deepest emotional and physical commitment we can offer and there is no greater feeling.

Respect is so important that without it there is no regard for anything. Respect starts with respecting ourself. If we don’t respect ourself, we have no moral compass to guide us in decisions of right and wrong. Respect is to hold something in high regard and to treat it with admiration and courtesy. Respect solidifies a relationship and shows appreciation for a persons character. Disrespecting another leads to resentment and hostility in relationships. No one wants to be in a relationship unless there is mutual respect for one another.

Sharing brings to mind traits we have in common with one another. We share adventures of joy, experiences we have had and generate together, and we selflessly share social exchanges with others. In order to have mutuality, both people in the relationship must share equally. Sharing brings a uniqueness to the table which garners interest from those willing to share in our uniqueness. A common bond develops between people who share feelings of caring for one another, and a deep camaraderie will develop to fortify a relationship.

Trust is one of the main pillars in any relationship. Trust is a persons unwavering faith in a another’s ability to follow through with expectations of fulfilling their moral and ethical obligations to others. Trust is earned based on ones actions and behavior and it creates an unbreakable bond which puts a relationship at ease. Some say trust is granted, but I believe trust is earned. Trust allows a relationship to grow and flourish, it thrives on reliability. Trust gives us inner peace and hope when our faith in others presents itself in a way we cannot deny.

Intimacy is a very warm, personal, and private relationship with another person. Intimacy allows one to share their inner most feelings with another, it really does not need to be spoken although being able to verbalize what is inside of us can make intimacy a bond that cultivates closeness and unity. As times passes intimacy grows because of experiencing life together. To build intimacy one must have the confidence to convey feelings and make time to be together without daily interruptions. We all have the need to belong and love, intimacy affords us the opportunity to open up and share our deepest feelings with another, whether they be emotional or physical. True intimacy cements relationships in a way that deeply bonds people together.

The moment we are born, mother and baby bond together in a way that cannot be denied. Throughout life we seek to replicate that very loving relationship with others we chose to be with. We deserve a relationship that brings out the best in us. What we put into a relationship is what we get out of it, they certainly are the most important pursuit in life. As adults we have the choice to pursue a relationship that uplifts us, respects us, and commits to love throughout our life. Pursuing people who have our best interest at heart will contribute to meaningful and fulfilling relationships. There are few things in life that can compare to a relationship which cherishes each other and follows through with a determined effort to achieve harmony.

My understanding of relationships comes from what I have experienced in my own life and may not align with what others think relationships should be or not be. I conclude with a plea, if you are being abused, seek qualified professional help or seek friends to determine the proper course of action for exiting the relationship.

I always wish you the best with your endeavors in life.

Sources:,,› Psychology Topics,Characteristics of Emotoinally Abused People – EQI…,,

Author: Steve

I believe what is spoken from the heart and soul speaks volumes about who we really are. When our heart and soul becomes overpowered by ego, anger, deception and insincerity, we often speak foolishly. If actions and words are not from our innermost being we are not who we want to be. I believe in speaking from the heart and soul, I've found most folks prefer genuine people. I encourage you to listen to your heart and soul, to speak of the things that have brought light and wisdom into your life. The topics I present are heartfelt and come from years of experience with life, research and common sense. I extend my sincere wishes for the best to come your way. Thank you God for uplifting traits within us all that brings out the best of who we are. I look forward to your comments.


  1. Well done, Steve. This IS an important topic as it is the underpinning for virtually everything we humans concern ourselves with. On a related note, we educator-types try to keep in mind James Comer’s quote: “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Very thought provoking. I tend disagree with you regarding your statement that you are not an expert on relationships. I think that you must be an expert based on the marriage that you and Mom have.


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