It is important to create a healing environment within the relationship even if there is anger, criticism or condemnation, as it is this very environment that may calm the atmosphere and allow clarity and purpose of vision to thrive.

You know you have created an environment of healing when you show respect to one another and feel free to show physical affection. Partners use supportive language and messages with one another and are willing to confront their disagreements with open, honest communication. Both partners feel they are equal in the relationship and do not experience power struggles for emotional control. Neither will play the role of victim nor that of martyr because they feel they have a chance to reform or change if the situation requires such.

Receiving critical feedback without becoming defensive or jumpy is crucial as is seeking to be out in the open, giving and receiving direct feedback about each other’s personal functioning and performance. Each partner is able to forgive past abuses or hurts. Each partner will feel they are in a relationship open to healing when both are encouraged to admit their feelings of fear, anxiety, or depression and are supported as they explore their past and families of origin for the roots of any dysfunctional behaviour. They trust one another enough to admit their problems, concerns, faults, and feelings and feel secure, cared for, and accepted.

Also the fear of retribution or condemnation for mistakes, shortcomings, or backsliding (past or current) is not evident in the relationship. Self growth and relationship growth is encouraged and each give love and receive love unconditionally.