Here’s a surprising answer to the question, what do healthy relationships look like. Healthy, happy couples live most of the time in a state of Positive Paranoia. What is Positive Paranoia? It involves giving your partner the benefit of the doubt when they do something that is disappointing or hurtful. Happy partners often see good or simply uninformed intentions behind what their partners do or say instead of mean-spirited criticism, rejection, or attack.
By contrast, in unhappy couples, the partners can never win. Even when one spouse tries to be nice, he or she is greeted with negative paranoia; the other spouse is suspicious about underlying intentions and thinks that the loving act is simply a setup to be disappointed and hurt once again. This makes it hard and, at the very end, almost impossible to simply take in a loving gesture. There are few such barriers for happy couples.