Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

R Relationships by Dr. Bill Austin
Creating Safe Relationships (Part Two)


In this article we are continuing with the traits of a safe relationship. We want our relationship to be a safe place even during conflict and disappointments.

A relationship is safe when there is a commitment larger than mistakes and disappointments.

In a safe relationship we don't have to walk on eggshells, afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, because there is a commitment to each other that is larger than our problems. We can count on that person to be there for us in good and bad times; when we are at our best and when we are at our worst; when we look great and when we don't.

A safe
relationship is not
just about making myself
happy and expecting the
other person to make
me happy.

A safe relationship has the tools to keep it growing and interesting.

The tools are:

  • making time to go out with each other
  • making time to talk
  • forgiving hurts
  • making time to play
  • making the relationship a priority
  • working on improving the relationship equally
  • encouraging closeness and intimacy
  • balancing time for self and time for the relationship
  • having outside hobbies and interests because we know one person cannot meet all our needs

A safe relationship is reciprocal but is not 50/50.

A safe relationship is not just about making myself happy and expecting the other person to make me happy. If we think our relationship should be 50/50, we are in for a disappointment. It is not going to come out even. Sometimes we give 60 percent and get back 40 percent because it is about need. Other times we get 60 percent and give 40 percent. If we are always getting 60 percent and our partner is only getting 40 percent, then there is a problem. Our relationship needs to be reciprocal and worth the cost.

Dr. William E. Austin is a licensed psychotherapist and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree. He is a therapist with Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services . He is well known for his warmth and sense of humor. His book, Creating Our Safe Place - Articles on Healthy Relationships, can be purchased through

Tidewater Pastoral Counseling: 623-2700