Updated: May 20, 2020
I have been married for over 24 years. Is my marriage perfect? Nope. Do my husband and I have our “moments?” Yes, we do. But, when its all said and done, we want to work on our relationship. We are motivated in having a strong bond. As a marriage coach, I feel strongly that every marriage can work, as long as both spouses keep the following points in mind:
Marriage is what you make it. It takes effort and you get out of it what you put into it. Therefore, you must be motivated to put in the work and invest in your marriage to keep it healthy.
Marriage requires intimacy. You must be willing to be emotionally and physically naked with your spouse. Being able to love, share affection, and unite as one spirit, mind and body with your spouse creates and maintains your unique bond.
Marriage requires attention. You cannot ignore your relationship or your spouse. You must pay attention to his/her needs and feelings, as well as monitor the progression and state of your marriage relationship over time.
Marriage is not 50/50. Its 100/100—a whole product. You both must be all in. There is no half-stepping because you do not have half of a marriage.
Every marriage is unique. Your marriage will not and should not be identical to the marriages of other people. How you structure your relationship, roles, and responsibilities are up to you and your spouse alone. So, do not compare your marriage with other marriages.
Married couples should be transparent with each other. Meaning, each spouse should communicate actively, openly and honestly with each other. There should be no secrets because secrets breakdown trust.
Marriage requires communication. No matter how painful, you need to talk with your spouse. Likewise, you need to listen and seek to understand your spouse.
Marriage requires compromise. There is no me, mine, or I because marriage is about us. You and your spouse are a team.
Marriage requires being a team-player, and meeting each other in the middle--even if you disagree with each other. You cannot and will not always have your own way because marriage is not just about you.
Marriage requires forgiveness. You must be willing to forgive and move on (together or separately) when your spouse emotionally hurts you. This does not mean you must put up with continued nonsense, or abuse. But, if your spouse makes a mistake and is committed not to repeat those mistakes, then you must forgive and work through the situation. Else, if you cannot move pass prior hurts, you cannot have a healthy marriage.
Marriage needs compassion. Its not your spouse's job to make you happy, he/she is supposed to add to your happiness. It is not your job to make your spouse happy. He/she must come to the relationship with a degree of internal happiness already. However, you must show kindness and sympathy for your spouse’s suffering in all areas of his/her life, and be willing to do what you can to help alleviate his/her suffering.
Marriage requires loyalty. You and your spouse must trust each other. Building trust requires being faithful, consistent, and committed to each other, no matter what. Your spouse needs to know you are aligned with him/her, and that you have his/her back. You should be dependable, and capable of depending on your spouse as well.
Marriage should be flexible. Meaning, there should not be any rigid expectations and rules. Your marriage must have room to grow, adapt, change, and adjust as you and your spouse also grow, adapt, change and adjust as individuals and together as a couple.
Want to learn more about ways to cultivate a healthy marriage? Contact RRLC today to setup a consultation.