People generally don’t have any idea of what a successful marriage relationship actually is supposed to look like, but they know they either have a good or bad marriage. The main reason for sharing these 5 signs of a healthy marriage is to give you guidelines so you can steer your marriage toward a standard.
When I was a mediator, switching over to the side of helping marriages, I couldn’t find anything that adequately defined a marriage, much less a healthy marriage. But I know you can’t “get there from here” if you don’t know what “there” looks like. So this is what I came up with, and it’s part of The Marriage Foundation’s teachings.
Start by deciding that “perfect” is possible. That way you won’t make excuses for not pushing yourself into doing better. It is much too easy to make excuses when you should be striving for a more personal effort.
- Consideration – If you make being considerate of your spouse a rule of life, your positive efforts will drown out your negative tendencies. Don’t worry about them being considerate toward you, because if you do that, your focus will be all about you. The fools who say things like, “I deserve to be treated better,” never delve deeper and ask, “Do I treat my spouse according to what they deserve?” Those living in a self-centered world can never be happy.
- Mutual adoration – Some people think they either adore someone or they don’t. But that isn’t true. We choose our likes and dislikes, and our loves and hates. In most cases, we do it automatically, allowing subconscious memories and habits to tell us who we should love or adore, but each of us can take over our feelings and direct them to sweeten our marriage.
- Mutual appreciation – Appreciation is a broad term and can include gratitude if we wish. Certainly we can, at the very least, appreciate our spouse for choosing such a great person to marry, if nothing else, right? Obviously we can appreciate their great judgment.
- Loyalty – There is no quality more important than loyalty. This does not just mean you won’t cheat on your spouse (which would be pretty low class). This means you back them up, supporting them in their efforts to better themselves, and never throw them under the bus–ever.
- Mutual graciousness – This is a quality that encompasses so much. It means you treat each other like royalty, like it is an honor to be with your spouse. It also means you behave with grace and charm, never yelling, nagging, nor showing anger.
The above 5 signs of a healthy marriage are like rays of light that generate from the core of true love. They are ways to express your love and define commitment to the one person you chose as your lifelong best friend.
The above also represents quite a challenge for those who have never received marriage education or learned the principles of marriage. But it is never too late.
Always remember to tell your spouse, “I love you.”