What is the secret of a solid marriage? Many of us have faced insecurity in our relationships and trepidation about marriage. In times of anger or pain, it is common for the mind to seek an escape path and for some, the escape is consideration of divorce. If you have concerns about your marriage and are looking for some reassurance, here is a checklist of 7 ways to know if you have a solid marriage.
Once you review the list, you may have some difficult decisions to make. Decisions like “Am I willing to change and grow to improve my marriage?”
The good news is change and growth are possible and are a lot less painful than divorce!
Seven Signs Of A Solid Marriage
Watch the video below or scroll down below to find the highlights of our Blab show about the seven signs of a solid relationship.
1st Sign: Commitment
In relationships, we experience highs and lows. We don't always like each other or want to be with each other. If you are committed to your partner regardless of the struggles you will face or have faced, you have created a secure and nurturing partnership that leads to a solid marriage. When we take or make marriage vows we often don’t consider the possibilities that can impact our willingness to remain committed. People change. Are you willing to maintain your commitment even if and when your partner changes? I am not suggesting to stay no matter what. If you are in danger, I always recommend seeking safety and taking care of your health and wellbeing.
2nd Sign: Honesty
If you and your partner have made honesty a priority even when it's hard - you have a solid marriage. Trust is paramount to a successful relationship and unwavering honesty creates the ability to believe in what you've built as a couple. You cannot control your partner’s choices about honesty, but you can set the tone by sharing things that create vulnerability and demonstrate a commitment to truth. We are typically tempted to hide things or lie when we fear that there will be consequences. If you notice that you do this, you would benefit from talking to a therapist about your fears and how to change this pattern.
3rd Sign: Similar Goals and Values
When we share similar goals and Values it means we are generally headed in the same direction. The problem I typically encounter when working with couples in my marriage counseling sessions is they have an idealized view of their priorities and values when in actuality what they say and what they do don’t match. It's difficult to be married to someone if you're walking completely different paths and even more difficult if you don’t have awareness about the path you are on! If you have clarified your goals and values and can say that your ideas, thoughts, and actions are in agreement with each other you have a higher likelihood of marital success.
4th Sign: History of Successful Problem Resolution
In marriage relationships, we face problems ranging from family to finances and everything in between! A history of successful navigation and communication around any issues gives both people confidence in the strength of the relationship and the ability to have repeated success in the future. Successful problem resolution typically requires openness, valuing your partner's input, working together (playing on the same side of the net), following through with agreements and not shaming or blaming your partner if things don’t turn out the way you hoped or planned.
5th Sign: Communication
You knew it was coming! If you and your partner communicate well, meaning you share thoughts and feelings vulnerably, have positive habits like engaged listening, apologizing when you messed up, expressing gratitude for each other and just talking about things that matter - it is likely that you have a solid marriage.
6th Sign: Acceptance
If you accept your partner and love them for who they are, your marriage is solid. This is one of the more difficult things to do in a marriage. Manipulating your partner to think, believe or do what you want them to is hurtful and is typically received as rejection, control and a statement of disapproval. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are doing this and other times we can be in denial or avoid things we don't want to see in hopes they will change on their own. If you are in acceptance with your partner, you are in love. You are practicing non-judgment and compassion and your partner appreciates it.
7th Sign: Identity
Do you know what you like, how you feel, have your own hobbies and friends? In other words, do you have your own identity that is not dependent on your partners? If you rely completely on your partner or your children to fulfill your needs and time, chances are you lack your own identity. This can feel burdensome in a marriage and can also lead to boredom inside of the relationship. You can create a more solid marriage by branching out, trying new things or revisiting old things that you used to enjoy. Learn something new, explore your own beliefs and ideas, find your purpose. If you are doing these things, your marriage is solid.
So, now that you have read the list where do you see your marriage? Solid or sagging? If you have identified some weak spots or are not sure what to do next, take a breath, believe there is a solution.
Pick up the phone and call our marriage counseling team in Boca Raton at (561) 221-5575.
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