One hundred percent of all couples hope to succeed in marriage only to discover it isn’t possible without daily work.
Yet, many aren’t willing to do everything required to create a healthy marriage.
In the United States, slightly less than half of all marriages end in divorce. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
As a couple, you should be prepared to boost each other, bringing out the very best.
It helps when spouses feel loved, appreciated, and cared for. With one feel less insecure, especially about their job, appearance, and social life.
Luckily, having a happy marriage is something you can work on.
Here are 15 proven ingredients for a healthy marriage:
Trusting One Another
You should learn to trust your spouse’s judgment if you want a healthy marriage. If your spouse has decided to do something, give them unconditional support.
Instead of criticizing or questioning their views and decisions, learn to look at things from their perspective.
If you have second thoughts, ask your spouse to explain their reasoning. It is much better than the outright rejection of your spouse’s views.
Always assume that your spouse has sincere intentions for making that particular decision. If you want to offer an alternative, wait until you are in a room alone – not in front of other people.
Needing Each Other
You can show your spouse how much you value their input by asking for their advice or help.
Even if it is something you would have done for yourself, ask for his or her perspective.
According to Emerson Eggerichs in Love & Respect, that shows you respect your spouse’s opinion, which can lead to a healthy marriage.
Even if your partner has no contribution to make, they will feel appreciated and informed about your life.
You may only avoid spousal consultation for the daily mundane decisions that don’t require much thought.
However, when faced with a significant decision or problem, your spouse will feel good about themselves.
Showing Respect in Public
How do you treat each other in public? Do you address each other with respect or with contempt?
The way you treat each other will make an impression on other people you meet publicly. Of course, it doesn’t help to try belittling or having absolute control over your spouse.
That will only humiliate your spouse, hurting their self-respect and social standing.
In the future, he or she will be belittled by their workmates, family, and friends for appearing helpless. That won’t help you either, as it will bring you out as the relationship’s bad one.
It will help if you avoid all forms of teasing, no matter how light it might be. That’s because teasing makes your partner feel unloved and unappreciated.
Also Related: The Top 18 Healthy Relationship Tips For Couples.
In the book: Communication in Marriage Workbook, Katerina Griffith says appreciating your spouse can build a healthy marriage.
In matrimony, appreciation should be done regularly for big and small things alike. You shouldn’t wait until your partner has bought you a car to say, “Thank you.”
Start by appreciating them for the hot cup of coffee in the evening. Or for taking the chores in your place.
If you make it a habit, you will appreciate your partner when for the great staff. You will encourage your spouse to keep doing good things and make them feel valued and appreciated. You can do that by saying, “Thank you,” hugging, kissing, or massaging your spouse.
Effective communication is one of the proven ingredients of a healthy marriage. That’s because, without effective communication, all other aspects of marriage may not take place.
So, that means you should make an effort to use your words and actions to reassure your spouse that all is well. You can use regular verbal communication, non-verbal communication, as well as physical acts of love.
As John M. Gottman says in Seven Principles of Marriage, open communication between spouses strengthens the marriage beyond limits. It also allows the two of you to learn more about each other.
It is a fun way of saying that the relationship still matters to you.
Apart from communication, compassion is one of the essential ingredients in a healthy marriage.
According to a 2017 study published in Emotion, compassion is key to a happy marriage. The good thing with compassion is that you can practice it in various ways – through the way you look at each other or speaking in a tone of approval.
It is the complete opposite of criticism as it concerns strengthening the relationship. When you are compassionate, you will change your schedule for your partner’s sake and show more affection to each other.
Consequently, you will feel better about yourself, your partner, and the relationship in general.
Without commitment, a marriage cannot last. Writing for Psychology Today, Rob Pascale and Lou Primavera say that emotional commitment is essential in enhancing marriage.
It directs how you feel about your partner, helping shape how you treat them. With commitment, spouses tend to have positive thoughts of each other, working harder to make the relationship work.
It also makes it possible to sacrifice personal needs and focus on those which are mutually beneficial. Consequently, it eliminates individualism, helping the couple work together as a team. With shares thoughts, interests, and aspirations, they end up having a healthy marriage capable of meeting all of their needs.
Intimacy is one of the essential ingredients of a healthy marriage. Without it, the couple begins to grow apart, desiring to cheat, and lacking commitment to the relationship. The main problem is a lack of understanding of the kind of intimacy needed by each gender.
According to Gary Chapman’s in his best-selling book Five Love Languages, men crave physical intimacy, women long for an emotional connection.
All of these make the partners feel more appreciated by their significant others. They understand each other better, have confidence and a sense of security, and support each other.
Sexual intimacy also boosts self-confidence and boosts the partner’s health. Consequently, the relationship grows more robust because of the positive bond created through intimacy.
Also Related: 17 Things To Look For In A Healthy Relationship.
What does it mean to be in a marriage partnership? A true collaboration implies both the husband and the wife working together to achieve common goals.
One of these goals should be to have a healthy marriage instead of a toxic one. Both parties should be free to express themselves and equally influence essential decisions in the relationship.
In the end, both of them are equally responsible for the success or failure of the relationship. In an article on Inc.com, Malini Bhatia said effective communication, compassion, and money could make or break a marriage.
However, these are only the key ingredients to turning marriage into a partnership.
Did you know that love and home are Siamese twins?
According to Alan Hawkins, Ph.D., couples need to have hope that the relationship can work. They also need to hope that they have all it takes to have a healthy relationship now and in the future.
Dr. Hawkins carried out a study in which 182 married and unmarried couples with low incomes participated. The research established that couples with the highest amounts of relationship hope were more likely to stay together.
What hope does is to give the partners an impetus to work towards making the relationship better. They believe it can work and invest all their energy in having a healthy relationship.
Conversely, lack of connection hope can make a couple stop trying, leaving the relationship deteriorating.
Acceptance or lack of it can either make or break a relationship.
It helps the partners appreciate efforts by their better halves to make the relationship better. But what is acceptance?
It is the recognition that your partner is far from perfect being perfect. Despite that, you accept them and appreciate them for always try their best. Without acceptance, one spouse tends to feel rejected and starts avoiding the other partner.
If things don’t change, the two will grow apart and even end up divorced. Writing for marriage.com, Russell Strelnick says you can develop acceptance by letting go of small matters and solving problems together.
Respect your partner’s opinions, embrace their flaws, exercise patience & kindness, and avoid reheating your partner’s past sins. For a healthy relationship, the effort has to be mutual.
Even though it is often taken for granted, loyalty is one of the proven ingredients of a healthy marriage. When you are loyal, you reassure your partner that you will support them both emotionally and physically when they need you.
Loyalty can be seen through kind words, helpful actions, and presence. When your partner sees your commitment level, they will learn to trust you and feel secure in your company.
Even better, they will know that you are working hard to stay faithful to your marriage vows. In turn, your partner will be more loyal to you.
He or she will respect your weaknesses, never shame you in public, guard secrets, always side with you, and be there physically and emotionally. Reciprocating loyalty will help your marriage grow more robust.
Respect for Privacy
For you to have a healthy marriage, you should work towards respecting each other’s privacy. Being together doesn’t necessarily mean failing to respect boundaries.
Instead, it would help if you lay down boundaries without necessarily being too secretive. By respecting privacy, you will be able to keep certain things to yourself instead of sharing them with the public.
For example, you don’t want to announce to visitors your intention to use the bathroom. Also, be careful about sharing your romantic past with your spouse. Keep some thoughts and opinions to yourself, realizing that you aren’t obligated to share everything.
Finally, there is no need to allow divergent political views to affect the relationship. That way, you can avoid conflicts and build a healthy marriage capable of lasting into the future.
Also Related: The 12 Ingredients for Successful Romantic Relationship.
Do you wish to maintain a healthy marriage? If so, then you should learn to be kind to each other. Kindness is the glue that keeps married partners together.
According to the findings of a research study, kindness is a key predictor of marriage stability and satisfaction. That’s because it makes the partners feel understood, validated, and cared for.
The problem is that too many couples tend to be over-critical of their spouses by default. Yet, kindness is a trait you can learn. By practicing small acts of kindness every day, you will develop it for the long term.
When your partner has a need, try to fulfill it no matter how tired you feel. Coming up with excuses will only create distance and breed resentment between the two of you.
Living with Love
Everything we have talked about so far boils down to one point – LOVE.
Even though it is challenging to maintain the feeling you had when you met for the first time, it is necessary to choose to love your partner.
That gives you the patience, attention, drive, and selflessness to build a healthy relationship.
With love, you will be able to maintain happiness in your relationship. And here is the reason why – being in love triggers your body to release dopamine, a chemical that makes you feel appreciated, rewarded, and happier.
Love also triggers cortisol production, which gives you butterflies in the stomach, excites you, and gives you overwhelming passion. All of these positive feelings will make your relationship more robust for longer.
Building a healthy marriage is not rocket science. You only need to build trust, need each other, show respect in public, appreciate each other, and communicate effectively.
It would also help if you were more compassionate, committed, and more intimate while working as partners. But all of that wouldn’t work without hope, acceptance, loyalty, and respect for privacy.
Lastly, it is essential to exercise kindness and keep loving each other. Who said having a happy marriage is anything too hard to handle?