Sometimes it's helpful to take stock of your marriage and see where there is room for improvement and/or to give yourself a pat on the back. Here are five signs that your marriage is a healthy one:
1. Healthy couples speak respectfully to each other. Healthy couples honor each other with their words by avoiding putdowns, yelling, and snide tones. When hurt, they share with each other without blame or shame, taking ownership for their feelings and making sure their spouse is available to talk. They also don't “trash talk” each other to their friends or family, realizing that doing so is a breach of trust.
2. Healthy couples put their marriage first. There are a lot of forces competing for our attention and it's often tempting to place those things before our marriage. Whether it's work, a hobby, or even our kids, healthy couples put their marriage first. Your marriage is your most important relationship. When it thrives, everything else in your life shines. Your home will be happier, your kids will be more balanced, and you will model for them a successful relationship.
3. Healthy couples think about each other. Healthy couples always have their spouse on their mind. When they go grocery shopping, they think about what their spouse would like. They'll call in the middle of the day to check-in. They will think about what he/she will want for dinner. It is this element of consideration and giving that helps each other feel cared for and connected.
4. Healthy couples don't keep score. Unconditional love is the hallmark of a healthy marriage. Healthy couples don't play games or keep score about who has done more or less. They give because they want to, not expecting anything in return. They are also quick to forgive their partners' mistakes by working through the issues together and don't hold these wrongdoings against them indefinitely.
5. Healthy couples make their relationship their safe space. After a long hard day, healthy couples can always turn to their spouse for nurturing and support. They know that no matter the challenges they face, their relationship is their safe space where they can turn towards to open up and share. The relationship is the place where they can feel heard in a non-judgmental and compassionate way.
When is the last time you had a check-up for your relationship? If you feel your marriage could be healthier, keep these five signs in mind as goals to strive towards and begin to experience a new vibrancy to your marriage.
If your marriage requires more immediate assistance, download your free copy of Rabbi Slatkin’s new free marriage guide, Discover Why Your Marriage Is Not What It Used To Be and How to Fix It