I hate to break it to you, but there is no secret to a perfect marriage. There isn’t even a such thing as a perfect marriage, but you can get pretty close. Marriages that come pretty close to perfect weren’t always like that though. Each marriage goes through it’s fair share of fights, arguments and struggles. Some marriages just can’t take it anymore and end up in a divorce. According to Psychology Today, in today’s society one in four marriages will end in a divorce.
There are so many things you can do to work towards having a healthy marriage. Like going on dates, enjoying a new hobby together, or attend marriage conferences. But there are also some things that you just don’t do.
Here is a list of seven things couples in a healthy marriage don’t do.
- They don’t criticize each other
When husbands and wives start to be each other’s biggest critics instead of each other’s biggest cheerleaders, it creates a downward spiral that can threaten divorce. Couples with a healthy marriage are always protecting their marriage reputation. Your spouse is a reflection of how you treat them so if you’re always talking down about your spouse, what does that say about you? Are you a loving and encouraging spouse? Or do you criticize and condemn?
2. They don’t divide everything
Once you get married, everything that is yours now also belongs to your spouse. There is no his and hers. Couples with a healthy marriage share the same bank account, have a similar group of friends, similar hobbies, similar goals, etc.… Now I’m not saying that you can’t have different interests than your spouse, but always take into consideration how your spouse feels about it. When couples start separating things they own and have, it encourages independence, when marriage should encourage interdependence.
3. They don’t hold grudges
Marriage isn’t about keeping score or keeping track of who’s winning or losing. Holding grudges can be harmful for marriage because it keeps you from forgiveness. When your spouse has done something wrong, be quick to forgive and move forward. Holding onto that grudge will only fuel the anger and animosity you’re feeling towards your spouse. It’s also very dangerous to bring up past offenses in present conversations. That’s never fair.
4. They don’t base everything off emotions
Your feelings often create your actions in marriage. If you’re feeling sad or angry, one of the actions you might display could be giving your spouse the silent treatment. Or maybe leave the house and drive away for a few hours. Those actions are a response to a negative feeling and can often be hurtful towards your spouse. Couples with a healthy marriage stay calm and rationalize if how they feel is a direct response to the problem or the person. Then they act with reason instead of emotion. There’s going to be days when you don’t feel like you’re married to your spouse, but feelings come and go. Stay committed to your spouse because love is a commitment, not just a feeling.
5. They don’t try to change each other
It never works. They know that they could never make their spouse do something they don’t want to do. And if their spouse does do it, it’s out of spite or anger. The only way to change your spouse is to change yourself and the way you think about it. Look for ways of how you compliment each other through your differences. Through that process, you both may end up changing for the better.
6. They don’t intentionally engage with members of the opposite sex
It’s so important to set boundaries with the opposite sex. Never give your spouse any reason to question your loyalty. Be aware of who you’re engaging with when your spouse is or isn’t around. You never want to make your spouse feel uncomfortable or jealous because of actions you can control. Flirting or acting single when you’re around members of the opposite sex are out of bounds. These acts of deceit are subtle forms of infidelity
7. They don’t compare their marriage to other marriages
Each marriage is different. Each couple goes through struggles and joys that some couples may never experience. You never know what’s going on behind closed doors of other marriages. Couples with a healthy marriage understand that comparing their marriage to other marriages will destroy any contentment they have in their marriage. Comparing your marriage to a marriage you think is better is saying that you want more, you want better. Also, couples with a healthy marriage don’t boast about how great their marriage may be either and compare it to marriages they perceive are failing. Doing so would be a selfish attempt to boost marriage confidence when it really stems from layers of insecurities.
If you feel like you and your spouse have been disconnected and are looking for a way to grow a healthy marriage, download my free 30 Day Love Challenge calendar below. This calendar gives you an action to take each day for 30 days to reconnect with your spouse. After entering your email address, you’ll get the download sent to your inbox right away.