7 Keys to a Healthy Marriage According to a Relationship Therapist

A healthy marriage embodies a balanced synergy of respect, understanding, and affection.

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on July 25, 2023

Two People In A Healthy Marriage Relationship Enjoying Each Other

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What makes a happy and healthy marriage?

We’ve all pondered these questions, especially in the aftermath of a failed relationship when we’re yearning for answers.

It’s understandable because the pain of a broken relationship is one of the most difficult experiences we endure.

We seek not only to understand what went awry but also to discover the key elements we should prioritize in our future relationships.

Marriage is a beautiful union that requires effort and commitment from both partners.

While every marriage is unique, there are certain fundamental rules that can help cultivate a healthy marriage and thriving relationship.

To gain more insight, I reached out to Dr.

Glen Hong, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, and Author to share his relationship and marriage advice.

In this article, we will outline his seven essential keys for a healthy marriage that can guide couples on their journey toward a fulfilling and healthy partnership.

Two People In A Healthy Marriage Relationship

 

1. Trust and Mutual Respect

 

Trust, honesty, and mutual respect serve as the foundation for a healthy marriage.

Without trust, the relationship becomes fragile and prone to conflicts and misunderstandings.

To avoid contempt in relationships, it is crucial for both partners to be sincere, to truly see each other’s points of view, and to seek out a win/win situation when having discussions.

This level of mutuality leads to respect, meaning treating each other as allies instead of adversaries.

This also will naturally promote valuing each other’s opinions and boundaries and acknowledging the importance of individual autonomy.

By cultivating trust and mutual respect, couples can create a safe and secure environment where their love can flourish.

 

2. Alignment of Core Values

 

Shared core values play a significant role in the success of a healthy marriage.

While partners may have different interests and personalities, having alignment in core beliefs and life goals is essential for long-term compatibility.

It is important to have open and honest discussions about values such as family, religion, career aspirations, and personal growth.

When partners share common values, it strengthens their bond and provides a sense of purpose and direction in their marriage.

Oftentimes, it is the misalignment of values that leads to the deterioration of the marriage.

 

3. Open Communication

 

Effective and open communication is the lifeblood of any healthy marriage.

It involves both expressing oneself honestly and actively listening to one’s partner.

Communication should be respectful, non-judgmental, and empathetic.

It is crucial to address concerns, conflicts, and desires openly and constructively.

Regular check-ins and quality conversations allow partners to understand each other’s needs, provide support, and foster a deeper emotional connection.

It is the daily check-ins that set the foundation for healthy conflict to occur when important issues need to be discussed.

Two People In A Healthy Marriage Relationship Cooking Together

 

4. Emotional Intelligence

 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as empathize with the emotions of others.

Developing emotional intelligence is vital in a marriage because it helps partners navigate challenges and avoid emotional flooding with empathy and compassion.

It involves being aware of one’s own emotional triggers, practicing self-regulation, and effectively expressing emotions without causing harm.

This is crucial because individuals that have low emotional intelligence, are unaware of the damage and harm they are causing to their relationship.

By developing emotional intelligence, couples can create a nurturing and supportive environment where emotions are acknowledged and respected.

It also leads to a healthy marriage and relationship dynamic where both individuals can be who they are, and in that space, create a healthy emotional union.

 

5. Intimacy and Affection

 

Physical and emotional intimacy are crucial components of a healthy marriage.

Intimacy goes beyond physical affection and includes emotional closeness, vulnerability, and deep connection.

It is essential for partners to prioritize quality time together, engage in activities that promote intimacy, and openly express love and affection.

Regular physical touch, such as hugging, holding hands, and kissing, helps strengthen the bond between partners and fosters a sense of security and belonging.

A healthy level of intimacy both physically and emotionally enhances positive energy in the relationship.

 

6. Change and Growth

 

Marriages are dynamic, and change is inevitable.

Both partners should embrace personal growth and support each other’s individual journeys.

It is essential to allow space for personal development, pursue interests outside the marriage, and encourage each other’s goals and aspirations.

By fostering an environment of growth, couples can prevent stagnation and continue to evolve together, ensuring a thriving, vibrant partnership and healthy marriage.

It also helps to keep that spark in the relationship because personal development and growth are the norm.

 

7. Friendships and Shared Interests

 

Maintaining a strong friendship is a vital aspect of a healthy marriage.

Partners should strive to be each other’s best friends, confidants, and sources of support.

Nurturing shared interests and engaging in activities together helps create a sense of camaraderie and strengthens the bond.

Cultivating friendships outside the marriage is also important, as it allows for individual growth and provides a support system beyond the relationship.

Your marriage should not be your only source of emotional support.

 

Keys To a Healthy Marriage: Conclusion

 

A healthy marriage requires effort, commitment, and a willingness to grow together.

By following these seven keys – trust and mutual respect, alignment of core values, open communication, emotional intelligence, intimacy and affection, change and growth, and friendships and shared interests – couples can lay a strong foundation for a fulfilling and harmonious partnership.

It is easier said than done, but these seven keys will direct and lead you in the right direction.

Remember, a healthy marriage is a journey that requires continuous effort, but the rewards of love, joy, and lifelong companionship make it worthwhile.

Best of luck on your journey!

Co-authors at ShineSheets.com

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