Building A Good Marriage With Your Spouse

Updated January 12, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

The media often portrays a good marriage as an effortless daydream. They say that when true love is present, hardships and trying times cease to exist. Pop culture suggests that there is little to be done for weatherproofing the relationship to make it through difficult times. But a good marriage can, in reality, take a lot of time and energy to cultivate, especially if you’d like to maintain the health of your relationship throughout life. Let’s take a deeper dive into what steps you can take to promote a healthy relationship with your spouse.

Want To Build The Best Version Of Your Relationship?

What Makes A Good Marriage?

There are many misconceptions about a good marriage. It is not necessarily faultless, free from disagreements, arguments, and fights. Doubts or worries will likely occasionally be present. Likewise, the relationship probably won't always be amazing and effortlessly blissful.

A good marriage may be defined not by lack of difficulties, but rather how the parties manage to handle problems. A great partnership can bring many benefits, not the least of which is being able to take on life with someone that you deeply care about, trust, and love. To reap the rewards of a good marriage, you generally need to ensure that it is nurtured and cared for.

Elements Of A Successful Marriage

The Battles Inside The Mind

Where do anxieties, doubts, and fears come from? The answer is more complicated than it might seem. Many of the issues which arise in marriages are not relationship-ending calamities, but rather somewhat small disagreements that spiral out of control.

Winning the battle inside the mind is often essential to knocking out little things before they transform into real problems.

That is not to say that doubts should never be addressed in anything but a skeptical light. Consider if doubts have any real base. If so, they should be handled in conversation between partners.

Communication

Communication is often considered to be one of the most vital aspects of any relationship.

Larger conflicts typically form from a failure to face smaller issues together. The ignorance of grievances or perceived slights, for instance, typically will only cause them to fester. If repressed, what was once thought to be a minor problem can grow out of control. If left undealt with, they can feel too large to face. A terrible cycle of ignoring small problems may begin to take over the relationship.

To combat this, try your best to shine a light on unaddressed problems. Things kept hidden away in our heads and from partners are usually beneficial to no one. Once these issues are discussed positively and constructively, they can be worked through. However, the process is not always easy. It can be painful discussing resentments, but the discomfort is almost certainly much less excruciating than that of years of silence. Settling issues is typically an integral part of a good marriage.

Don't Forget Self-Improvement

Much of the dissatisfaction which arises in marriage can come from a feeling of stagnation or even a fear of personal regression. Partners may feel like they have to sacrifice aspects of their personal self or goals to maintain their relationship. They might also feel like prioritizing themselves is less of a priority or struggle to find time to participate in their own hobbies and passions.

Working to incorporate self-improvement into a relationship can be a vital part of building one that lasts. Picking up a new hobby, continuing to try new things, and working on self-improvement can all enhance one's place in a relationship. It may be beneficial, then, to strive to create an environment where growth is praised, and appreciation for a partner's improvements is cherished.

Furthermore, personal growth can bring meaning to life outside of the relationship. It provides something to work on and feel proud of. The value of growth cannot be overstated, especially in a long-term marriage where routines are in place and monotony can start to set in.

Focus On The Little Things

Focusing on the little things doesn't have to mean getting upset when a partner does something that may be annoying, like leaving the dishes out or forgetting to take care of the groceries. Instead, target the little things a partner does that you appreciate.

Monotony generally presents itself when there is a lack of excitement. Break that cycle! Do something unexpected and kind for a partner, even if it's just a small act. Going the extra mile for a loved one may not be hard or require that much effort.

Passion - Inside And Outside Of The Bedroom

A good sex life can be an important part of a marriage, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Some marriages don’t involve frequent sexual activity or any at all. Asexuality is a sexual orientation in which a person experiences little to no sexual attraction, but asexual people can still participate in meaningful and healthy relationships. Even if you aren’t on the asexuality spectrum, it’s okay to want to find other ways to show your passion and love for your partner. 

Below are five ways partners commonly display love:

  • Words of affirmation

  • Acts of service

  • Receiving gifts

  • Quality time

  • Physical touch

These are known as The Five Love Languages. Everyone values different combinations of these love languages. As a result, it can be crucial to know or to have at least an idea of what a partner appreciates. By keeping notes of what a lover likes to do for their spouse and what they love most about what they receive, their personal love language can be revealed.

Keep An Eye On Money

One of the top reasons for divorce is often some sort of money problem. Whether it be overwhelming debt, unpaid bills, or upcoming expenses, poor money management skills can test a marriage. The problem itself is not always money. It can also be how money is thought of. Some partners may view finances differently than others, which can act as a source of conflict in the long term.

Want To Build The Best Version Of Your Relationship?

Put A Damper On Expectations

What should a healthy marriage look like? This question is often answered with notions that are spread through the media of what a marriage ought to look like. Having a goal for a solid marriage is not a bad thing but trying to form a relationship using misguided information can be a recipe for disaster.

Try your best to drop any detailed and specific expectations of what a marriage should be. Instead, try to build the best version of a relationship with your spouse. You may discover that this is the key to a great marriage.

Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, building a healthy and happy marriage proves to be too difficult for just the couple in question to manage. Receiving professional guidance and help can make working through conflict, communicating effectively, and celebrating love for one another easier. 

One of the simplest ways to seek help is through online therapy. Because it can be accessed from nearly anywhere that has an internet connection, online therapy is accessible and affordable for many who choose to pursue it.

Research supports the efficacy of online therapy, especially for couples. One study found that the distance that online therapy creates actually helps some couples more effectively connect to their therapist and work through their concerns. Participants in the study found that they felt comfortable disclosing more online than in-person, which may mean that online therapy can help you make progress more quickly and easily. 

Takeaway

Like many things in life, building a good and happy marriage is usually something that takes time, effort, and patience. Learning how to communicate well, understand one another, and navigate conflicts when they arise are all great ways to get started. Of course, long-term maintenance is also likely necessary, which is something that an online therapist can help with. There may not be one key to a perfect marriage, but through hard work and a lot of love, you can likely build something to last a lifetime.

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