Is Yours a ‘Good’ Marriage?

Is Yours a ‘Good’ Marriage?

A “good” marriage is what everyone in the institution longs to have.  Unfortunately, the term “good” has various meanings and therefore it is hard to achieve. What does a good marriage mean for you? Plenty of sex? Non-stop vacations? Cute kids? A fabulous house?  All of these elements seem great, but is that what YOU and your spouse need to have a “good” marriage? Can you honestly say that if you added these exact elements to your marriage, it would make the marriage a good one?  I assure you, it would not.

What things we believe will make a “good marriage”

We all have our own idea as to what we want in a marriage. Those who have been married can attest to the fact that, nothing prepares you for all of the unknown factors that take place when two people decide to join their lives and cohabitate. I am not saying that it is impossible to have  a “good” marriage. Of course it is, and when it works there is nothing better. What I am saying is,  in order for a marriage to be a “good” one, where both individuals feel fulfilled, encouraged and loved, there are some elements that have to be present in the relationship.

1. Friendship

The person you are married to should be someone that you enjoy spending time with. Not necessarily all of your time but a good amount of time. Why? The chances are, you are going to be spending a lot of time with them.  Being able to converse and laugh is going to enhance that time.

2. Trust

The person you are married to has to be someone that you trust.  Your heart, money, health and secrets are all vulnerable. There is little to no separation in a marriage, you must know that everything that you hold near and dear will not be misused, abandoned or harmed. This is a difficult concept for many people. It is hard to give someone that kind of unique access to your life.

3. Love

Not the kind of love that you have for the person who does your hair, it is a unyielding, ever-changing, don’t know what you would do without this person love. That kind of love is interesting because some days you may wish that you didn’t have it because you are scared that something is going to happen to it.

4. A Sense of Self

It is wonderful being so connected to another person. However, they cannot be your only reason for waking up in the morning. Just remember, when you guys met? Both of you had other things you were doing. Places you went, people you knew, they had nothing to do with your spouse. That is part of what made you fall in love in the first place. Once you get married you cannot give that up.

The elements that are necessary to make your marriage a “Good One” will come into awareness as your marriage progresses. Don’t be afraid to modify your relationship.  I will continue to post about the elements.

Kimberly VanBuren
Therapist & Life Management Coach, MA, LMFT, LPC-S
Kimberly is an experienced Marriage and Family Therapist who understands the importance of a healthy work-life balance. She and the Balancing Act team provide training and support to organizations, small groups, and individuals by evidence-based techniques to alleviate stress and anxiety and improve sleep health, to name a few. Kimberly served in the United States Air Force for eight years and continues to provide ancillary mental health and work-life balance services to active duty men and women and their families.

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