We’ve all been around couples who have a relationship that seems flawless. You know the couples I’m talking about, the ones with an obvious healthy marital relationship. They never argue, are able to work through conflict as it arises with ease. There is a constant show of affection, love and support for each other.
I know a couple like this. They married and everything seemed to fall into place for them. They live a charmed life and it is all due to the healthy marital relationship they have with each other.
For some couples things don’t fall into place. A relationship with their spouse is more of a struggle, something that has to be worked at. A relationship that leaves them feeling empty, unloved or disrespected.
Below are the characteristics of a healthy and unhealthy marital relationship. It will help you and your spouse determine whether or not you are on the right track in your relationship or whether you both need to make some modifications in certain behaviors.
Characteristics of a Healthy Marital Relationship:
- Not only do you feel happy and safe with your spouse, you are able to have those same feelings when alone.
- You motivate each other to live life to the fullest. To pursue your dreams and are able to work together toward common goals.
- You accept each other for who you are. There aren’t any expectations that the other will or needs to change.
- You both feel secure in expressing your opinion. You know your spouse will listen and take into consideration your feelings on issues that arise.
- Your relationship with each other is your main priority. If something comes up that will cause stress in the relationship you always defer to what is best for the relationship.
- Marital problems and conflicts do not cause you to feel insecure. Your spouse can become upset with you without you taking on the attitude that you are no longer loved. You fully understand that conflict is a part of any healthy marital relationship.
- If you are asked about your relationship the majority of what you have to say about it is positive.
- You are able to communicate in an open and honest way with each other.
- You always feel loving, kind and giving toward your spouse.
Characteristics of an Unhealthy Marital Relationship:
- You feel insecure and needy when not around your spouse. You are dependent on your spouse for security and feelings of happiness.
- You judge your spouse’s differences. If he/she does not feel as you do about dreams or goals for the future you are unable to work with your spouse in a way that means both getting what they want.
- When conflict arises, you are unable to solve the problems. You feel stifled, as if your spouse does not listen or take into consideration your point of view.
- You withdraw intimately by withholding sex or emotionally by withholding love when there is a conflict. Instead of finding solutions to problem one or both of you shuts down and refuses to deal with the conflict.
- You do not communicate openly and honestly with your spouse. You lie and withhold important information from each other.
- You spend most of your time feeling hurt or worrying about the state of your relationship with your spouse.
- You complain to others about your spouse. Instead of talking to your spouse, you invite others into the problems in your marriage.
- You do not make your relationship a priority. You put your own desires and level of comfort before the relationship.
- You take any criticism from your spouse as an assault instead of being open to his/her feedback.
- You manipulate your partner into doing things they are not comfortable doing regardless of the harm it will do the relationship. If you want something you will nag, beg or us emotional blackmail until you get what you want.