What does it take to have a good marriage?

What does it take to have a good marriage?

Based on my personal and professional experience, I’ve discovered that there are 3 things that are essential for a good marriage.  I recently went live on Facebook to explain what those things are and why they’re important.

A lot women worry that they don’t have a “good” marriage.

Before I explain the components of a good marriage, I want to point out that in any marriage, no matter how good it is, always has room for improvement.  My marriage is no exception.

Let’s begin by taking a look at what makes a good marriage.  Almost everyone can agree that the 3 essential elements of a good marriage are respect, trust, and love.  Everyone from experts to pinterest pin creators will talk about how important these three things are in a successful marriage.  And I agree 100%.

But respect, trust, and love are what I call “squishy” words.  They’re “squishy” because they’re hard to grab a hold of. They’re not exactly tangible.  And I’m a practical, checklist kind of girl so I need tangible. Especially if I’m trying to make sure I’m doing something right.  So let’s break those down into something that we can take action on.

First up is respect.  When it comes to respect in your marriage, I’m not talking about empowerment or the general respect of human decency that we extended to everyone. 

Specifically in marriage, respect is about giving consideration to the feelings, wishes, and opinions of your husband.  This is not the same as compromising your integrity and values in a sacrificial way.

Respect in marriage is giving your husband space to be himself.  And accept that he is different from you without judging the difference.  He gets to be him. You get to be you. You’re both allowed to be yourselves.

trust can be a bit harder to have in a marriage, especially if there’s not mutual respect.  It’s a deeper level of intimacy. It means that you both can depend on each other without question.  You might say that you “have each other’s back.”

One of the best ways to establish trust is to keep your word and honor your commitments.  One of the slipperiest slopes in marriage is what I call a “justified violation of trust.”  That’s when your husband doesn’t keep his commitment so you counter by doing the same. It sets you up for a tit-for-tat power struggle.  And nothing good can come from that. So stay true to your values, even if he does not always reciprocate.

And our last level of intimacy is love.  Love comes from the compassion and grace inside of us.  It’s an extension of who we are. Although it is the most intimate, it is also the place from where the other two originate.

So, what are some ways we can love our husband?  Start by supporting him, especially on the things in which you’re not in agreement but that don’t violate your integrity and values.  Be his biggest cheerleader. Take genuine interest in the things that interest him. Not because you’re trying to get him to reciprocate.  But because you love him and you want to draw closer to him. Better yet, work together to find something you can both share. That is your “thing.”  But if you can’t do that, at least start with trying to understand the things that he enjoys.

If you’re struggling with your marriage, start by working on improving the level of respect and rebuilding trust.  Let love and compassion be the motivation behind the consideration that you give to your husband. This is really important because love begets love.

I know I’ve given you a lot to think about and a few uncomfortable tasks to mull over and I hope you will take them to heart.  I show up here live every week with a new topic to help you improve your marriage without counseling. If you want to see the latest video, be sure to Like my page, then hover over the like button and select “get notifications.”  Facebook will bury my Live videos if you don’t go the extra step and choose to get notifications. See you all next week!

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