What makes a good marriage?

What makes a healthy marriage last?

Chris Tickner, PhD, MFT
Chris Tickner, PhD, MFT
​The Life You Deserve | The Relationships You Want
When I ask my couples why are you together, they often will say "because we love each other!" Well, that's great, but it's not enough. Love is what brings us together in the first place. It's that magical, hormonal glue that creates a powerful biological bond that ensures we get together, mate, and have kids. When that magic fades, the difficult work of making good marriage starts. It takes more than love. 

You have to have a shared purpose, a shared reason for being together. For many couples, it's about having kids, or self-actualization, or buying a house. It can be anything, but a good marriage is one in which both partners can answer the question in the same way, and have thought and talked about before. 

Another sign of a good, lasting marriage is one in which each partner takes an active role in helping the other through hard times. When they disagree, they spend more energy trying to understand the other person instead of proving their own point. They can quickly drop the sword, listen and reflect accurately, and demonstrate care and genuine concern. 

Finally, a good marriage is one where there is affection. Notice I didn't say sex. I've worked with couples who haven't had sex in years, and they were the happiest couple in my practice. Sex doesn't equal intimacy or affection. I'm talking about cuddling, holding, hugging. I'm talking about that deep relaxation feeling you get when you just let go into the arms of your partner. That kind of affection. It's crucial! 

You deserve this kind of relationship, and you have everything in you to make it happen. Sometimes we just need some support and guidance. Don't hesitate to reach out for help. It can make all the difference. 

Good luck! 
The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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