Having a successful marriage can be a challenge. You make decisions with someone else in mind. You have to be careful of another person’s feelings. And you also still need to find happiness yourself. Strong couples are, first and foremost, strong individuals. They are secure in themselves and can; therefore, allow themselves to be vulnerable in a relationship. Once you find that sort of marriage partner, your strengths are reinforced. Here are 20 things strong married couples do differently.
- They never deliberately make their partner jealous.
When you have become one flesh with a person, the last thing you need to do is to purposefully make your partner doubt your commitment. If you play with fire, you will soon get burned.
- They never publicly put their partner down.
Humiliating your partner-especially in front of other people on purpose-will destroy a relationship. There’s a way to express yourself, and there’s a way to not do it. Only speak positive things to others about your spouse.
- They don’t compare their relationships to their previous ones.
When you compare two things, there will always be a winner and a loser. Every relationship is different, and what makes one special might not hold true for another one. Strong couples focus on the relationships they are in, not the ones they’ve moved on from.
- They don’t always insist on their way in everything.
They know that good marriages involve sacrifice. When the Bible uses the words submit and love, it is referring to a level of sacrifice that is needed in order for the relationship to survive and flourish. We need to look to the needs of our partners as much as to our own needs.
- They don’t try to make the other person something they are not.
You fell in love with your partner for a reason, not a project. Stable persons don’t try to alter the other person’s appearance, change their personalities or change their relationship with their family. Happy partners are in love with the real people right in front of them.
- They recognize the importance of physical affection.
The sexual component of marriage holds equal value to the emotional component. Learn to say later (with a specific time) instead of no. Recognize that this is a need each of you have and is something that makes your marriage stronger.
- They never insult their partner’s family.
Feeling comfortable enough to insult your partner’s family is like thinking it’s acceptable to comment on your partner’s weight. It’s really only okay when your partner does it to their own family.
- They don’t keep their lives private from one another.
Separate bank accounts, secret passcodes on phones, secret social media accounts. These things create a level of distrust and give opportunity for other relationships to grow. Take every opportunity to create trust and to protect yourself from temptation.
- They don’t hang out only with each other.
Just because you spend every second together doesn’t mean you have a solid relationship. The ability to separate from one another actually makes your ties stronger. No one enjoys that couple that can’t be without the other person. It’s too much. It feels fake. It’s just as important to keep your outside relationships as it is to maintain your romantic ones.
- They avoid pointing out each other’s flaws.
Of course, if our fly is open, we do need that brought to our attention. But overall, we all have improving to do. When the playful jest turns into annoyed jabs, it’s a sign of a larger struggle between partners. Strong couples know the other person’s weaknesses, and rather than putting their partners down for it, they don’t mind stepping in for support.
- They don’t judge their relationship against other couples.
There is no one way to love somebody. When you compare what you have with someone else’s standard, there will always be instances you come up short. Part of that is we tend to focus on their good and not their flaws. Strong couples are strong because they don’t base their value on how they measure up to the outside world. They have the self-confidence to know they are good.
- They don’t always compete with one another.
There’s a difference between challenging your partner and competing with your partner. In the former, both of you emerge as better people; in the latter, someone has to lose. It’s not about who made dinner one night or who thought of the trip to take. It’s about selflessly making each other happy and getting there together.
- They don’t get mad without explaining why.
We know from grad school drama that addressing situations passive-aggressively never works the way we want it to. Successful couples are able to speak up and not be afraid of how the other person will react. Harboring anger without giving your partner a chance to make it right isn’t fair to anyone.
- They never take their relationship for granted.
Even the strongest couples remember that relationships take work. There needs to be an effort put forth every day. They are grateful for the other person, make room for growth, and say “I love you” and mean it.
- They don’t neglect their spiritual relationships.
Yes there are couples that are happy married but that aren’t Christians. But God’s ultimate plan for each of us is to find fulfillment in Christ. As each partner grows closer to God, they make the stability and happiness of the marriage a greater possibility.