A good marriage is

what-makes-a-good-marriage-relationship - Accord, Ireland

Sometimes individuals and couples can feel dissatisfied, unhappy and unfulfilled in their marriages/ relationships and be unsure as to what exactly is wrong

There are many  factors that contribute to a satisfying  marriage/relationship such as; Love, Commitment, Trust, Time,  Attention, Good Communication including Listening , Partnership, Tolerance, Patience, Openness, Honesty, Respect, Sharing, Consideration, Generosity, Willingness/Ability  to Compromise, Constructive management of Disagreements/Arguments, Willingness to see another’s viewpoint, Ability and Willingness to Forgive/Apologise, Fun. The list is simple and obvious yet it can be very difficult for individuals /couples to restore their marriage/relationship to a satisfying one when difficulties arise or when they drift apart. 

There are many areas of closeness that can enhance a marriage/relationship, help it to remain strong and help it to get back on track when it has become distant/difficult. Sometimes couples feel that things are not right between them, they wonder what is wrong and what they can do?

The following four areas of  closeness can help  guide a couple in assessing how their relationship is and can also guide a couple in how to become closer and improve their relationship when difficulties arise, or when they have become distant from one another.

                      Areas of Closeness
Doing things Together              Physical Closeness
Emotional Closeness                 Sexual Closeness

None of the four areas above are more important than each other but each can help another area to thrive and all together they can help a relationship become more satisfying, closer, more intimate

Doing Things Together
It is important that couples spend time together. With busy lives, many commitments and children to care for couples can find themselves with very little time for each other. Spending time together regularly, shopping, dining out, going to the cinema, walking, swimming,involvement in sports, exercising,  sharing  hobbies and holidays  can help couples become closer and have more time to talk and therefore get to know one another better.

Physical  Closeness
It is important for a couple to be close physically. This can include eye contact, holding hands, hugging, sitting close together, massaging one another. More opportunities for physical closeness will enhance a couple’s sense of closeness and intimacy. It is important for couples to be conscious that some individuals are more comfortable being physically demonstrative than others and it is important to try to understand how comfortable or otherwise your spouse/partner is and take it from there.

Emotional Closeness
Emotional closeness will help couples get to know and understand each other more deeply and also have empathy for each other. It involves being open with each other about feelings, thoughts, beliefs, values, hopes, worries, fears, dreams and ambitions. Attentive listening enhances emotional closeness when both individuals  listen in order  to get to know and understand their spouse/partner more fully, rather than to disagree,  judge, blame oror  criticise their spouse/partner.

Sexual Closeness
It is important that both individuals are happy with their couple sexual relationship and feel able to raise and discuss their sexual relationship with the other as needed. Sometimes couples can be very concerned about the frequency of their sexual activity. As long as both individuals are happy with the frequency and the nature of their sexual activity there is no need for them to be concerned or to compare their sexual relationship to  those portrayed in the media or those reported by others of their acquaintance,  both of which can be at variance with reality.

What Makes a Good Marriage?

OCD can make your marriage feel like it's going nowhere

Source: Tembinkosi Sikupela @lexhosaguy/Unsplash

Our Story

“He’s broken!”

I can still hear my wife’s anguished voice during one of our first therapy sessions together after we heard of my diagnosis with OCD.


The road ahead seemed so long and infinite, but we were determined to make our marriage work. We quickly discovered that while there was a great amount of information about OCD, there wasn’t as much information about how couples in committed relationships deal with it. My wife felt alone as my caregiver and was unsure of how to help me break my obsessive cycles without enabling me. We felt like we were on train tracks going nowhere.

Twenty years later we have worked hard to build a strong relationship, knowing that OCD will remain omnipresent. This blog’s intent is to offer research-based solutions and practical tips that helped our floundering marriage thrive.

You are not alone.

Elements of a Good Marriage

Before we begin to talk about OCD and its effects on marriage, it’s important to define the essential ingredients of a strong marriage, regardless of whether or not OCD plays a critical role. In 2019, approximately 2 million couples1 married in the United States. Many of these relationships begin with romantic love that is more passionate and physical. How does a couple strengthen that love to become more selfless, unconditional, and enduring? How can a relationship mature and develop over a long period of time? Life Innovations surveyed 21,501 married couples in all 50 states to determine the top 10 strengths and stumbling blocks of marriages. By identifying the top 10 strengths of happy marriages, the researchers were able to identify happy and unhappy marriages with 93% accuracy.2

Top 10 Strengths of Happy Marriages

  1. Partners are satisfied with how each one talks to the other.
  2. Partners are creative in handling differences.
  3. They feel close to one another.
  4. Neither partner is too controlling.
  5. When discussing problems, partners understand each other’s opinions and ideas.
  6. Partners are satisfied with the amount of affection shown and received.
  7. There is a good balance of leisure time spent together and separately.
  8. Friends and family rarely interfere with the relationship.
  9. Partners agree on how to spend money.
  10. They are satisfied with how each other expresses spiritual values and beliefs.

The results of the survey also identified that the strongest marriages are those in which partners have strong communication skills, show flexibility, are close to one another, and have compatible personalities to help resolve conflicts.

Communication Skills. Those in happy marriages report feeling understood by their partners and find it easier to share their feelings with one another, especially when their partner doesn’t use put-downs. Partners in happy marriages are six times more likely than others to agree that they are satisfied with how they talk to one another. Happy couples report that they feel understood by their partners and can share their feelings, especially during a disagreement.

Listening is crucial to a happy marriage since it is more about trying to understand one another instead of spending energy on judgment. Conflicts, when handled in a healthy way, can benefit a relationship and help couples come to a resolution. Seventy-eight percent of happy couples in the survey agreed that they were creative when handling differences between one another.

Conflict is inevitable in human relationships. There will always be differences between people, sometimes leading to disagreements. The survey of marital strengths found that most happy couples feel their conflicts are resolved, and disagreements are less about placing blame and more about finding common ground. As a result, similar conflict resolution skills are of the utmost importance in a strong and happy relationship.

Couple Flexibility. Flexibility, as defined by the survey results, refers to how open couples are to change. Flexibility helps couples to manage daily stressors and maintain an openness to change, regardless of cultural norms. Partners in a happy relationship are willing to move away from more traditional roles and adjust as needed when it comes to running errands, completing household chores, and cooking.

Couples in the survey shared that they were happier and more satisfied when household chores were divided between the two partners. Happy couples reported that they weren’t as concerned about who was doing more of the share of the daily tasks and worked to maintain an equal relationship.

Closeness. You feel close to your partner when you are emotionally connected to him or her. Closeness also includes a balance of together time and separate time. Happy couples who feel emotionally connected are open to asking for help from one another and enjoy spending time with one another.

Compatible Personalities. Partners in happy marriages reported having personalities that complement one another. They build on each other's strengths and address differences creatively to work together for the best interest of the marriage. When partners share goals for the relationship, they tend to forge a stronger bond.

Top 10 Problems in Marriages

The survey identified 10 primary problems in unhappy marriages. Consider which items resonate with your relationship.

  1. We have problems sharing leadership.
  2. One of us is too stubborn.
  3. There is stress created by how to raise a child based on how one of us was raised.
  4. One of us is too negative or critical.
  5. One of us feels responsible for the issues in the marriage.
  6. One of us wishes the other had more time to share.
  7. There is an avoidance of conflict.
  8. One of us wishes the other was more willing to share feelings.
  9. There is difficulty completing daily tasks in the marriage.
  10. Differences between us are not resolved.

Interestingly enough, when reflecting on the first years of our marriage, we see that most of our ownproblems fit in the “Top 10 Problems in Marriages.” It wasn’t until we identified the problems related to OCD and addressed them head-on that we began to move more toward claiming the “Top Ten Strengths of a Happy Marriage.” You will find many challenges in a marriage, but the challenges of OCD add another complete layer of difficulty.

1 See Center for Disease Control Statistics.

2 See https://firstthings.org/building-a-strong-marriage/ for more details on strengths and problems in marriages.

15 secrets of a happy marriage - Lifehacker

April 19, 2016 Life

In real life, you can achieve the same "and they lived happily ever after." Certainly not in a couple of days or months. It will take a lot of constant small actions and decisions, and on the part of both partners. Just do not wait for that joyful day when happiness comes. One must find it daily in simple things and wise attitudes.

1. Do not delay happiness

Often we expect that family happiness will come with buying an apartment, a car, getting a good new job or additional education. No. We must be happy now and with what we have.

2. Be grateful and tell your loved one about it

Gratitude breeds happiness. Even in the most ordinary things, find reasons to be grateful. And most importantly, do not forget to express it. That magic word “thank you” actually works wonders, and we need to use it more often in marriage. “Thank you for what you do for me”, “Thank you for fixing the faucet”, “Thank you for being so sweet”, “Thank you for a delicious dinner” - look for reasons to be grateful, and you will find them.

3. Trust each other

A marriage tormented by jealousy will not last long. Trust your spouse and don't give reasons to distrust you.

4. Avoid quarrels

Quarrels over trifles are the biggest pitfall of marriage. Feel the approach of a quarrel - cool down: take a walk, take a shower, rest. When the emotions subside a bit, you can talk calmly.

5. Show your love physically

Touch each other, hug, kiss, hold hands. Healthy sexual relationships are very important, but don't just focus on them. Any abuse does not lead to good. It destroys romantic love and the natural beauty of intimacy in marriage.

6. Be honest when it comes to finances

Family happiness is impossible if there is misunderstanding, especially when it comes to money.

7. Surprise each other

Do something unexpected: leave a note in your pants pocket; give a flower when you meet her from work; make a small gift; arrange an unexpected romantic dinner or send an SMS with a declaration of love.

8. Compliment each other

Tell us how you like the smile, character, voice, eyes, hair of your loved one. That you appreciate him as a great parent for your child or as a professional at work. Your loved one needs to know that you admire them.

9. Support each other

Support each other in personal and professional projects, on days of illness, sadness or weakness. Help overcome difficulties. Marriage is like a long journey in a fragile boat: if one passenger starts to rock it, the second must keep it afloat, otherwise both will drown.

10. Move in the same direction

Happiness in marriage is possible only if the spouses have the same outlook on life, similar values ​​and interests, behavior and goals.

11. Be who you were when you met

At the beginning of a relationship, we are all amazing, attractive and do thousands of things to show our partner the best of ourselves. After some time, an understanding comes of what kind of person is actually next to us, what his shortcomings are, how he behaves in various situations. It is natural for mature relationships to develop into marriage.

But after marriage, some people calm down and do not consider it necessary to try to please their loved one. Suddenly feel that most of the time the houses can look untidy, rude and grumpy. Of course, it is difficult to keep the body and face the same as in youth: age and gravity are merciless. Nevertheless, much can be done to remain in a decent physical, intellectual, moral and emotional state. A good marriage is a perpetual motion.

12. Talk

Talk solves problems.

13. Forget about selfishness

Caring for the well-being of a partner is one of the most important moments in achieving family happiness. Put selfishness aside and try to take care of your partner the same way you take care of yourself.

14. Be faithful in thoughts, words and actions

Happiness is a subtle matter. How often marriages have failed because one of the spouses fell in love with someone and could not get it out of his head. And in the end it ended in a serious mistake. Feel the danger - run from the temptation.

There are always three fools in treason.

Carlos Drummond de Andrade (Aeroporto Carlos Drummond de Andrade)


15. Ask for forgiveness and forgive

We are all imperfect. If you make a mistake, do not waste time, sincerely ask for forgiveness as soon as possible. And when a loved one hurts your feelings, forgive him. For a full life for both spouses, it is important to be able to ask for forgiveness and forgive.

In other words, the main secret of a happy marriage is to do good, to be wise in words, actions and thoughts. Treat your partner the way you want them to treat you. And if you want to realize how a word or decision will affect your marriage, imagine yourself in the place of a partner, and you will understand how to act.

90,000 “enough good marriage”: how not to be disappointed in the marriage of

51 692

people among people's men and a woman crisis of relations

Cult of infinite happiness 9000

I once met a citizens : "You deserve to be with a person who will make you happy, will not complicate your life and will not cause you pain." This phrase pissed me off: complete nonsense that a content specialist concocted to collect likes. Such vulgar nonsense, presented in the form of wise advice, gives people an inadequate idea of ​​\u200b\u200bthe relationship and can destroy it.

Since when is a constant state of happiness, ease and complete security considered the culmination of a relationship? When did the fantasy that they lived happily ever after stop being the end of childhood fairy tales and become a real life goal?

Don't get me wrong. I think happiness is wonderful. It is necessary in all areas of life and especially in relationships. But this is a changing state. It comes and goes and is influenced by many factors: your stomach's reaction to the meal you eat, your colleague's annoying habits, the political situation, winning or losing your favorite football team, who survived or died on Game of Thrones.

Happiness cannot be considered a strong foundation for building love

It is too unstable, changeable, fleeting. We ourselves change over time, the factors that make us feel happy change. Endless cloudless happiness is the most unfortunate goal for a relationship, because it cannot be achieved. Happiness, like any emotion, comes and goes: like father-in-law during the holidays, like 80s fashion or stomach cramps. It's time to tell the truth: the purpose of marriage is not happiness, the purpose of marriage is growth.

Human development machine

To become a successful couple, you need to act and get out of your comfort zone. The author of The Passionate Marriage, David Schnarch, calls family life a “human development machine.” Social psychologist Eli Finkel also says this: “Our world has a new kind of marriage that promotes self-discovery and personal growth like never before.” I love the idea of ​​a growth-oriented marriage that gives you a sense of fulfillment.

In recent years I have taken up weightlifting. I used to be a little frail guy. Once I dropped a girl during a dance. I was so ashamed that I never went back there again. Then I went to the gym. I remember doing a 100kg barbell squat, the trainer said, “That’s cool!” I was so proud of myself that I decided to continue studying.

Several years have passed. I haven't missed a single week at the gym. Now I squat with a weight of more than 150 kilograms. Big progress, right? And every time I add another kilo, I feel like a champion. Growth is satisfying, progress is amazing.

I now apply the principle in marriage that I used in sports

For example, I used to get nervous when my wife was sad or depressed. I felt threatened and spoke harshly to her. For over a year I have been working to become better in this area. I practice self-soothing, take deep breaths, and think before I speak. I try to understand the wife's position if I feel hurt. Together with her, we made special plans to quarrel properly and love wisely.

Of course, I'm not perfect, like everyone else. But I am learning to more effectively resolve the conflicts that arise between us and use them as an opportunity for development. Now I tense up less when my wife is stressed, I don't speak so harshly to her. The wife smiles sympathetically when she sees me taking deep breaths or applying our "right fight" plans.

She says that I am getting better and as a result we are getting better as a couple. But it doesn’t come easily and immediately – just like training in the gym. You have to expand your comfort zone, go to the limit, develop your abilities. Often this process is painful, but one day it will make you, your partner, and your marriage happy.


A Good Enough Marriage

Marriage is not easy. It brings out your limitations and exposes your weaknesses, shortcomings and vulnerabilities, making you painfully aware of how intolerant you can be. You realize how difficult it is to say "no" to what is not important to you, and "yes" to things that matter. You understand how difficult it is to deal with differences when you are stressed, tired or hungry.

He forces you to cope with illness, tragedy, financial problems, changing beliefs and beliefs, job loss, weight gain, parenting, death of parents and other family members. And at the same time, you have to support your partner and satisfy his needs. You cannot go through all this and come out at the other end of the tunnel as in love with each other as at the very beginning. You will not be able to experience all this together, remaining in boundless bliss. You need to constantly grow and develop. You have to transform into a new version of yourself, which is able to overcome new and new life difficulties.

Psychology professor John Gottman promotes the idea of ​​a “good enough marriage”: “People expect partners to treat them with kindness, love, attention, and respect. They will not tolerate emotional or physical abuse. They expect their partners to be faithful to them. This does not mean that they expect their relationship to be free from conflict. Even happy couples fight. Conflict is healthy because it leads to better understanding.”

During your life in marriage, you will encounter an unpleasant truth

It may involve sex, finances, spending time together, parenting, or all of the above. Events will not always unfold the way you planned them. You may need to change plans in order to build the relationship you want.

It will seem worse at first before it gets better. If you refuse to acknowledge your shortcomings or take responsibility when something goes wrong, it will put the relationship in jeopardy. But that's what love is all about. It does not come down to constantly pleasing a partner or having fun. Love is support first and foremost.

To support a partner means to think about his interests. And sometimes for the sake of this you will drive to involve him in a conflict and talk about difficult things. True partners commit themselves to their loved one, even if this act of dedication is painful. The main thing is that it will lead to positive development. If you commit yourself to positive growth, it will force you to identify and expose your weaknesses, fears, and self-doubt. But it will give your relationship periods of happiness, trust, intimacy, passion, and fidelity.

About the author: Nate Bagley is a relationship expert and author of The Loveumentary blog and podcast.

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