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Is there a secret sauce to a successful marriage?

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Is there a secret sauce to a successful marriage? 

Healthy marriages are like fruit trees that grow their roots deep into the soil, bring forth their fruits in the right season, and grow their branches to carry green, luscious leaves. Healthy marriages, just like these trees, expand the benefits of being healthy not only to themselves, but to those around them. 

Couples in a healthy marriage report good physical and mental wellbeing. These benefits also extend to their children. Parents in a family are the children’s source of support or stressors, and they are directly influence family members’ mental health and wellbeing.

A healthy marriage can simply be defined as a relationship between two people that is characterized by low conflict, being mutually enriching, and deep respect.

A change in priority over time

As the evidence of the disadvantages of unhealthy marriages and rising divorce rates continued to grow in the 1980s and 1990s, United States legislation shifted its course of action from making divorce difficult to providing more opportunities to encourage and strengthen marital relationships. This came at a time when non-governmental and non-profit organizations including faith-based organizations, universities, and community-based groups also offered marriage education services.

Is there some sort of secret to healthy marriages? Well studies have been done to find out the foundations of healthy marriages. 

  • Healthy communication in a marriage. 

Marriage can give couples the upper hand when they work well with each other in growing their finances. However, when miscommunication happens in the area of finances, it can be fatal to the marriage. 

Money problems are one of the top reasons for divorce in the US, second to infidelity.

When we marry, we marry the person along with their beliefs and behaviors regarding money. 

  • Are we comfortable and equipped in making financial decisions together? 
  • Have we agreed what we want to do with our money as a team? 
  • Are we ready to learn about each other’s financial beliefs and behaviors and possibly study about finances if we find ourselves in need of training? 

These are just some of the questions we can ask our partner honestly as communication is the building block of our relationship’s growth. 

  • Respect and trust in a marriage. 

How do we build trust and respect in a close relationship? That is a big question. Researchers Harvey and Omarzu in 1997 put forth the concept of paying close attention to our closest relationship which they called “minding.”

Being mindful in a relationship is a never-ending process of getting to know the other person deeply, showing support and respect to what we know about them, sharing true selves to them as well and expressing mutual care.

  • Surviving and thriving in the midst of conflict and challenges. 

Developing strategies and healthy coping mechanisms to employ before conflict and challenges arise prepares the couple to deal with them head on. Strategizing requires communication, which further develops trust. Thinking of strategies while already under a stressful situation increases stress. 

  • What is our SOP (standard operating procedure) when there is a fight? 
  • How do we usually deal with conflict and how would we like to handle conflict in the future? (Is it helpful to our marriage? Does it increase our care for one another or pushes us away from one another?) 

Many marriage education programs and services have been evaluated by researchers and many of them find these services successful in influencing happiness in marriages.

Many individuals endeavor to get married and start a family, but marriage is not immune from life’s testing and trials. Being prepared to weather through storms of life with your partner increases your chances of thriving in your married life. 

And if you are a medical professional looking for careers in the medical field that help equip individuals and families with skills to improve their relationships, connect with premier healthcare and mental health opportunities across the United States. Start your healthcare career journey.

Is there a secret sauce to a successful marriage?
Brandon Resasco