Have you ever wondered what is the purpose of your marriage or why some marriages are successful and some doom to failure? If yes this article is for you. In this post I am going to REVEAL 7 powerful cures on how to have a healthy marriage.
Whatever it is that you want to achieve this article will certainly help you. Read this full if you want to improve your marriage and want to learn how to have a healthy marriage.
Note that there are three ingredients: Accurate Perception, Clear Communication, and Right Action.
All three are present in a strong marriage. Any two have an important interplay, but always lack something without the third.
#1 Accurate Perception
Accurate Perception indicates that each person sees the other through fairly realistic lenses. What does “fairly realistic” refer to?
To be honest, it is impossible to have an absolutely accurate perception of reality. We have too many lenses that skew our vision.
First, an accurate perception really is about understanding the worldview or paradigm of a spouse. Without that you cannot have a healthy marriage.
Second, it is realizing that we interpret a spouse’s actions through our own paradigm, not that of the spouse.
Thus, these perceptions are flawed and incomplete. So third, we strive to somehow maintain our response in balance with our spouse’s intentions.
Accurate Perception comes from working to be intentional in an awareness of our own perceptions.
Most of us move through life unaware of how often we jump to assumptions and conclusions that are only partially rooted in reality.
#2 Clear Communication
Clear Communication evolves from accurate perception. In fact, it is impossible to have clear communication until there is an accurate perception of a spouse.
The communication gets too clouded by assumptions and misunderstanding.
Clear Communication is a skill. A great deal of the skill naturally emerges when one becomes aware of one’s perceptions.
For example, I have a friend that constantly sees the world as being angry at her.
She repeatedly tells me how such-and-such is angry with her and that she doesn’t care they are angry. That is really just her perception.
Being on the outside, I am well aware of the fact that often the other is not at all angry with her.
Instead, the other may have made a response that merely felt angry to my friend.
Unfortunately, communication then gets murky. Since my friend perceives anger from the other person, she communicates in a way that works from this perception.
My guess is that at times the other person does become angry with her, especially since her communication is based on the perception they are angry. Finally, she elicits the response she expected.
This is not an example of clear communication. It is bound in the perception of people, and the responses to that.
Clear communication has other components. Clear communication takes Time, Intentionality, and Execution, which you may remember by the acronym TIE.
All three are necessary for the health of communication in a marriage.
Some time ago, I read that the average time a couple spends together in conversation about their relationship per day is—not ½ an hour, not 15 minutes, not even 5 minutes—but 3 ½ minutes per day.
That is the average. That means many spend less, and many spend more. (By the way, if you go out on a date and talk with your spouse about things for an hour, think of the days that equates to no discussion.)
Relationships cannot prosper on 3 ½ minutes per day.
So, one important factor is making time to have discussions with a spouse.
This is an important priority for a couple to make Second, clear communication takes intentionality.
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Couples must make a conscious effort to relate together about their relationship.
Otherwise, a couple may take the time, then find themselves talking about work, the kids, the mortgage—anything but their own relationship.
Intentionality refers to making sure the conversation includes the relationship.
Forgotten how to do that? Perhaps you can reflect on the things you talked about when you were first in the relationship.
What are your hopes and dreams? What are your concerns and fears? What does each of you want out of life?
Finally, we get to execution, the matter of carrying out communication and making it a habit.
Couples can create the time and intentionality, and they must carry through. Continued habit forming creates the crucible of communication.
Often, when people tell me they have “grown apart,” what they are telling me is that their hopes, dreams, concerns, fears, and desires haven’t been shared in such a long time that, unbeknownst to either of them, they have diverged.
The fact is that couples may have only small variances in the hopes and fears areas of life.
These differences progress to greater variance unless the couple stays in touch with each other. That is the corrective action. When we stay in touch with each other, the “calculations” stay on track—we become “self-correcting” in our relationship.
#3 Right Action
Right Action is a term borrowed from Buddhist thought. I use it here to talk about relating in intentionally healthy ways. This is opposed to destructive action.
Here is the key: when a couple has accurate perceptions, they begin to communicate clearly. When they communicate clearly, they begin to act in constructive ways.
When they begin to act in constructive ways, their perceptions become accurate. And so the cycle continues.
Right Action happens when each person takes the other’s needs in balance with his or her own needs. In other words, Right Action pulls the couple toward WE.
To be clear, Right Action does not mean merely putting the other first. It is a matter of balance, a practice of looking at the WE, and acting accordingly.
Sometimes, Right Action calls us to move toward each other, even when we do not feel like it.
When we wait for our emotions to lead us to action, we may move from the wrong direction.
Psychology has long known that acting a certain way can make you feel a certain way. In other words, if you act lovingly, you will begin to feel loving.
If you wait to feel loving, you may lose many opportunities to enrich a relationship.
So Right Action calls us to move beyond our normal feel then act pattern. We move to a sense of acting, not in spite of, but regardless of our emotional space.
It is not that I think emotions are useless. I just think that if we hold ourselves hostage to our emotional state, we have limited ourselves, and the potential of our relationship.
Right Action often leads to a reciprocating spouse. That is where the shift can begin.
Even if a spouse is not wanting to change, one can change the relationship by responding and reacting differently—by focusing on Right Action!
When we leave a relationship to be buffeted by the actions of the other, we are very close to making ourselves paralyzed.
We depend on the other to fuel our actions/thoughts/feelings. And, given the cyclical nature of a couple, this begins to play off each other.
The result: two people frozen from action and emotion, waiting for the other to take an action that will free them.
It is up to each of us to begin the thawing. Right Action is one path to reversing this.
Once the couple has reversed the path, Right Action keeps the couple moving forward. It is one of the places that can begin to shift the momentum.
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#4 The Interplay
When any two of the three areas of Accurate Perception, Right Action and Clear Communication are present, there is interplay between those two. This interplay is an important aspect in understanding the elements.
Between Accurate Perception and Right Action, there is Direction. When a couple has accurate perceptions and is engaged in right action, the relationship gains direction.
It is propelled by the actions, but aimed by the perceptions. There is a clear direction that emerges from this combination.
Between Right Action and Clear Communication, there is Connection. The feeling of being connected is facilitated by the existence of caring action and communication.
This nurtures the sense of being supported and loved between the two. This connection, again, begins to increase the sense of WE between the two. And this WE factor is very significant for a successful marriage.
Between Clear Communication and Accurate Perception, there is Understanding. This understanding is rooted in the fact that each of the persons feels heard and accepted.
Feeling understood continues to build on the sense of WE, because it begins to weave a feeling of being “in it together.” When one feels understood, it is very hard to have a sense of “me versus you.”
The lack of clear communication and inaccurate perceptions quickly lends itself to a breakdown in relating. It becomes hard to see the WE.
#5 Pulling It Together
We often strive to have that understanding, connection, direction, and patience in a marriage. Yet we fail to see that this results from an interaction between elements we are less likely to focus on.
We must find the way to understanding, connection, and direction through the elements, as by-products.
These are not the starting points, merely the results, the starting points are Accurate Perception, Clear Communication, and Right Action.
The end result, a successful and healthy marriage.
When Accurate Perception, Clear Communication, and Right Action meet, the results are understanding, connection, and direction.
When these elements are present, the relationship finds strength and solidity. And as this process continues, the end result is your ideal relationship and WE.
#6 Now it’s Your Turn
# To what are you willing to commit in order to create time and space for communication?
# How can you schedule in time together?
# Scheduling can be putting into the planner.
# Or Scheduling can be setting a time in the day for connecting to happen (just before bedtime, first thing in the morning, lunchtime, etc.)
# What came to mind as you thought about perceptions that interfere with your communicating?
# Finally, what are 3 things you can do that would be Right Action in relating to your spouse?
#7 Exercise: Me, You, WE
This exercise examines how you and your spouse see your lives overlapping, places that create a WE.
There are always parts of the relationship that do not overlap. These areas may be differences in interests. More than that, it indicates that marriages do not encompass all of us.
The amount of overlap can vary from couple to couple. Really, there can be any amount of overlap. There is no right answer. However, the extremes can be problematic.
The ends of the scale are dangerous because they are motivated by similar emotions: fear. The barely touching areas are motivated by a fear of intimacy, of being connected.
At the other end of the scale, the total connection, which is a lack of individuality, is motivated by a fear of separation.
These positions are dangerous, but not impossible. Some couples stay together without much connection. Many refer to this as a relationship of convenience.
At the other end, couples do everything together. They maintain a “superglue” relationship.
The relationship is in danger when one decides that he or she does not like everything the other does. Because of the intensity of this relationship it can quickly find itself in trouble.
Healthy marriages or relationships are less focused on how much is WE, and instead are focused on the strength of WE.
So the discovery of this exercise is to determine how closely you and your spouse view the above overlap.
I will stop here I hope you enjoyed reading this article on how to have a healthy marriage.
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