My husband and I went through a season of not being on the same page. We wondered if we were even in the same book! Tensions ran high and we felt like we couldn’t even talk without one of us getting offended. We compared our marriage to couples who appeared to have it together. Why didn’t our marriage look like theirs? Was this a sign that our marriage was in trouble?
The quick answer is no, it was not. Every couple has seasons of hardships, but it’s how we handle them that helps us grow. Comparison is the thief of joy and comparing our marriage to another’s is no exception. Do you wonder if you have the elements of a successful marriage? Try using these 3 ways to measure the success of your relationship that are much healthier (and more accurate) than comparison.
1. The communication is open and honest.
Our premarital counselor once told us that two of the greatest reasons for failed marriages are miscommunication and lack of communication. One of the elements of a successful marriage is that it’s a safe place to talk about anything. Communication is a two-way street and is more than just talking. It includes listening, too. Can you listen and receive constructive feedback without getting defensive? Can you approach your husband gently when you need to be honest with him? If you’re answering yes to both of those questions, chances are you have healthy communication in your marriage.
2. You regularly ask, “How am I loving my husband?”
We were at a marriage conference where the speaker mentioned that he would often ask those he was mentoring, “How are you loving your spouse?” After receiving an answer, he would then ask if they thought their spouse would agree. Answering that honestly will show you some of the ways you could be putting a little more muscle into loving your husband. Chances are he will have some answers that are different from what you thought he’d say, but if your true goal is for the health of your marriage, you’ll actively listen, take the feedback, and put it into action.
3. You are both growing into better versions of yourselves.
A successful marriage will make you more loving, more patient, more kind, gentle, faithful, and self-controlled than you were before.
Our culture will tell you that your individual happiness is what makes your marriage successful. The truth is that a successful marriage requires you to change. That doesn’t mean you must sacrifice all of who you are. No, instead you are changing into a better version of yourself. There are disagreements and arguments, but a successful marriage will make you more loving, more patient, more kind, gentle, faithful, and self-controlled than you were before. If you and your husband have grown in these areas, then that is proof you are helping each other become better versions of yourselves.
What are other elements of a successful marriage?