Check out these 15 proven signs of a healthy marriage that lasts. These behaviors can be learned by anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort to be a better spouse.
In fact, research shows that couples who practice these same basic habits and patterns, no matter what is occurring at the time, successfully weather the storms of life together.
As a Christian, you may think you already practice good behaviors because you are a person of faith. While this is good, you must continue to grow as a person. Truthfully, being a Christian doesn’t automatically make you a healthy person, nor does it ensure you to have a healthy marriage that lasts.
In this article, you’ll find 15 proven signs of a healthy marriage, and how to foster them in your own relationship as a Christian.
As someone who has been married for 30 years, I can tell you these behaviors are essential to nurturing a successful marriage that stands the test of time.
What Are the Fifteen Signs of a Healthy Marriage?
Check out these 15 proven signs of a healthy marriage that you need to be doing as a spouse.
These behaviors are not always easy (even for a Christian), but they do work! If you consistently practice them, you will find that over time you will notice your spouse responding to you in a kinder manner.
Good communication is one of the biggest signs of a healthy marriage. When you feel safe to express your thoughts, feelings, and desires it makes it easier to emotionally bond as a couple and stay in love.
I suggest spending 15-30 minutes a day just talking. Turn off the TV, the phone, and tell your kids to go play. Train your kids not to disrupt you during this time. Yes, it’s that important!
2. Mutual Respect
A happy marriage is built on mutual respect. Each partner values the other’s opinions, feelings, and needs. Most of all, they treat each other with kindness and consideration. This kind of respect also means not trying to change the other person.
If you are finding your spouse is not respectful, appropriately express that the behavior is not welcomed. Set boundaries and confront the disrespectful or rude behavior when it happens.
3. Shared Values
If you are a person of faith, it is important to choose someone who also shares similar core beliefs, principles, and priorities. The Bible says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers…” (2 Cor. 6:14).
This scripture is an important word of caution to those wanting to marry outside their faith. Paul says not to do it; it will cause a lot of problems.
If you are already married to an unbeliever, Paul doesn’t recommend divorce. Instead, he suggests continuing to love your spouse, so they may be won over by your behavior (1 Peter 3:1).
4. Quality Time Together
Happy couples make quality time for each other a priority. Whether it’s date nights, shared hobbies, or simple daily routines, they enjoy each other’s company.
My husband and I regularly take walks around the block after dinner. It is a good way to catch up from the day and get exercise at the same time. Also, there are no interruptions!
Trust is an essential component of a happy marriage. This includes trust in each other’s words, actions, and decisions.
It is hard to recover when trust is broken, although it is possible. Trust can be earned again over time, but there must be repentance and a change of behavior for it to be sustainable. Trust is different from forgiveness.
Happy couples forgive each other often. They understand that everyone has flaws and that forgiveness is a crucial component when dealing with conflicts and disagreements.
Forgiveness is not optional. It is not earned, nor is it always deserved. In fact, sometimes you just choose to forgive and then ask God to bring the feelings of forgiveness to your heart. It’s okay if the feelings come later.
One of the greatest signs of a healthy marriage is actively practicing patience. It is the ability to remain calm and understanding in the face of challenges, disagreements, and difficult situations.
Patience is not about suppressing your emotions or avoiding discussions (communication) but about managing your feelings in a constructive manner.
1 Corinthians 13:4- Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.
Laughter and humor play a crucial role in a happy marriage. It serves as a wonderful stress reliever, releasing endorphins and promoting a sense of well-being.
When couples laugh together, they can alleviate tension and foster a more relaxed and positive environment.
If you are not laughing right now, find a way to add it back to your marriage.
One of the signs of a healthy marriage is flexibility. Couples who support each other through changes in life and easily adapt to them have a much greater chance of staying together for the long haul.
Believe me, there are a lot of changes that occur in the life of a marriage. From birthing babies to teenagers, health issues to caring for older parents, or even pay cuts, there is always some moving piece.
Having a good attitude and adjusting to new changes with grace makes a huge difference and is one of the best signs of a healthy marriage.
10. Shared Responsibilities
Happy couples share household and parenting responsibilities. They work as a team and support each other in all areas of life. They are not resentful or reluctant to help each other out when needed.
It is important to talk about who does what. More importantly, lean toward your giftings. If you are better at money, you keep the checkbook. If you like to garden, do the flowerbeds. (This does not include parenting as it is a team sport!)
There is nothing worse than letting your spouse struggle through something that you can do with great ease and even enjoyment.
11. Healthy Conflict Resolution
One of the signs of a healthy marriage is the ability to resolve conflicts in an appropriate and constructive manner.
By calmly talking things through and thoughtfully coming to an agreeable solution, you can conquer any problem at hand.
However, childish behaviors such as pouting, yelling, tantrums, biting (read my story below) eye-rolling, silent treatment, etc. can be destructive.
It’s time to show up as an adult and quit using childish weapons to get your way. They are not appropriate.
RELATED: How to Resolve Conflict in Marriage: 7 Biblical Ways to Healing (This story is funny. I was so angry at my husband that I bit him.)
Get your FREE CONFLICT RESOLUTION (PDF) TIPS to help you and your spouse navigate difficult conversations.
Regular expressions of affection such as hugs, kisses, and tender words, are common in a happy, healthy marriage. They make each other feel loved and appreciated.
Different than affection but equally important is sexual intimacy. It is imperative to make time to be with one another. Otherwise, you are just roommates. Additionally, using sexual intimacy as a reward or punishment is not healthy.
One of the signs of a healthy marriage is an agreed-upon frequency that is free of manipulation or revenge.
13. Individual Growth and Autonomy
Allowing each other to pursue personal interests, hobbies, and goals helps maintain a healthy balance between individuality and togetherness.
Supporting each other’s personal growth and maintaining autonomy can contribute to overall marital satisfaction.
Encourage your spouse to grow and try new things. And don’t be afraid of failure. You don’t want to look back at the end of your life and have regrets.
14. Supportive Social Network
Maintaining a supportive network of family and friends can positively impact marital satisfaction.
Having a strong support system outside the marriage provides emotional and social support, which in turn contributes to a happier marriage.
I highly suggest maintaining healthy friends and family relationships. Your spouse isn’t meant to meet all your needs, nor should you expect it.
One of the greatest signs of a healthy marriage is commitment. Not a contractual commitment, but one that is based on a covenant. This kind of love (agape) is only possible with God’s help.
Covenant love means loving your spouse through the hard times. You are not always going to “feel” like loving every day. It is a choice because you are committed for life. *
*Sometimes this is not possible when there is abuse. If you are in an unsafe relationship, get help and remove yourself from your abuser.
It’s important to remember that every marriage has its ups and downs, and these signs are not fixed or absolute. However, they can serve as indicators of a strong and healthy marital relationship.
By taking the time to build a strong foundation that is built on biblical principles, you are setting yourself up for a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship that glorifies God.
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What Increases Marital Satisfaction?
It’s important to note that every relationship is unique, and what contributes to marital satisfaction may vary from couple to couple.
I highly suggest you get Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. (I’m not an affiliate.)
This will help you to identify what your spouse needs to truly feel love from you in particular. The five languages are the following: acts of service, gifts, touch, quality time, and words of affirmation (encouragement).
While we need all of them, there will be one or two love languages that stand out over the rest and will contribute to marital satisfaction.
What Does an Unhealthy Marriage Look Like?
There are various factors that can contribute to an unhealthy marriage. It’s important to remember that every relationship is unique, and what may cause unhappiness in one marriage might not necessarily apply to another. However, here are some common factors that can negatively impact marital satisfaction.
Financial issues, poor communication, lack of trust, power imbalance, external stressors, unresolved conflict, disrespect (rude), and lack of intimacy are just a few of the things that will destroy a marriage. (Pretty much the opposite of the 15 signs of a healthy marriage.)
Truthfully, if you open up the lines of communication you will start seeing signs of improvement in your marriage There is not much hope if you aren’t talking or if most of the talking is mean-spirited.
Healthy marriages take work and patience, but the rewards are worth it. As you work to build and sustain a healthy, loving marriage, keep in mind the 15 proven signs of a healthy marriage listed above as a guide to marital bliss.
Tell me what signs of a healthy marriage you would include in this list. Comment below.
Are You Struggling to Have a Healthy Marriage? Do You Want to Change Your Spouse?
Get Marriage Interrupted: How to Deal with Unexpected Conflict as a Couple and Stay in Love on Amazon or any digital platform. This book is filled with both humorous and impactful insights for anyone experiencing marriage conflict.
Included is biblical advice to help couples develop new behaviors and strengthen their marriage with healthy boundaries. With over 30 years of marriage experience, there are practical tips to not only overcome old patterns of behavior but also rekindle a marriage relationship that is rooted in God’s love.
Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!
Are you struggling with family issues that have resulted in a family rift or a family estrangement? Are you feeling a sense of shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.
In it, I share my own experience of a seven-year estrangement from my Christian family and how we eventually reconciled. Furthermore, I provide practical advice to help you navigate your own family issues. Don’t let the pain of estrangement hold you back. Allow God to assist you in healing, no matter what has happened within your family. Remember, there is always hope to be found, even when things seem to be falling apart.
Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids. It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite digital bookstore.
Join the group Christian Family Living on Facebook
Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to freely talk about parenting, marriage, faith, family, and culture. Being a Christian is hard! Let’s do it together. Most of all, a sense of humor is required. Got memes? Bring it on!
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