Over 50% of marriages end in divorce due to various reasons: incompatibility, betrayal, substance abuse, attachment problems, faulty communication. Many people lacked role models of healthy long-term love and commitment growing up. When partners are committed to creating a healthy relationship, old wounds can be healed and new ways of relating can be learned.
The following are traits of healthy and happy couples:
• Partners have “come to terms” with their past and are able to fully invest in the relationship.
• Able to balance togetherness and autonomy, dependence and independence.
• Can trust and rely on one another; be a “secure base” for each other.
• Have good communication and problem-solving skills; respectful and constructive when talking about conflicts and disagreements.
• Do not become defensive, angry, critical, or aggressive when partner shares feelings or gives feedback; apologize for wrongdoings.
• Share power and control; a partnership between equals.
• Meet one another’s needs for security, support, affection, and love.
• Both take responsibility for their own part in problems and solutions; no blaming, avoiding, or stonewalling.
• Keep the relationship alive, vital, and a priority; spend time, have fun, show love regularly.
• Use self-control; do not take-out stress and frustration on partner.
• Resolve problems; ongoing repair of grievances and wounds so hurts do not grow into big resentments.
• Adapt successfully to changes and challenges, such as having children; a united team in raising children.
• Both are comfortable with closeness; do not take part in destructive dynamics, such as “pursue-distance” pattern.
• Share basic values, interests, and moral codes of behavior.