More than 50 percent 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 marriage, old wounds can be healed and new ways of relating can be learned. The following are traits of healthy and happy couples.
• have “come to terms” with their past and are able to fully invest in the relationship.
• are 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; are respectful and constructive when talking about conflicts and disagreements.
• do not become defensive, angry, critical, or aggressive when their partner shares feelings or gives feedback; apologize for wrongdoings.
• share power and control; are 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 their partner.
• resolve problems; continue to repair grievances and wounds so hurts do not grow into big resentments.
• adapt successfully to changes and challenges, such as having children; form a united team in raising children
• are both comfortable with closeness; do not take part in destructive dynamics, such as “pursue–distance” pattern.
• share basic values, interests, and moral codes of behavior.
Having a secure adult intimate relationship is associated with emotional and physical health, including higher self-esteem,confidence,optimistic beliefs,support,trust,and stress-management abilities, and lower levels of anxiety, depression and medical conditions.