If you and your spouse made it through tough times in your marriage, chances are you will come out the other side much stronger. Whether you were dealing with internal conflicts such as disagreements, physical or mental health issues, infidelity; or external conflicts such as loss of job, family, or in-law issues; the many positive qualities of a healthy relationship can help couples persevere.
Interestingly, there’s not just one, but eight prominent traits that strong couples share. From trust, to commitment, to love, these traits help couples maintain a long-term relationship.
8 Qualities Of Strong Couples Who Make It Through Tough Times
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1. Respecting and accepting
One of the qualities of a healthy relationship is acceptance. When you accept your partner for who they are and respect their choices (you are one of them!), you help in developing trust and assurance in your relationship. Strong couples often refrain from nagging, especially when going through tough times and trust their partners’ decisions.
Although, this is not to say that you should accept mistreatment or even emotional abuse in your relationship. Acceptance should instead be key in making your partner feel safe around you.
Studies have also shown that emotional accessibility or availability (more than sexual accessibility) can help strengthen a marriage. But while affection is still vital to a relationship, establishing emotional safety is key in smooth sailing through tough times.
2. Expression compassion
Marriage isn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows. There will be times of stress or frustration. But how you handle that and react during such times can be crucial in sustaining your relationship.
Marriage and family therapist Ben Fineman explains that knowing how to manage your emotions especially when distressed can give you peace of mind. This helps to create more healthy interactions with your partner instead of just storming off or blowing up during an argument.
Once you know more about yourself as well as your partner, compassion during tough times will follow. You’ll be able to understand what upsets your partner and when they may need space to be by themselves. This behaviour can further solidify your relationship.
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3. Showing and receiving affection
Research says that the amount of appreciation and affection you express to your spouse and receive from them can be linked to your commitment and satisfaction in your relationship. It was also found that affection can enhance your closeness and bond. This is why it’s also one of the main qualities of a healthy relationship.
Of course, for this affection to be meaningful and for it to have a real impact on you both, you have to show it. Appreciating one another for what you do for each other or even how you support and cherish your partner can keep the marriage strong enough to face conflicts as well as challenges.
4. Forming a deep connection
Being able to connect as well as communicate compassionately and fairly can be considered a triumph in connecting with your partner on an emotional level.
While conflicts in marriage are unavoidable, being able to overcome them together can really improve your marital connection. During such challenges, it’s important that you openly communicate with your partner in what you’re feeling as well as be all ears once they are ready to share.
5. Communicating expressively
The best way to avoid misunderstandings and frustration with each other is to communicate. Sounds simple enough, but just as it takes two people to make a marriage successful, it also takes both of you to understand as well as find a communication style that best fits your relationship.
The Better Health Channel suggests that you should be clear in expressing yourself and openly talk about issues that bother or concern you. Being able to deal with problems and at the same time recovering from them is necessary to strengthen your bond with your partner.
In line with compassion, it would help to set aside your own feelings for a moment and try to understand what your spouse may be feeling as well as approach them with the intention to listen.
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6. Showing commitment
It’s no surprise that marriage is a commitment and a promise that you make to your spouse. Being committed and putting each other first is one of the essential qualities of a healthy relationship.
The moment you read your vows, you agree to be there for each other through thick and thin. This commitment, experts suggest is one of the main factors that makes marriages last.
“The emotional aspect of personal commitment enhances our marriage because it directs how we feel about our partner, and how we feel about them regulates how we treat them,” writes Rob Pascale and Lou Primavera Ph.D on Psychology Today.
7. Trusting each other
Even with all obstacles in front of you and the difficulties, it’s important to trust each other.
Trust not only in your partner but in yourself as well that you can both overcome challenges. When things don’t go as planned, trusting your partner can help you deal with any hardships that you may face.
While building absolute trust in someone can’t be done overnight, work on it day-by-day so you can build a solid partnership with your spouse.
8. Sharing core values
It’s only normal to have differences with your partner. But it’s still important that you both share and respect each other’s core values in life.
You might find that you both have different beliefs and values. However, if you’re willing to commit to a marriage, you should discuss your similarities whilst be willing to hear each other’s opinions.
Maintaining a long-term relationship is definitely far from easy, especially during tough times. But if you choose love and remember why you committed a lifetime to your partner, challenges can get easier to deal with.