Welcome to Part 2 of our series on signs that your marriage is healthy and strong. We’re looking at various qualities that show how good you’ve got it (but might be overlooking). These signs can also serve as warnings for things that may be missing from the relationship – and provide a place to start working on making your relationship better!
Let’s get right into it!
Part 2: You Can Speak Your Mind
The strongest relationships are rooted in trust and familiarity – two qualities that can help us feel our most comfortable around another person. In a strong marriage, you should feel at ease saying whatever’s on your mind – good, bad, or indifferent. From passing thoughts to strange observations, bringing up serious problems to opening up about insecurities or fears…
You shouldn’t feel like you have to hesitate to tell your spouse something, whatever it may be.
If you feel like you have to bite your tongue, however, it could be a sign of some larger problems in the marriage. This could be the case for a variety of reasons – maybe your spouse has a short temper and you need to actively avoid upsetting them… Maybe your spouse is insecure and they take any issues in the relationship way too personally… Maybe they aren’t a good listener and you hold back speaking simply because you never feel heard…
It could even be a basic mismatch in communication styles, where you just aren’t very communicative because you don’t quite know how to connect with each other. Whatever the reason may be, if you’re holding back from talking to your spouse, it’s not a good sign.
This is the person you live with, sleep with, share a space and an income with… And if you can’t talk to them openly and honestly, you can’t solve the little problems that are bound to come up. If you aren’t addressing the small issues, they eventually become much, much bigger, reaching a boiling point that can be very hard to come back from.
Fortunately, problems with communication, temper, listening, confidence, and the like can all be improved upon! It will take some analysis on your part – not just to recognize that you aren’t freely communicating, but to look for the causes of why you feel that way and what pieces of your personalities might be standing in the way.
Now, if you have trouble to speaking your mind with your spouse, it’s likely going to be tough to even approach this topic – but it’s essential that you do. Even if it means creating some temporary waves as you begin to address what exactly is going wrong, you’ll be better off for it in the long run.
It may mean helping your spouse seek help for anger or control issues, it may mean harnessing your own bravery or examining your own discomfort, it may mean talking to your spouse about feeling ignored or unappreciated, and on and on… Only you can identify what’s really happening – but one thing is certain: if you don’t feel comfortable even bringing up the issues, they’re only going to get worse over time.
If, however, you can be vulnerable with your spouse, it shows how much trust you put in them. If you can be goofy and not even experience a twinge of self-consciousness, it shows how safe you feel with your partner – and those two qualities should NOT be underestimated! These are signs of serious strength!
If you find yourself somewhere in the middle – where you don’t walk on eggshells, but you aren’t totally free to speak your mind either, this is a great reminder to push for some improved communication in your marriage, too. Things can always get better! Because so much of this is based on trust and comfort, just spending quality time together can make a huge difference…
Take a good look at how you’re communicating with each other, and pay close attention not just to how “effective” it is, but how comfortable you are too – no matter the topic.
Join us next time for Part 3!
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com