365 Days of Fun in Marriage

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Signs of a Good Marriage

July19

Tip # 80

 

Years of Anniversaries Do Not Equal a Good Marriage   

 

from Clipart.com

If you try to observe characteristics which create good marriage behavior, don’t assume “married many years” means the couple has a good marriage.  As recently shown by Al and Tipper Gore, seemingly happy marriages still break up after 40 years. Some people never divulge to anyone that they may have marriage problems. Some couples create a perfect marriage facade on the exterior. The news reported that the Gore’s never seemed to have much in common after the first couple of years. 

Because we all change as we age, (sometimes our likes and dislikes even change) couples have to be careful to still grow together. It’s easiest to grow apart. It takes determination to grow together because we don’t stay the same people we were when we got married. Growing together doesn’t mean you lose freedom to do what you like as individuals, it means that you learn to appreciate each other more though you differences become more apparent.  

My own parents were married 46 years. I can attest that they fought vehemently most of the time and numerous marriage problems. In fact, the recent Mel Gibson tapes that were supposedly leaked to the press reminded me much of how my parents “communicated” back and forth to each other. It was very unpleasant to be around–it’s just how they were. 

So, don’t be fooled by length of marriage meaning someone has a perfect marriage. Most of the time people stay married when unhappy because it’s easier to just keep doing the same thing day after day than to create a new life of the unknown. 

What are some outward signs that a couple has a good marriage? Here’s a few ideas to think about: 

  • How does each spouse talk about the other person when the couple is around other people?
  • How does each spouse talk about the other person when that spouse is not around?
  • When listening to conversations of the married couple, do you hear one person always saying, “I” “I” “I?”
  • When listening to conversations of the married couple, do you hear each spouse saying, “we did this” or “we went somewhere” or “we had such and such.”
  • If you asked both parties to talk about their spouse (when that spouse wasn’t present), what would they say?
  • What’s the facial expression given when each person looks at the other in most situations? Is it a glare? Is it contempt? Is it boredom? Or does the spouse look with interest when the other person is talking?

If anyone has other ideas or comments of how to observe if a married couple has a good marriage, I’d love to hear them. 

(What do you look for in a happy marriage? We’d love to hear what you have to say.)   

~ Glenda  (gj)

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