What Makes a Good Marriage / Relationship

Sometimes individuals and couples can feel dissatisfied, unhappy and unfulfilled in their marriages/ relationships and be unsure as to what exactly is wrong

There are many  factors that contribute to a satisfying  marriage/relationship such as; Love, Commitment, Trust, Time,  Attention, Good Communication including Listening , Partnership, Tolerance, Patience, Openness, Honesty, Respect, Sharing, Consideration, Generosity, Willingness/Ability  to Compromise, Constructive management of Disagreements/Arguments, Willingness to see another’s viewpoint, Ability and Willingness to Forgive/Apologise, Fun. The list is simple and obvious yet it can be very difficult for individuals /couples to restore their marriage/relationship to a satisfying one when difficulties arise or when they drift apart. 

There are many areas of closeness that can enhance a marriage/relationship, help it to remain strong and help it to get back on track when it has become distant/difficult. Sometimes couples feel that things are not right between them, they wonder what is wrong and what they can do?

The following four areas of  closeness can help  guide a couple in assessing how their relationship is and can also guide a couple in how to become closer and improve their relationship when difficulties arise, or when they have become distant from one another.

                      Areas of Closeness
Doing things Together              Physical Closeness
Emotional Closeness                 Sexual Closeness

None of the four areas above are more important than each other but each can help another area to thrive and all together they can help a relationship become more satisfying, closer, more intimate

Doing Things Together
It is important that couples spend time together. With busy lives, many commitments and children to care for couples can find themselves with very little time for each other. Spending time together regularly, shopping, dining out, going to the cinema, walking, swimming,involvement in sports, exercising,  sharing  hobbies and holidays  can help couples become closer and have more time to talk and therefore get to know one another better.

Physical  Closeness
It is important for a couple to be close physically. This can include eye contact, holding hands, hugging, sitting close together, massaging one another. More opportunities for physical closeness will enhance a couple’s sense of closeness and intimacy. It is important for couples to be conscious that some individuals are more comfortable being physically demonstrative than others and it is important to try to understand how comfortable or otherwise your spouse/partner is and take it from there.

Emotional Closeness
Emotional closeness will help couples get to know and understand each other more deeply and also have empathy for each other. It involves being open with each other about feelings, thoughts, beliefs, values, hopes, worries, fears, dreams and ambitions. Attentive listening enhances emotional closeness when both individuals  listen in order  to get to know and understand their spouse/partner more fully, rather than to disagree,  judge, blame oror  criticise their spouse/partner.

Sexual Closeness
It is important that both individuals are happy with their couple sexual relationship and feel able to raise and discuss their sexual relationship with the other as needed. Sometimes couples can be very concerned about the frequency of their sexual activity. As long as both individuals are happy with the frequency and the nature of their sexual activity there is no need for them to be concerned or to compare their sexual relationship to  those portrayed in the media or those reported by others of their acquaintance,  both of which can be at variance with reality.