Marriage advice

Best Practices for a Marriage: Honesty, Trust, and Loyalty

honesty trust loyaltyLet’s pretend you’re in a marriage, and it’s on the rocks. Have you evaluated why? I’m not talking about the fights or little white lies here; I mean have you sought after the root of the problem? When honesty, trust, and loyalty are lacking, you can bet that the root of the problem lays in issues with communication and a lack of unwavering faith in your spouse. Are you both supportive, gracious, and kind to one another? If not, there may be some work ahead of you.

Honesty

Telling the truth isn’t hard, and it’s important that both you and your partner are on the same page on this one. Be honest about your past and about your intentions. You don’t have to reveal your deepest darkest secrets, but don’t leave out some of the juicy details. Learning about one another occurs over the period of years and decades, show them who you truly are by being up front. They will appreciate the honesty and hopefully give it to you in return. Couples can be brutally honest and still remain polite.

Trust

Building upon honesty we have trust. Trust not only means that you know that honesty is present, but also that you trust you partner’s judgement and ultimately would put your life in their hands. Deep trust is developed over time and only occurs when both people feel safe and supported by the other. Also have trust in the relationship itself. Know and have faith that things will work out; through thick and thin. Remember those wedding vows? Stick by your beau through the hard times and the good times will come.

Loyalty 

This one is a bit of a kicker. You’ve got honesty and trust but do you have loyalty? Someone who sticks by your side and supports you unconditionally. Being true to someone goes well beyond being faithful in the bedroom. Loyalty means going above and beyond for your love day after day, year after year. Loyalty is by some standards the single most important quality in a relationship or marriage.

A flailing marriage doesn’t have to be the end. Work on learning each other’s language; that is learning to communicate in a mutual way. Don’t interrupt, be respectful, and always stay calm when talking it out. Be the best you can be and see the results of your hard work. You will be surprised at the improvement in your marriage with attention placed on honesty, trust, and loyalty.

Preventing Infidelity

Preventing InfidelityCommunication is the key to any successful relationship. Being able to speak openly with your partner about anything is important and being able to bring up uncomfortable topics, like infidelity, is of the utmost importance. Discussing the hard topics is difficult for both partners involved but needs to be done relatively soon in a relationship. Waiting until marriage to discuss what you each consider cheating will not do any good. This will leave room for one of you to cross a line that you didn’t know existed. Being open and honest from the start will help keep your relationship on the right track to stay happy and healthy.

There are many reasons that people cheat so make sure that not knowing each other’s boundaries isn’t one of them. Setting clear boundaries is extremely important early on in a relationship so that you know your partner’s expectations and they know yours. You have to know what your partner considers cheating and what, if anything, you disagree on. Your partner may consider you having drinks with your ex as cheating, while you encourage your partner to have a friendship with their ex. These distinctions are important for each partner involved to understand and respect. Many people may think that cheating is entirely physical, however; it is possible to cheat on your partner without touching anyone. Emotional cheating is sometimes considered worse than having a sexual encounter with someone because of that connection that you share. Your partner wants to be the only person that you feel a truly deep, emotional connection to. Some partners may feel more betrayed by you having an emotional attachment to someone then you having a physical encounter with a stranger. Setting boundaries will help prevent misunderstandings when it comes to infidelity, among other things.

If you’ve passed this point in your relationship and a boundary has already been crossed it does not mean the relationship is over. Boundaries are important to set whenever you and your partner decide to talk about it. If someone has already crossed a line or you just want to take preventative measures, it is best to seek advice from a licensed therapist. Therapy is not just for people struggling to keep their relationships together. It is also good for maintenance. We see a doctor for everything else. Getting a checkup on the health of your relationship is just as important as a physical that you get.

Be honest with yourself and your partner about your expectations in your relationship. Help to prevent infidelity in your relationship by having open discussions, setting boundaries, and consulting with a professional to maintain the health of your relationship.

Communication don’ts for Relationships

Don'ts in a relationshipEffective communication is critical to a healthy relationship. Avoid these communication Don’ts and you may avoid your next argument.

  • Don’t read between the lines

Don’t over-think or over analyse what he or she said. You are using your own life experiences to make conclusions about what the other person meant. If you think there was more to it, ask – but don’t come to your own conclusions and then hold the other person accountable for them.

  • Don’t beat a dead horse

If your partner did something years ago that upset you, don’t keep bringing it up. If you feel your are due an apology, ask for one, and get over it. Don’t use it as ammunition in every argument.

  • Don’t make absolute statements

Saying things like “Always” and “Never” are for the sake of argument. If you are upset about something, be specific.

  • Don’t start with an accusation

This one usually sounds like “YOU NEVER do the dishes”, or “YOU are ALWAYS late!” This is a double whammy of an accusation and an exaggerated absolute. This statement is usually the first of an argument.

  • Don’t have a one-sided conversation

If you are doing all the talking, (or yelling), stop. Ask your partner to share his or her feelings.

  • Don’t apologize for feelings

Apologize for what you did that upset someone, not for how they feel about it. Apologizing for someone’s feelings is like apologizing on their behalf. You have a right to your feelings and so does your partner, even if you don’t agree on it.

  • Don’t assume

Assumptions about feelings, intentions, and responsibilities are to blame for many arguments. It is always better to talk to someone about what they are thinking rather than taking a guess at it.

There will be disagreements and misunderstandings. Talking through them without escalating to argument can ensure both of you have a chance to share your feelings and have your feelings heard.

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