Love

The One Sign I See In My Practice That Indicates A Marriage Will Actually Last

Photo: Katerina Holmes / Pexels
couple piggy back

Marriage has taken on a new look and meaning these days, and the lines that draw a successful marriage have been expanded, or at least changed.

Almost always, a couple goes into counseling because they have different views of life and marriage. Often, each one wants validation as to being right and the other being wrong. That is one sure way to kill a marriage, no doubt about it.

On the other hand, learning how to listen and adjust is a great way to not only have a great marriage but a great friendship, and marriage is nothing without friendship. All of that goes back to respect.

No matter how much things change, there is one sign that indicates a marriage is going to last.

In my practice, I have seen that respect for one another as individual beings is the one quality that can keep a couple together.

   

   

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That means when one person speaks, the other one listens. It does not mean they necessarily agree. But even in their disagreement, they honor their partner’s position.

Respect means flexibility, too. You see that every person has a different set of experiences and there is no one right way to process these experiences. It means that each can have his own view of the world.

If you are rigid in your view regarding what should and should not happen for all people, your ability to be respectful of others is minimized.

Respect requires forging your own path and letting your partner forge theirs.

We’ve been handed a lot of "should" and "should not" judgments in our culture — and all of them are wrong because they expect everyone to be the same and to need the same things.

   

   

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For instance, the idea that "everyone should go to college" is wrong because not everyone is suited to partake in an academic learning situation day after day. Some folks need to work with their hands, some need to be in nature and others must create their own business or enterprise. Each has his/her own internal blueprint for meaningful expression.

Trying to live by one rule is like throwing a stick of dynamite in a fire. It is chaotic, disrupting, and unworkable.

Everyone’s level of passion is also different. Some move into life with guns blazing doing a little dance around the fire. They are ready to do life. These folks require their own lead because you never quite know what to expect.

They could be the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Steven Spielberg, or they could crash and burn. Either way, it is up to them.

   

   

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Others are studied and cautionary. They approach life carefully with logic and consideration, examining each turn in the road and researching the options. Each is to be respected for his/her style and nature. In other words, there is not one right way to be.

Compassion is a major part of showing respect.

Can people of different stripes live together? Yes, if each respects the other’s blueprint for successful expression and stays out of the way.

Two independent and respectful people working in partnership is like a beautiful dance.

Respect also includes compassion. Since I don’t know everything you’ve done or been through, I have no right to judge and I need to offer compassion. Compassion makes every bridge passable.

   

   

Non-judgment makes it downright easy to cross. Respect is everything! And when you have mutual respect in your relationship, it's a positive sign that your marriage will stand the test of time.

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Jean Walters is an international best-selling author and transformational coach with expertise in personal and spiritual empowerment. Her work has been featured in the St. Louis Suburban Journals, The Fax Daily, St. Louis Globe-Democrat Newspaper, St. Louis Home Magazine, and elsewhere.