10 TikTok 'Marriage Mantras' That Prove Harville Hendrix Is Still The King Of Happy Relationships

Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, couples therapists for decades, are reaching new audiences via fan-made viral TikToks.

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If you are unfamiliar with Harville Hendrix, you should know that he is a leading marriage researcher and therapist and referred to by Oprah Winfrey as the “Marriage Whisperer”. Hendrix and his wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. wrote the popular relationship book, Getting the Love You Want: A Guide For Couples.

Hendrix’s words of wisdom about love and relationships, particularly marriage, have helped partners around the world to become more connected and build the kind of love that can last a lifetime. If you search his name on TikTok, you’ll find no shortage of ‘Marriage Mantras’ that he has shared and that many have found profound and life changing.


Here are some of those that solidify his — and Helen's — reputation as leaders in the industry of couples counseling, even among the younger users of TikTok! 

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10 TikToks featuring Harville Hendrix & Helen LaKelly Hunt quotes 

1. Partnership resurfaces childhood feelings

“Since partnership is designed to resurface feelings from childhood, it means that most of the upset that gets triggered in us during our relationships is about the past. Does that make you feel better?”




In this quote, Hendrix is telling couples that your spouse might not be the true subject of your anger. You might have unresolved childhood trauma that you are bringing into your marriage. That inner child can ruin your marriage before it gets started.

2. Moving on to a new partner won’t solve your relationship woes

“People believe that separation gives them an opportunity to resolve those problems with a new partner. But unless they understand the unconscious desires that motivated their dysfunctional behavior in the first relationship, the second relationship is destined to run aground on the same submerged rocks.”



Hendrix is telling people that running from relationship to relationship won’t solve your problems, but rather compound them with additional baggage. He is saying that it’s not them, it’s you, and until you figure that out, every relationship will fail.


3. Your relationships are central to your emotional wellbeing

“We were born in a relationship. We are wounded in a relationship. And we can be healed in a relationship.”



Relationships are a part of our lives from the day we are born to the day we die. Some of them enhance our emotional state, while others are detrimental. But the right relationship can support your healing.

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4. Your relationships reflect how you experienced your parents in childhood

“Our adult intimate relationships are both unconscious and conscious reflections of what we did and did not receive as children."



In the video by Danny Morel, he explains that the dynamics we create as adults are meant to heal our internal pain and emptiness. Because that need is often subconscious, relationships end because our mates cannot fulfill needs that we don’t even know we have.

5. We all have ‘love maps’

In a TikTok by Mark Manson, he explains Hendrix’s theory that we all have ‘love maps’. “When we are children, we basically develop mental maps of how loving relationships operate,” he says.




These deeply ingrained ideas of how relationships should be carried over into adulthood and we pick people who have similar emotional maps—or ideas about relationships as ours.

6. Soulmates heal one another

In a video shared by TikToker, ‘Sarah Abou Hadir’, author, Arielle Ford says, “Soulmates come together to heal each other on the deepest level. The healing part sucks. It’s not fun and is often painful.”



Ford then recalled a conversation she’d had with Hendrix in which she asked him how you know that you’re in the right relationship. He said, “You know you’re in the right relationship when it starts off as a dream come true and eventually devolves into your worst nightmare.


7. Criticism feels like violence

TikToker, ‘Christina_sutra’ who had recently discovered the work of Harville Hendrix shared something he’d said that really resonated with her. He said, “Any act of criticism is an act of violence”.



She went on to explain that criticism from intimate partners pushes your nervous system into “fight or flight” mode, creating an emotional reaction that we might not be able to control. This creates a hesitance about being vulnerable and a disconnect between partners. Even self-criticism has a negative impact on marriage and should be banned from your vocabulary.

8. Expectations kill relationships

Deborah Davis read a book by Harville Hendrix after her divorce and learned one of the “most beautiful things about relationships”. That lesson was that expectations are what end relationships.


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Davis explained that when we meet a new partner, we are on our best behavior, and put our best foot forward in an effort to impress them. But as time goes on, we drop the mask and show our true selves. The problem is that we’ve set expectations early on, based on false pretenses, and when they are no longer met, the relationship becomes problematic.

9. Committed couples grow and develop together

In a video shared by ‘Conscious Career Coaching’ on TikTok, she brings up the notion that we find people to fill our needs that went unmet as children. She talks about how those deficits manifest in committed couples.




As we begin to discuss our unmet requirements in our romantic relationships, each person grows, and those deficits become smaller and smaller as we learn our mates and cater to their needs while they do the same. Couples that can make this transition increase their chances of success.

10. We subconsciously seek approval from our partners

Another ‘aha moment’ about relationships is centered around the Imago Theory introduced by Hendrix and Hunt. It is the idea that if you never got the love and approval you needed from your parents, you will seek it in your spouse.



If you are a woman, you might seek out someone who is just like your father—displaying similar qualities to those he had. Not surprisingly, those qualities didn’t bode well for you then and won’t bode well for you now.



Every person could use some advice when it comes to marital relationships. Understanding what makes us tick and how that shows up in our marriages could help to stop many of the divorces that leave former partners with even more dysfunction to carry forward.

Marriage is about figuring out what you don’t know about yourself and your spouse. Knowing is half the battle and with that knowledge, you can seek the tools and resources you need to create an everlasting love with your spouse.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington. She covers lifestyle, relationship, and human-interest stories that readers can relate to and that bring social issues to the forefront for discussion.