10 Predictors of a Satisfying Marriage
Do you think you have a satisfying marriage? If you’re not married, think of a family member’s or a close friend’s marriage. Do you think the couple has a satisfying marriage? In order for a marriage to be satisfying, both partners need to feel fulfilled. There are individual predictors of a satisfying marriage (qualities an individual has) and couple predictors of a satisfying marriage (the couple has a certain quality). There are definitely more than 10 predictors, but here are a few important ones. When reading through this post, I want you to imagine your relationship or a marriage relationship of a couple that is close to you. See if that couple does or doesn’t do any of these.
Individual predictors of a satisfying marriage
Partners should have a commitment to the marriage and take it seriously. Most wedding vows include some version of “for better or for worse.” This means sticking with our partners in the good and bad times. A couple is a team and seem to work better through difficult times when they view the problem as something they can take on together. Of course there are some circumstances when a commitment should be dissolved. But in general, more satisfied couples have a strong sense of commitment.
2. Respect for differences
We all have unique personalities and experiences, that’s what makes us human! Couples will have different family values and traditions. If an individual is more open to learning about and understanding their partner’s differences, the marriage is generally happier.
A lot of couples I talk to say trust is the foundation of a marriage. There is truth to that. When there is no trust, the couple cannot thrive or feel comfortable being themselves. Sometimes trust can be broken in a marriage (lying, cheating, etc.), but it’s something a couple can get back if they are willing to work through the break in trust.
4. Education about yourself
It’s important for individuals in a marriage to know themselves well. We should understand why we communicate the way we do, why we love like we do, and why we argue the way we do. Do you now what triggers your anger? Introspection is very important for solving and preventing arguments in a marriage. The more you know about yourself, the easier it can be to be in a loving relationship.
5. Sense of humor
We all mistakes! No one has a perfect marriage. When we are able to laugh at ourselves and make jokes with our partner, it’s easier to get over a conflict and fight more fairly.
Couple predictors of a satisfying marriage
By openness I mean being fully known and knowing fully. Being open and vulnerable with your partner is part of having a safe, secure, loving relationship. When both partners are able to do this, your marriage is able to thrive and grow to a higher potential.
I’m sure you’ve heard of “self-esteem.” Couple-esteem is when the couple is confident and feels they can make it through rough times. A couple who has high esteem also knows what’s working well for them. They are then able to do more of these positive behaviors in times of struggle.
Couples need to be able to balance individual needs and couple needs. Both of these needs have to be nurtured and not neglected. Happy couples also balance household labor, roles, and power. When any of these factors are off balance, the marriage can suffer.
9. Managing conflict
Conflict management is difficult to master. This is the number one things couples tell me they have trouble with. Couples who have the tools to manage conflict fight more fairly, know how to apologize and forgive, and are able to accept influence from their partner. If you and your partner struggle with this, it’s okay to seek outside help! For more information on how to manage conflict, sign up for the free guide to Fighting Fair on my website homepage: www.growthandwellness.org
10. Prioritizing the relationship
If couples don’t feed, water, and nurture their relationship, it isn’t going to grow. Sometimes we get so busy and caught up with work, kids, other family members, chores, etc.; we forget to take care of ourselves and our partner. A marriage has to be a priority. Any quality time together is better than quantity. Making meaningful connections with you partner gives the relationship a great foundation for growth.
Well, there you have it! 10 predictors of a satisfying marriage. Now think back to the couple you identified at the begging of this post. How many of these do you see them doing? Would you consider it a happy marriage? Do you and your partner do these things? Which ones might you need to work on? Let me know if you have any comments or questions.