7 differences between healthy couples and unhealthy couples

7 differences between healthy couples and unhealthy couples September 8, 2015

couple smiling sunglasses

Below is my popular post on the seven differences between healthy couples and unhealthy couples. For more tools to help you build your marriage, can now download all of my 5 previous ebooks instantly for FREE when you preorder my new book “The 7 Laws of Love”.

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Have you ever been hanging out with a married couple and they seem to not only love each other, but they actually seem to like each other too? It’s enjoyable being around them. It’s life-giving and encouraging. By contrast, have you ever been around a couple where it was obvious they didn’t like each other very much and the tension made everyone around them feel uncomfortable?

I think we’ve all been around both kinds of couples, but the real question is, how do we become like the happy couple and not like the unhappy couple? What are the habits or secrets that separate the two? I’m glad you asked! After observing the behaviors of couples from all over the world, I believe these seven indicators below are some of the clearest ways to measure the current health of your marriage and chart a clearer course towards a healthier and happier relationship.

In no particular order…

1. Healthy Couples don’t keep secrets. Unhealthy couples hide things from each other regularly. 

A healthy marriage is built on a solid foundation of trust, transparency and honesty. The moment you send a text message, visit a website, make a purchase or have a conversation you hope your spouse never finds out about, you’re already WAY out of bounds! Fight for trust in your marriage. It’s the foundation for everything else. For more on this, download our new Marriage App from iTunes by clicking here.

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2. Healthy couples share everything. Unhealthy couples divide everything up into “his” and hers.”

Marriage is not 50-50. Divorce is 50-50. Marriage is 100-100. A healthy marriage doesn’t require dividing everything in half, but rather, giving everything you’ve got! Unhealthy couples “use” each other while healthy couples look for ways to serve each other. Serve each other generously and selflessly and your marriage might instantly improve.

3. Healthy couples point out the best in each other. Unhealthy couples point out the worst in each other.

If you focus on the best in each other, you’ll bring out the best in each other. If you focus on the worst, you’ll bring out the worst in each other. Be each other’s biggest encouragers; not the biggest critics. For more on this, download a FREE chapter from my new book by clicking here.

4. Healthy couples have conversations. Unhealthy couples have arguments. 

In her latest book, “The Argument-Free Marriage,” Fawn Weaver points out the difference between discussions and arguments. In a discussion, you’re working together towards a common goal, but in an argument, you’re trying to “win’ and cause your spouse to “lose.” A marriage needs to be win-win. You share everything, so work together to find a solution.

Dave Willis marriage quote quotes love like each other

5. Healthy couples invest in their marriage regularly. Unhealthy couples always say “someday” they’ll get around to it.

The happiest couples I know make their marriages a priority. It’s not rocket science, but when you invest in something, it tends to grow. It doesn’t have to be a big financial investment. Your time is the great resource you can invest into your relationship. Make time for each other daily. Unplug. Have conversations. Have date nights (even if date night is just Netflix and popcorn on your couch).

6. Healthy couples give each other their best. Unhealthy couples give each other their leftovers.

Don’t go through your day giving your best time, energy and thoughtfulness to strangers and co-workers only to give your spouse and family your grumpy leftovers at the end of the day. Save your best energies for the people who matter most.

Dave Willis marriage quote fight for each other not against

7. Healthy couples believe in grace in forgiveness. Unhealthy couples believe in keeping score and holding grudges.

If you keep score in your marriage, you both lose. If you choose to forgive and seek forgiveness, you both win. A marriage can’t survive without a LOT of grace. When you’ve blown it, be quick to apologize, accept responsibility and work to rebuild trust. When your spouse has blown it, be quick to give forgiveness and create opportunities for trust to be rebuilt. Hold hands, not grudges. 

For more ways to build a healthy, happy marriage, download our new “MarriageApp” for iPhones and iPads and check out my brand new book, The Seven Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships”

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