What Does A Healthy Marriage Look Like? Twenty-One Wives Share

Marriage / Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

I interviewed 21 women who said they are currently in a healthy marriage. While there are so many questions I could’ve asked, I tried to focus on those that would provide a clear image of what they and their spouse do to keep their marriage healthy.

The women who contributed to this post have been married for 1.5 to 25 years, and they all had great insight to share!

In your opinion, what does a healthy marriage look like?

“I think that a healthy marriage really strives to consistently grow and evolve. I think studying up on God’s design and heart for marriage is so beneficial. We are constantly learning more about humbling ourselves in order to serve the other person. Our marriage takes top priority in our life together and we believe healthy marriages have the ability to change the world.” –Taylor, married 4 years

“A healthy marriage is one where both spouses are committed to each other and esteem their partner as more valuable than themselves. Both spouses are flawed, but in a good marriage, both people work to forgive each other and always think the best of the other. There is also a commitment to the marriage and to each other, a determination never to give up and to keep working things through.” -Missy, married 13 years, In Our Pond & Party Through The USA

“Marriage can’t be 50/50; it has to be 100/100 to work, with both people giving 100% of themselves to the other. When both of them are able to put themselves in second place behind their spouse, then a marriage can thrive. It doesn’t come automatically. It took us about ten years of practice!”-Amy, married 25 years, Starting Parenting Over

“A healthy marriage starts with Jesus. Amos 3:3, ‘Can two walk together, except they be agreed?’ From there, a healthy marriage is built on trusting each other to put each other first as you build a life. We don’t have to ask each other if we can go to coffee with a friend or visit a neighbor, but we do let each other know as a courtesy to the person we choose to love unconditionally. A marriage is like a retirement account; it’s not enough to open the account,—you have to put something into it for it to grow.” -Davi, married 15 years, Davi Todd

“Two people who are sexually compatible and each other’s best friend. They support each other and make each other a better person.” -Michelle, married 14 years, Mama Suds

“It looks like a lot of communication, desiring to be with one another, putting each other first, letting each other know how much you love them, being on the same page and talking it through if your view is different, pursuing God individually and together, carving out time for just you two, and having lots of fun!” -Hannah, married 2 years, Chi Alpha Campus Ministries

How does continuous pursuit of your spouse, or lack thereof, affect your marriage?

“We are not the most romantic couple at this point in our marriage due to our being exceptionally busy with work, school, etc. However, we find little ways to show one another that we constantly think of each other (i.e. surprising each other with a favorite candy bar).” -Michelle, married 9 years, The Artful Ambler

“It keeps us romantically, sexually, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally in love.” -Chelsea, married 9.5 years, Chelsea Lou Porter

“Pursuing each other helps starve so many lies that try to sneak in and cause my husband and I not to be unified. It also breeds emotional and physical intimacy which is a huge and beautiful part of marriage. During seasons where the pursuit changes or is just harder, we feel a direct impact on our overall health as individuals, but more specifically the health of our marriage. We believe we are a team, and teammates have to consistently get to know the other.” –Taylor, married 4 years

“People always make time for the things they love. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and we choose to spend that time with the things and/or people we most desire. When we reserve two hours every evening together and have lunch together nearly every day, everyone around us can see that these two people are very important to each other, it that will be hard to drive them apart. We feel like each of us is the center of the other’s lives. That’s not to say we don’t have other friends; just that our relationship with each other is our most valued.”-Davi, married 15 years, Davi Todd

“Our pursuit of one another brings us closer together and positively affects our marriage. We desire to be together and feel loved because we are both putting in the effort to make each other feel important.” -Hannah, married 2 years, Chi Alpha Campus Ministries

“I think that feeling desired is one of the most important parts of a healthy marriage. The day we stop pursuing each other’s love and attention is the day we become room mates instead of life partners.” -Heather, married 4 years, A Life In Labor

Please describe how you and your spouse are intentional with your relationship, in order to help it flourish.

“We try hard not to react if a person is grumpy or rude (that is uncharacteristic of us). We trust that if one of us snaps at the other, they’ll come back later to apologize and talk.” –Tiffany, married 6.5 years, The Crazy Shopping Cart

“We are sure to put our relationship first. We have three children who we love and cherish, but we know that we cannot be good parents without first being a good husband and wife. We try to have at least one hour every night to relax with each other, and at least one proper date night a month without the kids, so we can be sure to get quality time in.” -Michelle, married 9 years, The Artful Ambler

“We try to spend as much time together as possible. When we’re together we try to be mindful about being present together and not being distracted (on our phones, etc).” -Chelsea, married 9.5 years, Chelsea Lou Porter

“One way that my husband and I try to be intentional with our relationship is that we individually meet with mentors and close friends that challenge us, encourage us and love on us as we navigate life circumstances, marriage questions, etc. The fact that we both have ‘go-to’ people takes a huge weight off of the other person and actually allows a lot more freedom to reach out and get help when we need it. We also have benefited so much from learning from older couples in our lives and giving them permission to walk with us in our marriage and encourage/challenge us.” –Taylor, married 4 years

“We go out on dates at least 2 to 4 times a month. We have similar interests, so doing things together is key. We also talk to each other about our dreams, fears and goals.” –Anitra, married 20 years, Chronicles of a Momtessorian

“We make sure to keep the lines of communication open. We approach all aspects of life together as a unified team. And we help each other out—marriage is all about give and take.” -Lisa, married 3 years, Naturally Homemade Mama

“We always make sure the other knows they are appreciated. We are very careful not to argue in front of the kids. If we disagree, we will remove ourselves from their presence and discuss it. We try very hard to listen to one another. When we do disagree, we are both quick to apologize.” -Heather, married 2 years, The Southern Mama Bear

“We often drive to a coffee shop and then just drive around and talk. We also have evenings when, after the littles are in bed, we shut ourselves out from the teens so we can have undisturbed time together. I show him my appreciation by going out of my way to prepare a special meal for him, he buys me flowers now and then, and we both show our appreciation for one another by trying to give each other a little time alone on the weekends for a nap or extra down time.” -Amy, married 25 years, Starting Parenting Over

“We always think about the little things we can do to make the other happy. Little gestures that show the other we are thinking of them, like making them a cup of coffee before they get out of bed, buying their favorite snack at the shops, or stopping what we are doing in our busy day to show affection.” -Rebecca, married 1.5 years, Naturally Busy

“My husband and I are intentional in that we make it a point to talk to each other about everything. It sounds cliché, I know. But if something is bothering us or something is on our mind, we come to each other first to intentionally bring each other closer to our hearts so we are constantly growing to know each other better. We also promised to never strike fear in the other. The promise includes never threatening leaving, never talking about divorce or wishing for a life without the other. Saying things like this in anger or frustration can cause huge rifts in marriages, even when the words aren’t true.” -Heather, married 4 years, A Life In Labor

Do you think there is a secret to a healthy marriage? Please explain.

“I think that a deep understanding of grace is so important because as humans we are so flawed and we can really hurt each other deeply, especially in marriage! We need to know that we are deeply loved and accepted no matter what, and I think that is only attainable if we understand how much we ourselves are loved and accepted by God because of His glorious grace. I think that learning how to ask for forgiveness and granting forgiveness is so important in a marriage. I think we have to choose our spouse again and again and never stop choosing them. We have to say, ‘this life is hard. But I want to do it WITH YOU. You are my teammate and I will cheer you on every step of the way.’” –Taylor, married 4 years

“Never threaten divorce; even during the most explosive arguments. It puts the idea on the table and things are said that you might not be able to take back.” -Amanda, married 10 years, Simplistic Momma

“There is no secret. You just have to remember to communicate and listen to one another, as well as show your appreciation often even if it’s just a simple thank you for cooking dinner or helping fold the laundry or offering to do the dishes.” -Heather, married 2 years, The Southern Mama Bear

“Instead of telling your spouse what you need, ask what he needs. When both partners make it about the other and take the spotlight off themselves, a marriage will thrive.” -Amy, married 25 years, Starting Parenting Over

“I think the ‘secret’ is God. Having a healthy relationship with Him individually affects everything – your communication, your love, your sex, your viewpoints on life, life goals, etc.” –Sarah, married 4 years, Shaver Crew

“Jesus should be the center of a threefold cord that bonds the marriage. If both spouses are wrapped around each other with Jesus as their center anchor, that bond will not be quickly broken. It would take much time and effort for an enemy to unravel that thick cord.” –Davi, married 15 years, Davi Todd

“God. A marriage with God as the foundation will not crumble, but overcome anything and everything.” -Vanessa, married 9 years, Naturally Freckled

“The secret to a healthy marriage is always KNOWING that it will last forever. If you wonder if it will work, question if it will last, or hope that you can make it, things need to start changing now. Even in your darkest night or deepest valleys or in times when you know things aren’t working, you need to know that it can and will be fixed. Be confident at all times that this is the person you want to be with and know for certain that he wants to be with you.” -Heather, married 4 years, A Life In Labor

“Pray for your spouse and your marriage. Look at yourself and figure out what you can do to be a better wife to your husband. Make sure your spouse is your best friend. Put him above everyone else.” -Rebecca, married 16 years, Homeschool On The Ranch

“It is choosing your battles, knowing when to apologize/swallow your pride, and not setting the other one up for failure (i.e., not telling the other person what you want and then getting mad because they didn’t do it).” -Annie, married 5 years, Side Hustle Mom

How do your beliefs affect the way you understand marriage?

“We are very strong in our Mormon faith, and part of those beliefs is that physical intimacy should wait until marriage. But sharing those same beliefs is the root of our relationship. We believe that marriage is a covenant between a man, a woman, and God as all three equal partners. When things are hard, we draw closer to God and that brings us closer to one another.” –Tiffany, married 6.5 years, The Crazy Shopping Cart

“God needs to be at the foundation of the relationship. A friend once described to me that a marriage is like a triangle. God is the top corner and the husband and wife are the bottom corners. When the husband and wife get closer to God they also get closer to each other. Nurturing your faith is essential for a healthy marriage and family.” -Erin, married 10 years, Our Little Life

“I am a Christian, so I believe that marriage was God’s idea from the beginning. God tells us in the Bible how we are to treat each other (for example- 1 Corinthians 13) and what marriage is to look like (Ephesians 5).” -Missy, married 13 years, In Our Pond & Party Through The USA

“Marriage is a covenant between us and God. We choose to love each other just like God chooses to extend his love to us. My husband and I are all in until the day we die and we are striving to help each other become more and more like Jesus every single day.” -Hannah, married 2 years, Chi Alpha Campus Ministries

“I believe that God created marriage as an example of His love for us. We need to love each other as Christ loves us. Sacrificially. Marriage isn’t about me.” -Rebecca, married 16 years, Homeschool On The Ranch

Additional Words of Wisdom

“We had to learn a lot of our lessons the hard way in our marriage, unfortunately. But I think it was our humility and willingness to learn and forgive that helped us get through our struggles together.” -Michelle, married 9 years, The Artful Ambler

“I think marriage is an incredible gift. My hope is that more and more people would have a heart for healthy marriages and learning from each other without comparing or discouraging marriage or each other. I hope that more people would be pro- marriage and learn how to walk alongside each other in this hurting world, linking arms and knowing that this life can be hard, but choosing to sit in the hard AND the joy with each other makes it a bit easier.” –Taylor, married 4 years

“Communication in all things has been a key factor in our marital success. Whether it’s lunch, how a situation made you feel, or the to-do list; it’s a lot easier to avoid conflict and keep the romance when you work as a team.” -Amanda, married 10 years, Simplistic Momma

“Be intentional in your marriage. Don’t just leave things to chance. Make plans. Make commitments. Make time together a priority. Put each other above the kids. I know that’s hard to do, but eventually the kids will move out. Your spouse will be there forever and you want to still know your spouse when that happens.” –Sarah, married 4 years, Shaver Crew

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.“In order to love someone deeply and overlook their faults, failures, and sometimes even sins (and I don’t mean abuse in the term sins here…if you’re being abused, get help), you’ve got to be able to just let some water pass under the bridge. No one is perfect and yes, even you will do some things that irritate your spouse It goes both ways. Both of you need to commit. The lie is that marriage is 50/50; it’s not! It’s 100/100 or it doesn’t work and no one is truly happy.” –Davi, married 15 years, Davi Todd

“Respect your husband. Love him unconditionally. Don’t focus on what he could do to be a better spouse; focus on what you can do.” -Rebecca, married 16 years, Homeschool On The Ranch

“My advice to newlyweds is to make sure your partner knows how to love you, that he/she understands the value in the way you receive love. Keep those lines of communication open and every day in your marriage try as hard as you can to build strength and strong bonds.” -L. Autumn, married 3.5 years, She’s A Wreck

Please check out the blogs of the contributors in this post! They all have wonderful knowledge to share and you may find something that you didn’t know you needed.

You might also like: The Key To A Successful Marriage Is Not Necessarily Communication

Hello! I am a work-at-home mom to twin girls and a canine. I’m learning what life looks like when you surrender to God. Passionate about parenthood, marriage, and all things coffee!


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