Living in a modern, highly wired society means that we are constantly exposed to messages about love and romance. Our social media feed are filled with picture-perfect images of couples in love or content about navigating relationships. But what does a happy, satisfying relationship or marriage really look like?

While a healthy relationship may differ from couple to couple depending on individual personalities, interests and life stage, there are certain traits or hallmarks that define a thriving marriage.

You know you are in an emotionally fulfilling, stable marriage when you…

1. Consciously work towards keeping your relationship healthy

It’s normal to have conflicts and friction in a marriage, but couples in a healthy relationship keep their emotional bank account full by making sure that the positives outweigh the negatives. They do so by actively sharing friendship and love and treating each other with kindness and respect.

2. Prioritise your relationship with each other

Couples in a strong relationship set aside time for shared and enjoyable experiences. They make an effort to do the activities their partner enjoy. Whether it’s planning a romantic picnic or going on an exciting outdoor adventure together, they look for ways to keep things fun.

Too busy juggling work schedules or taking care of the kids? Healthy couples look for little pockets of free time, just to connect with one another.

3. Learn to handle conflicts well

One of the key ingredients in any successful relationship is learning how to handle conflicts well. Healthy couples are aware of the potential pitfalls in their relationship. Instead of letting trigger events escalate into arguments, they are wise enough to address the core issues at an appropriate time and place.

4. Understand each other’s love styles

All of us have different ways of expressing and receiving love. Couples who find their relationship satisfying are often tuned into their partner’s preferred love style. They know just what their other half need to fill up their emotional love tank, whether it is practical help, quality time, a thoughtful gift, an encouraging word, a listening ear or a comforting embrace.

If however, you think your relationship has room to grow into a better, more satisfying one and you’re not sure how to get there, why not sign up for a marriage programme?

One marriage programme is PREP (Prevention and Relationship Education Programme), an evidence-based marriage preparation programme for soon-to-wed or newlywed couples that will equip you with the strategies, tools and techniques to nurture a healthy marriage. Check out our mini marriage PREP tips too!