When navigating the road to a happy and fulfilling marriage, it’s important to understand the difference between healthy marriage dynamics and those that are unhealthy or toxic. One of the most notable characteristics of a healthy marriage relationship is an equal balance of power between two partners, meaning one person doesn’t call all the shots – both are free to express their thoughts, feelings and opinions.
So how can you tell if your marriage dynamic needs more work? Conflict is an obvious red flag, but others are more subtle. If any of these issues sound familiar, it may benefit you to take a step back and explore them with couples counseling.
You don’t feel comfortable expressing yourself.
A healthy marriage relationship allows both partners to express their own opinions and speak up for themselves when necessary. If you avoid doing this because you fear that your spouse will reject you, retaliate or even harm you in some way, you’re experiencing an imbalance of power.
Your spouse makes important decisions without consulting you.
One of the obligations of being in a marriage is taking your spouse’s thoughts into consideration before making important decisions about finances, children and other significant matters. If one partner routinely makes these types of decisions without consulting the other, this indicates they care more about getting their way than creating harmony in the marriage.
You feel alone.
When you’re in a healthy marriage, even on a bad day, you should still feel respected and valued. When your spouse withholds affection or otherwise neglects your emotional needs, you will feel lonely. It’s not an uncommon situation – according to Psychology Today, up to 40 percent of married people feel lonely sometimes or often.
You do all the work in the relationship.
The healthiest marriages are very close to equal partnerships when it comes to emotional and household responsibilities. It’s not enough for just one person to try – both spouses must be willing to put in work to succeed. Learn what to do if your spouse doesn’t want to attend counseling.
Schedule an Appointment for Couples Counseling
Sound Mind Therapy offers professional couples counseling, where a trained therapist teaches the skills needed to effectively reverse or prevent divorce. We help married couples and also those who are dating, engaged or partnered. To schedule an appointment, call Sound Mind Therapy at (314) 499-9144 or complete our online appointment request. We serve residents of Town and Country, Ladue and many other St. Louis suburbs.