The Truth about a Healthy Marriage

A healthy marriage contributes significantly to our well-being. It sounds so simple and easy to achieve. Yet it is something we need to work at consciously.

In preparing for this post I reviewed the marriages of the people I know and only found one that in my opinion, is a healthy marriage. Of course this is very subjective. But if I look closer, then I am able to identify some core principles.

George and Chrissie have been married for over 50 years.  George is outgoing, but not overly so. He enjoys engaging with others and has an off-beat sense of humour. Chrissie is controlled and quite a private person.

A healthy marriage

George consistently consults with Chrissie on all kinds of matters. These include serious issues to small somewhat inconsequential ones. It is very clear that he sees Chrissie as his partner on all levels. As an outsider I can see he does this out of respect for her as a person. Decisions are made jointly as opposed to him being scared to make decisions on his own. It is also not a case that Chrissie is the one who has the final say. It truly is an equal partnership, a healthy marriage.

Chrissie and George both have activities they do together on a weekly basis. However, they each also have their own independent interests they pursue. This has always been a part of the way they function. George had a hobby that took him away for full days twice a week.

There was a ritual that he followed on these two days. He would always call Chrissie at 13.00 to check in with her: what had she done the morning. He would talk about his activities. It was a very brief conversation – perhaps not even a minute long. But it was a ritual that he never broke.

It seems as if there is a high degree of maturity and emotional intelligence in their marriage. Difficult matters are handled in a pragmatic and sensible way. Chrissie is not a highly emotional person so would be intellectual in how she reacts to a crisis. Although George is the emotional one, he has a strong realistic side so adopts a practical way to solving problems.

George recently commented that he enjoys being with his wife and likes her company. It is very obvious that George and Chrissie are good friends. There is no competition between them, no ego games, no insecurity. They have a very amiable and giving relationship. They think and care about each other and show it in how they behave toward each other. This is a healthy marriage.

Of course I could not help wondering if it is time and wisdom with age that brings about an easier marriage. And yet this is not automatically so. I saw in another older friend’s marriage how trying the relationship was until the day her husband died. He was an extremely insecure person who went through life fighting with everyone.

George and Chrissie are wonderful role models. Metaphorically they both sit next to each other on the same side of the table as opposed to having an adversarial relationship. Instead they have a healthy marriage. They recognise the good in each other and express that openly in front of friends.

In trying times they see themselves as a team and stick together. Somehow they prevent their own emotions from creating a rift between them. They care enough about each other to want to do activities together e.g. go to movies, eating out, attending interesting talks, etc. There is togetherness and yet there is also room for separateness.

A master on marriage

I love what Gibran writes on marriage in his book The Prophet:

“You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore.


But let there be spaces in your togetherness.

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,


If your well-being is currently affected by your marriage you may want to explore ways to have more of a partnership with your spouse.

George and Chrissie have this as a result of the individuals they are. So, a healthy marriage is possible! You can become a loving, caring partner.


Posted in Marriage, Well-being.