Divorce is an ugly word and an ugly topic. It is also a reality in the world that we live in. Although every marriage has the potential to end in divorce, not every marriage is subject to it. There are those who put principles in place that serve as a foundation to a healthy, long-lasting relationship. Whether you are married or in a committed relationship, here are four things that are needed to build a successful one. 1. Honesty. As I have said before in previous writing, honesty is the desire and ability to tell the truth without any intentions to deceive. This does not mean that a person has to tell everything that they know. Telling everything is a sign of immaturity. Children tattle tale, but mature adults only tell those things, good or bad, that are for the growth and development of the relationship. Honesty requires discretion. A husband telling his wife about an affair that took place during the marriage would be something that could work for the growth and development of the relationship, while telling her about all of his sexual escapades before marriage would not. In all cases, words that come out of a person’s mouth must be the truth.
2. Trust. Trust is what we do. Trust is established through, fidelity, loyalty, and respect. It is reinforced by the positive action a person takes for the good of the relationship. When actions are taken that violate trust, the relationship becomes unstable. Trust has to be earned. If trust has been broken, you can rebuild it by doing what you say. Your actions must line up with your words. We all have in us the ability to be trustworthy, but we have to value the relationship enough to allow it to come forth.
3. Affection. Affection tells the person in the relationship that they are loved. It has to be expressed in a positive way for it to be effective. Positive affection is established through positive touches. Touch is one of the most powerful of all the senses. The human body has over 30 thousand touch receptors located from the head to toe. These sensors are connected to nerves that are able to detect even the slightest touch. Positive touches include hand holding, hugging, and cuddling. These healthy interactions prevent a person from feeling like an object and more like a respected member of the relationships.
4. Effective communication. Effective communication is more than just talking to each other. It involves sharing goals and ambitions, hopes and aspirations, success and failures, and likes and dislikes. It is the opposite of arguing. Effective communication cannot be measured in the volume of words or by the length of the conversation. It exists when the words, thoughts, and ideas of both parties are respectfully received. It is the key element that holds all relationships together.
Continue to work on your personal development and seek out positive information about relationships. It is possible to divorce proof your marriage or relationship, but it does require work and the knowledge that you are the principle factor in your relationship equations. When you improve yourself, you make the potential for a long-lasting healthy relationship possible.
Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For questions, comments or more information, go to www.tlhouston.com.