A happy marriage is made of two healthy individuals who come together to combine their lives into one. Through partnership, respect, and love, happily married couples build a life to share for years to come. Part of building that life is encouraging one another to be healthy individuals, in addition to being supportive and healthy spouses.
While it might be easy to lose oneself to coupledom and disappear into your relationship, it’s really best for both in the relationship to maintain their sense of individuality as two healthy adults in a loving partnership. It’s possible to lose sight of ourselves for a while, especially during the early years of marriage, but eventually, our true self emerges again.
Rather than taking away one’s individuality, marriage sheds light on it. Married partners get to know one another intimately over the years, seeing one another more clearly and authentically than anyone else. We believe there’s strength in nurturing your own individuality, and encouraging your spouse to do the same.
Healthy individuals create healthy relationships. As we like to say, your relationships are only as healthy as you are. So, it’s paramount that you and your spouse encourage one another to be healthy individuals.
Want to know how? Read on and learn from Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott.
One of the best ways to support your spouse as an individual is to give them time for themselves, with no strings attached. Many of us have a deep need for alone time, to recharge and reconnect with who we truly are. Even though we marry and share so much of our time together, it’s important to protect that time to continue growing and thriving as individuals.
Healthy boundaries are part of being a healthy individual. If you want your spouse to be a healthy individual, then respect their boundaries. This goes hand-in-hand with the idea of giving them some space. It’s so important for you to recognize one another’s boundaries, and talk about them if needed. If your spouse struggles with setting and holding boundaries, be a champion for those rather than an obstacle.
Go a step further and encourage your spouse to set boundaries where needed. It’s a good idea to discuss our personal boundaries with one another, both while we’re getting to know each other, and as our life progresses. Boundaries can shift and change with life’s changes, so take that into consideration as you both reevaluate your boundaries and discuss them together.
Shared activities are wonderful, but so are the individual things we enjoy. Be your spouse’s biggest cheerleader, encouraging them to pursue their passions and supporting them as they achieve their goals. Do this for one another, and you’ll help fill each other’s proverbial cup as the years pass.
When you’re married, you have the opportunity for next-level support from one another. Work together to create and achieve this mutual support, and help one another truly thrive.
Both you and your spouse should pay special attention to your own health, in addition to each other’s. One way to ensure healthier relationships is by focusing on your psychological, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
We have identified three core hallmarks to personal health: unswerving authenticity, profound significance, and self-giving love. While we can help one another achieve a better sense of individuality, we must also focus on our own health to have the best relationships possible.
If you’d like to take a deeper dive into how to harness these attributes of individual health, check out Healthy Me, Healthy Us. It explores the ways we can all become healthier, so we can be fully present for each other. Pick up your copy here.
Contact our MFL team for marriage support anytime.
Your Marriage, Family and Life Team