Everyone wants a healthy marriage. We all crave love, support, and emotional connection in our relationships, right? But what does that really mean?
Emotional connection is not just one small part of successful marriages. It’s a huge portion!
Guess what. It isn’t conflict that causes most divorces; it’s the emotional distance many couples face. That makes it even more critical that we pay close attention to the level of connection we have and take intentional action to improve it.
What is an emotionally healthy marriage?
An emotionally healthy relationship can be defined as a collection of feelings that form a bond between husband and wife. It creates a deep affection. You understand and trust your spouse in a way that you don’t have with anyone else.
Having a strong emotional connection makes you feel secure. It’s when you can’t imagine not having your spouse as your go-to person in life. It’s the foundation for a healthy marriage. Without this connection, your marriage may not be able to survive for the long haul.
Benefits of an emotionally healthy marriage
Why does a strong emotional connection create a long-lasting marriage? The most apparent benefit is happiness!
A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. Proverbs 15:13
But it’s about much more than just being happier.
A strong emotional connection in your marriage improves your overall physical health because it reduces your stress level. It keeps you from doing as many stupid things and prevents you from suffering from serious injuries.
Couples who work on this connection have mutual respect, understanding, communication, and trust. These qualities in their relationship make forgiveness easier and their expectations of one another reasonable.
Healthy marriages with a strong connection result in better sex. It’s easier to be completely free with your spouse in your sex life when you trust them with your deepest emotions.
10 ways to improve your emotional connection
1. Focus on spiritual growth.
Improve your relationship with Jesus both as a couple and as individuals. Pray for your spouse. Read and study the Bible together, and find a church where you will both be able to grow spiritually. The more you understand what Jesus believes about you and your marriage, the more you’ll be comfortable building a healthy marriage with a deep, emotional connection.
2. Practice gratitude.
Focusing on the things you are thankful for about your spouse will create a positive mindset about them and your marriage. Look for things they say and do that you might typically overlook and thank them for those things. When you pray for your marriage, be sure to list the things you are thankful for and not just a list of things you want God to “fix” about your spouse.
3. Take care of your marriage.
All marriages need attention. They won’t just blossom on their own. Like a plant will die if you don’t give it what it needs, your marriage will begin to wilt without tender loving care. To make sure this is happening, do a marriage checkup often, perhaps weekly, monthly, or even yearly. You can learn more about these checkups by reading It’s Time for a Helpful End-of-year Marriage Checkup.
4. Have reasonable expectations.
No married couple experiences the honeymoon period for their entire marriage. Your spouse will change, and so will you. Instead of expecting your spouse to be always attentive and selfless, remember that they are only human. If you want them to accept you, warts, and all, you need to do it for them.
5. Show affection toward one another.
Hold hands, give lots of hugs, and kiss often. The more you connect physically, the more you will feel connected emotionally. It’s because of the hormones that are released when you touch someone. Flirt with your spouse like you did before you were married. It will show them you still love them. And of course, if you feel disconnected, it’s a good idea to have sex more often.
6. Find a purpose for your marriage.
Having shared goals will pull you together and help you feel more like one flesh than merely two people in the same house.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
7. Spend time together.
Be intentional with your time. Find time to spend together and stick to that commitment. Grab as much time as possible each day to just talk, cuddle, or work on a project together. Scheduled date nights are essential, but they are not the only times you should be together. Feeding your relationship is like feeding your body. If you only eat once a week, you won’t be very healthy, and if you only try to connect once a week (or worse, once a month), your relationship won’t get the nutrients it needs either.
8. Be vulnerable.
You can’t become closer to someone if you are not willing to take a risk and share things you would usually keep to yourself. When something is bothering you, and you need to get it off your chest, go to your spouse, and be honest with them. If the problem is something about them, it can’t seem like you’re attacking them. It has to be done with a humble heart, trying to solve the problem instead of just blame for it.
9. Prioritize your spouse.
Make your spouse the #1 priority in your life, only behind your relationship with Christ. Spend time building them up. Put their needs above yours, and if someone is attacking them, always have their back. These demonstrations will build the trust and respect a healthy marriage needs.
10. Let acceptance rule.
Allow your mate to be the person God created them to be. Accept the good and the bad. Don’t nag them to be more than they are, but be available to help them make the improvements they need. Jesus accepts us because we are a part of him. (We’ve been grafted into the Vine.) Your spouse is a part of you, and tearing them down for their shortcomings will hurt you too in the long run.
Two more tips for a healthy marriage
First, if you are struggling to connect emotionally with your spouse, read our blog How to Satisfy Your Greatest Emotional Needs in Your Marriage. It will help you identify what you really need in your marriage and explain how to discuss it with your spouse. It could be your first step toward a healthy marriage that you can celebrate.
And secondly, don’t settle for an emotionally distant marriage. It’s not what God intended for you. If you can’t seem to get past the issues that are keeping you disconnected emotionally, you need to take action.
If you don’t want to be in the same place you are right now in six months, you can’t sweep the issues under the proverbial rug. Get in touch with us for a free 30-minute marriage assessment call. We’ll help you identify the weaknesses that stop you from having a healthy marriage and put you on a path toward a marriage you can celebrate.
Click on this link to apply for the 30-minute free marriage assessment call and take action to create a more connected marriage.