Truisms Found in Healthy Relationships
Working with couples is a joy and a privilege to me. Over the years, I have found many things to be true of healthy couples. Certain theorists and researchers particularly influence my beliefs and the way I conduct therapy with my clients. I want to particularly note Drs. John and Julie Gottman and their 40 years of research with couples. Sue Johnson and her work with Attachment Theory and Emotionally Focused Therapy, and Dan Siegel and his research and work with Interpersonal Neurobiology. The most impactful influence, however has undoubtedly been from the inspiration and truth I have found in the Bible.
The following 15 truisms all come from a passage in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Many may know it as the love passage. Healthy relationships exhibit the positive qualities found in this passage. I want to encourage couples, especially those married to stay focused on some simple, but powerful truths about love. They are relationship game-changers. I suggest reading them over, meditating on them, and if you are inclined, committing them to memory.
I believe these truths about love can put your relationship on a path towards greater health and wellbeing. If you are struggling in your relationship, think about these truths, and then put them into action and watch what unfolds. Think specifically about how they relate to your relationship and ask How well am I doing?
- Patient – Am I practicing patience?
- Kind – Am I kind?
- Does not envy – Do I envy my partner or others?
- Does not boast – Am I boastful?
- Is not proud – Does my pride interfere in my relationship?
- Does not dishonor others – Do I honor my partner in my thoughts, words, and actions?
- Is not self-seeking – Am I too focused on myself and desires, at the expense of my relationship?
- Is not easily angered – Do I get angry easily? What does my spouse see/hear when I get angry?
- Keeps no record of wrongs – Do I hold grudges? Am I quick to list past grievances?
- Does not delight in evil – Am I doing things that are not right or dishonoring to our relationship?
- Rejoices with the truth – Do we allow space for truth? Do we practice celebrating good things?
- Always protects – Am I protecting my partner at all costs?
- Always trusts – Am I trustworthy? Do I trust my spouse? Is there anything getting in the way?
- Always hopes – Am I holding on to hope?
- Always perseveres – Do I have a posture of never giving up? Am I continuing to persevere in our relationship although it may be challenging? Am I pursuing help if I/we need it?
If you are ever in doubt about what you can do to enhance and enrich your relationship applying these truisms about love and asking important questions can make all the difference.