There are many aspects to any relationship. A healthy marriage should contain four main components that establish the foundation of the marriage. A firm foundation is essential for the stability and growth of the relationship over time.
There’s a business component to a marriage that can often make or break a relationship. The business aspect includes money management, delegating household responsibilities, child rearing responsibilities, and the day to day management of the household.
When couples work together as a team, this part of the relationship can run smoothly. Having similar values about marriage, family, and money can make it much easier to make these types of decisions together. The business component is all about being able to negotiate and get your needs met while also being able to ensure that you are doing what is best for the family.
When couples struggle in this area, it can lead to big problems. Many couples argue about money frequently. They may disagree on budgeting which can lead to problems making bigger decisions, such as how much to spend on a house, a car, or even on shipping trips.
A common disagreement in this area also stems from disagreements over who will do the household chores. One person may fee overworked and underappreciated. It can lead to a lot of arguments and anger and resentment.
If the business aspect of the marriage isn’t in line, it’s important to get things in order. Learning how to negotiate the balance of power and how to work together as a team is essential.
A good marriage also needs a strong friendship. This component includes things such as being able to simply enjoy one another’s company. For example, doing activities together, laughing together, and simply enjoying conversation with one another.
When people have a strong friendship component, they are often able to get through life’s difficult obstacles. They can see the humor in life’s problems and genuinely care for one another.
When friendship is lacking, couples sometimes tend to argue frequently. They don’t spend much quality time together and often get more involved in their own activities outside the marriage. They may complain of being bored in their relationship and may be ambivalent about marriage in general.
The spiritual component involves a couple’s beliefs about the intangible things in life. It doesn’t necessarily mean only their religious beliefs, but instead their views on things such love, trust, and faith. It’s about finding a deeper sense of meaning and purpose to live.
When couples share a deep spiritual connection, they are usually able to work through those rough patches in their marriage with a sense of peace. They may enjoy their daily activities together more because they are able to look at the bigger picture in life. For example, a couple may appreciate their efforts to save money if they agree that they want to work harder so they can share their money with a good cause that is important to both of them.
Couples who lack in this area may experience more despair. When problems arise they may be quicker to think about ending the relationship as they are more focused on the here and now versus the big picture of life. Disagreements may occur more often when their spiritual beliefs seem to collide.
The romantic component is what separates the marriage from other relationships. This aspect includes physical intimacy, sexual chemistry, and that “in love” feeling. However, you don’t have to feel all that “in love” to still behave romantically toward your spouse.
People who are have a strong romantic component often schedule regular date nights. They take time out of their busy schedules to simply focus on one another. They may their sex life a priority and enjoy physical touch such as holding hands and cuddling on the couch.
The romantic component also includes inside “secrets” a couple might share. For example, a wink across a crowded room or a little smile that reminds each other of an inside joke. Emotional intimacy can fall into this category as well.
Couples who struggle in this area may report sexual problems. They may not feel connected to each other and often complain of feeling distant or lacking in understanding of what their partner wants or needs. It can lead to boredom in the marriage and a lack of passion and desire.
If your marriage is not built on a strong foundation, you won’t be able to address those little problematic areas effectively. For example, if you don’t have a strong friendship, working on your communication efforts will most likely be fruitless. Instead, you need to go back to the basics.
The good news is, you can work on building the main components of your marriage. Working on these building blocks of the marriage can make a huge difference in your marital satisfaction. Seek help from a professional marriage counselor to help you fill in the areas where your marital foundation may be weak.