Here are the four qualities to consider when deciding if a marriage is in trouble or not:
1) Size of the Marriage- Do you do a lot of things together as a couple? Couples who are intertwined and have a lot of marital "rituals" are tough to break apart because of the "size" or quantity or their daily, weekly and annual rituals. On the flip side, weak couples are married in name but not in action and can, thus, break up easily.
2) Marital Satisfaction- How happy is each partner in the marriage? This one is a no-brainer. Each partner should feel happy in the marriage. Happy couples work to make sure each partner is happy while weak marriages have a lopsided ratio or neither is happy and are simply going through the motions. What score would you give your partner and vice versa?
3) Quality of Options- Are you okay or not okay with breaking up or divorce? When you think about divorce are you okay with it? Some couples have really good options (in their mind) outside of the current marriage. Some of these are valid...like being happier, finding better fit, getting out of emotionally, physically abusive dynamics, etc. However, some of these are simply the ability to leave the marriage without it costing much.
This is more prevalent in affluent couples who don't have to downgrade lifestyle even after a divorce. By contrast, there are couples who simply stay together because they literally cannot afford to go anywhere else. This is rough but reality. You better hope your spouse doesn't win the lottery (lol).
Strong couples don't like the word divorce and don't even like the idea of not being married to one another and work hard inside the marriage to make it better.
4) Resiliency- Couples who are weak tend to quit faster when things are not going well. These couples take off their wedding rings, act out during conflict, think negatively, show hopelessness and helplessness and "let go of the rope" when times are hard.
By contrast, strong marriages are resilient. Both partners work hard to fix their marriage by any means necessary and believe they can fix the marriage with prayer, hard work, taking classes, a marriage retreat, counseling, etc. They simply do not give up and fight hard and think positively (even during trying times) about the ability to make their marriage stronger.
Want to join my marital masterclass, click this link to find out more. I work to strengthen these four areas in your relationship and/or marriage.