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Sally Connolly, LCSW, LMFTSally Connolly, LCSW, LMFT
A blog about mental and emotional health

ABC’s of Marriage

Sally Connolly, LCSW, LMFT Updated: Jul 24th 2013

Here are tips for a successful marriage from A-Z.

A = Acceptance is a key. We all have things about our partner that we would like to see different. They have those same feelings about us. A key to a healthy relationship is to accept those differences and not try to change another person.

colorful ABCsB = Give your partner the Benefit of the doubt. Look for the positives in what they are doing rather than the negative in their behavior.

C = Commitment to each other and to the relationship. In healthy relationships, there is that intrinsic belief that, no matter what, the relationship is there until “death parts”.

D = Develop skills and knowledge about healthy relationships.

E = Learn how to be an Emotionally intelligent partner. Discover ways to effectively handle emotions in the relationship.

F = Healthy partners learn to Forgive even though you may never forget. They let go of the little things and find ways to work through the important issues on the path to forgiveness.

G = Be Giving in your relationship, not to the detriment of your own mental or physical health, but find ways to let your spouse know that you love and appreciate him or her.

H = Humor is critical for any relationship. In healthy partnerships, couples can laugh together, see the fun and silliness in their struggles and, respectfully, in each other. Humor lightens any load.

I = Are Inquisitive about their partner’s day and life. This helps your partner to feel cared about. Learning about what happens in each other’s life helps to build a couple’s love map.

J = Bring Joy to the relationship. Joy breeds joy.

K = Kindness, even on rough days, can turn things around quickly and change negative interactions to positive ones.

L = Couples in healthy relationships laugh a lot. Humor together repairs much damage, especially during a disagreement.

M = Motivated, always, to be a good spouse. When one person is a good spouse, it affects the other’s willingness to reciprocate.

N = Nurture the relationship and your spouse. It is easy to let the relationship cruise on auto-pilot and yet that is what can take a relationships down a wrong path.

O = Couples in healthy relationships are Open to a different viewpoint, to a change in a routine or ritual, to your partner’s hopes and dreams.

P = Being Positive can go a long way in the health of a marriage. Focus on what is good and working rather than what is wrong and needs to change.

Q = Quality Time is important. In healthy relationships, couples understand that they may not have a lot of time together, especially when they are building careers and family, so they make sure that they time that they do have is of high quality.

R = Resilience. Couples are able to repair damage to their relationship quickly rather than let angry and negative feelings fester for a longer time.

S = Couples in healthy relationships have Sensitivity to how what they say and do affects their partner. They choose their words and how they say them in ways that show respect and care, even when feeling hurt or angry.

T = Talk to each other always as if she or he was someone that they love.

U = Develop Understanding for their partner’s point of view, even if they do not agree with or like it.

V = Veracity with love. They strive to be honest with each other and yet do not believe that they must always “tell it like it is”. There are no secrets and always kindness.

W = Wondering, questioning and seeking ideas for new and interesting things to do as a couple.

X = Xerox. When couples find something that works, they are likely to try it again. Rather than “correcting” mistakes, they look to repeat what works.

Y = Yes. Couples in healthy relationships are more likely to say “yes” to their partner than they are to say “no” for any reasonable request.

Z = Zing. Successful couples know that looking for ways to add interest and excitement to their relationship keeps it vital and healthy.


Sally Connolly, LCSW, LMFT

Sally Connolly, LCSW, LMFT has been a therapist for over 30 years, specializing in work with couples, families and relationships. She has expertise with clients both present in the room as well as online through email, phone and chat therapy. She has written numerous articles about solving couple and relationship dilemmas. Many of them can be found on her website, Counseling Relationships Online, or her blog, Relationship Dilemmas.

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