7 Gifts That A Long And Healthy Marriage Gives You

 / 

Gifts Healthy Marriage Gives You

Like everyone else, do you also look forward to having a healthy and long marriage with your spouse, but sometimes things feel…boring?

My husband and I have been married for almost thirty years.

A while back we started trying out Blue Apron, the service that brings weekly meals and recipes to your door.

His joking words the other morning were, “I’m liking Blue Apron. It’s nice after soooo loooong together to have something new to look forward to.”

Hopefully, that was a bit of sarcasm.

Marriage Is Not For Chickens…

A few years ago, I wrote a post about what marriage is, and what it isn’t. It went wildly viral on The Huffington Post and ultimately became a beautiful little gift book.

Since then, I’ve given even more thought about how a healthy (or healthy enough) marriage or long-term relationship changes you. What does a person gain from the experience of commitment that’s apart from your religious beliefs?

Why do you look forward to coming in the back door after a long day, and hearing your other half puttering around the kitchen? What causes you to stick around as someone else makes mistakes or hurts your feelings? What keeps us from moving on to a newer model — someone with whom you could recreate that lust/love of so long ago? Or think you might?

Here are seven answers to those questions…

Seven Gifts Of A Long Marriage

1. Watching someone else live their life, very differently than you, expands you as a person.

There’s a widespread belief that dogs and their owners start to look like each other; what happens with your human companion?

Understanding the ways each one of you may look at the world, you can realize that your perceptions are just that. Perceptions. And so both of you grow… if you don’t spend time fighting about who’s right and who’s wrong.

2. Seeing someone else falter, make mistakes or downright fail, can lead to compassion.

You watch him lose his job and become depressed. You watch her work way too hard, and burnout. And you support them getting back and getting back on track. You observe each other trying to parent — the toughest job of all.

Perhaps you would’ve judged in the past, but you’re not as likely to anymore. You recognize with the years that no one is always successful — everyone will struggle.

Want to know more about what a healthy marriage entails? Read 43 Pieces of Best Marriage Advice by Top Relationship Experts

3. You can experience true trust.

There’s a scene in “On Golden Pond” when Katherine Hepburn, usually quite understanding of her daughter Jane Fonda’s barrage of complaints about her father, slaps her suddenly in the middle of her calling him an SOB. She states flatly, “That old son of a bitch happens to be my husband.”

It’s not that we can’t see our partner’s weaknesses, but in a healthy partnership, we come to understand them, and love them anyway.

4. Having a daily touchstone lends a sense of security.

Someone knows where you are, what you’re doing with your day. Even though it may be pseudo-security, or a false sense of control, it’s still helpful. If you got into trouble, they’d be there. You’re loved, you’re missed, you’re valued, you’re cared for, you’re a part of a team.

Sadly, this is often the reason why people stay unhappily married. They’re scared to be by themselves, and rightfully so.. Being alone can have its own hardship.

5. Compromise helps you stay open and giving.

If it’s acquiescence, it doesn’t work. If it’s martyrdom or dictatorship, it doesn’t either.

But healthy compromise, meaning not always getting things the way you want them and realizing what the other wants or needs is important as well, keeps you focused on others, not just yourself. Through the years, you both help each other experience what you want or can have from life.

Compromise is a true mark of a healthy relationship when it comes to conflict or disagreements; you value your relationship over your own ego and need to be right.

Want to know more about how compromise helps? Read Reaching a Compromise: The Second Part of the State of the Union Meeting

6. You can feel competent.

After I divorced the second time, I was afraid I didn’t “have what it took” to be coupled. Perhaps I was too weak, or not able to sustain loyalty. Maybe I was a whiner, or selfish. There was a lot of shame, doubt, and uncertainty.

With time, the ache of failure dissipated, and the acknowledgement that I had the capacity to get through hard times with a partner has been proven. And that competence is a good feeling.

This isn’t to say you should stay in a perpetually unhappy or, worse, abusive relationship. However, it feels good to dig deep and work hard on the relationship, while taking responsibility for your own vulnerabilities and how they’re affecting your partnership.

7. You share an unparalleled depth of experience with your partner.

After a divorce, I frequently hear, “What I miss is when my daughter does something awesome, looking across the room and seeing that he’s looking back at me, with the same proud look in his eyes as I knew were in mine. I really miss that.“

Long-term relationships have an innate complexity to them, not to be found in their newer counterparts. The threads between two people are woven in an intricate pattern of light and dark, shimmer and shade. Pull one thread, and the others shift in response. This only comes with time as you share and face experiences together.

All of the above said, let’s face it. Sometimes, marriage is boring. You hear (and tell) the same stories over and over. You watch yourself and your partner getting older. You get irritated by the same things that have always irritated you, and will continue to irritate you.

Hang in there. Wait until the play is over.

There’s lots of good stuff that happens after the intermission.

That post is now a beautiful little gift book available on Amazon for just under $10. Click here for “Marriage Is Not For Chickens,” and give the gift of honoring your own marriage, or the partnership of someone else you love.

You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!


A marriage can indeed sometimes become monotonous and stale, since you will be doing the same thing over and over again. But, giving up or looking for better options is never the answer. Marriage is a beautiful thing and being in a healthy marriage, more so.

If you want to know more about what a healthy marriage can give you, then check out this video below:

Written by Dr. Margaret Rutherford
Originally appeared in Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Gifts Healthy Marriage Gives You pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Codependence and Interdependence: What Truly Sets Them Apart?

Codependence and Interdependence: What Truly Sets Them Apart?

The question ‘What is the difference between codependence and interdependence?’ In reality, it asks whether a relationship is dysfunctional or healthy. Well, in today’s Best Day Blog, I will be taking you through the differences between the two and how to recover from codependency.

Dysfunctional Relationships

I talk a lot about what dysfunctional relationships can look like, but how do you develop a healthy relationship, and what does a healthy one look like?

Unfortunately, the idea of relationships we all grow up with from movies and TV is unhealthy. The relationships shown are romanticized



Up Next

10 Riveting Movies About Broken Marriages: How Love Crumbles Over Time

Best Movies About Broken Marriages: How Love Dies

Marriage is supposed to represent love and commitment, but it’s not always a fairy tale. Below are some of the movies about broken marriages that challenge the “happily ever after” stereotype!

Sometimes, things start falling apart — from within or without — and this is frequently caused by different pressures and conflicts.

Broken marriage movies have taken up this subject widely, giving us stories that are sad, or even hopeful around relationships.

Below you’ll find ten such unhappy marriage movies that show how love can breakdown and be turbulent – each films look at human



Up Next

Friendship Marriage: Japan’s Latest Relationship Trend Explained

Friendship Marriage: Japan's Latest Marriage Trend Explained

Friendship marriage is the latest relationship trend taking the world by storm, and it’s got everyone talking. Forget the traditional notions of romance and commitment; these couples are rewriting the rules of marriage and how!

This unique approach has not only got people talking, but it’s also challenging many societal norms when it comes to marriage, romantic relationships, physical intimacy and cohabitation.

So, are you ready to unravel what the friendship marriage in Japan is all about? Let’s go then.

Related: 5 Simple Ways To Strengthen The Friendship In Your Marriage<



Up Next

Should I Start a Family? 10 Reasons That Might Convince You

Should I Start a Family? Reasons That Might Convince You

Two paths are diverging before you at a crossroads. You can either continue with your present life which has the comforts you know so well, or you could choose the other path which goes into the unknown. 

The decision to start a family is one of those big adventures in life that leaves us breathless with awe; it is filled with twists and turns and love upon love.

This article takes you on an exciting journey of decoding parenthood: an adventure that is both daunting and thrilling, and joyous as well as demanding.

Whether it is from the depths of unconditional love or soaring heights of leaving a lasting impact, each reason acts as a lighthouse in this respect.

Therefore, let’s examine these 10 reasons why to start a family!



Up Next

8 Questions To Ask Yourself If You Want To Avoid Marrying The Wrong Person

Marrying The Wrong Person? Important Questions To Ask

Picture this: you’re standing at the altar, surrounded by beaming friends and family, moments away from saying “I do” to the person who you thought was your soulmate and the love of your life. But deep down, you can’t ignore the nagging feeling that something doesn’t feel right. Could it be possible that you’re marrying the wrong person?

The fear of marrying the wrong person lingers in the hearts of many, and it’s a fear worth exploring, because this is your life we are talking about. In this article, we’ll dive into eight essential questions that you should ask yourself before taking that leap into forever.

So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let’s unravel how to avoid marrying the wrong person.



Up Next

63 Conversation Starters For Deep Dialogues With Your Partner

Conversation Starters For Deep Dialogues With Your Partner

Why conversation starters? Over time conversations with your partner might begin to feel shallow and focused more on the daily grind than topics that actually matter. This is normal. It’s probably not a dangerous red flag that your relationship is about to end, but it is likely unsatisfying and monotonous.

It’s quite easy to reignite the spark with your partner by enjoying deeper and more meaningful conversations just by becoming more intentional in carving out time to talk.

We all know that communication is key to a healthy relationship, but let’s be honest; talking about what’s for dinner or whose turn it is to walk the dog just won’t cut it.

If you’re yearning for a deeper connection, it’s worth dedicating ten to fifteen minutes a day to one of the most important people in your life.



Up Next

When You Outgrow Love: What Is Grey Divorce And How To Thrive After

What Is Grey Divorce and How to Redefine Your Story

Divorce is never an easy decision to make. But sometimes life happens and you have to do the unimaginable. Grey divorce is one such experience that can feel like an unthinkable decision, yet, you know you just need to take the step. But what is grey divorce?

In life, at a certain stage we may feel that it is absolutely crucial that we start over, not only to survive but also to thrive. It becomes necessary that we step into the unknown regardless how scary or irrational it may sound. And the same goes for a marriage. 

Even if you may have shared a lifetime together and created lasting memories and experiences, a divorce may be the only option left for a happier, healthier and better life. That’s the reality for an increasing number of couples who find themselves in the realm of “grey divorce.”