What is a healthy marriage?

All couples fight.  Fighting doesn’t mean a bad marriage. 

In fact, fighting may be profoundly helpful for a marriage…it airs concerns, differences, slights, and hurt to allow for understanding.  And understanding…knowing how your partner feels and having that matter…so you change your behaviour to better able to recognize your spouse…that’s huge.

To think about:

The essential element of a healthy marriage is not that you don’t fight. All couples fight…The essential element of a healthy marriage is “emotional responsiveness“… [this] means you have enough trust and emotional connection that you trust each other enough that even though you fight and you have differences, you know how to turn towards each other; reach for each other when it really matters.

The most basic question in marriage is: …”Are you there for me? Do I matter to you? Am I special? Will you cherish me? Will I come first with you? If I need, if I call, will you come?

...if you have that sense that you have the safe emotional bond, you can deal with almost everything….

The good news is: we not only know what it, is we know how to make it happen.

Dr. Susan Johnson


This video resonates with the work we do. A number of us have been in workshops with Dr. Susan Johnson or one of her close colleagues. We have her books on our shelves, and have attended externships in her model of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). We rely heavily on EFT as one of the models that we use at Bergen and Associates…the body of evidence done through research suggests that it works….to quote Dr. Johnson:
Poster quoting Dr. Susan Johnson, who wrote Hold me Tight: We not only know what a healthy marriage is, we know how to make it happen." Poster by Bergen and Associate Counselling

If you need to up the responsiveness level in your marriage, have a conversation with each other?  or watch a video/read a book? Bring in a wise friend/couple with a few more years of experience and a relationship you admire to help you figure it out?  Call or email a therapist?

We’re here to help you make a healthy marriage happen.

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