Three Pillars of a Successful Marriage

As with all relationships, romantic or not, there is a foundation which we lay on which we balance the dynamics of our relationships with people.  But as we lay down our foundation, we need to be mindful that there are also pillars that hold up the relationship.  These pillars are the structures on which we lean when dynamics shift within the relationship.

The three pillars of a relationship and specifically a marriage are Validation, Acceptance and Respect.  All three of these pillars are mutually dependent on one another and provide a solid sounding board from which we can maintain healthy, functional and successful marriage relationships. Here’s how they work:

1. Pillar of Validation

When we speak of validation, we are not referring to placing the relationship on a pedestal, rather it is the way in which we are willing to see that the perspective and opinions of the other person are valid to them.  The validity of their opinion and perspective is derived from their upbringing, social environment, family dynamics, their own mental well-being and any current and past challenges they have experienced and learned from.  Validating your partner simply means that their viewpoint is theirs based on their history and when taken into consideration during a marriage helps to maintain and grow a successful marriage.

2. Pillar of Acceptance

Acceptance comes with validation in that we are able to accept that the viewpoints and opinions are valid to our partners because they are lived experiences.  Much as ours are learned and experienced, so are theirs.  Acceptance does not necessarily mean you have to agree to the opinion or viewpoint, in fact, it could be completely contradictory, but based on the investment we have placed in that relationship we are willing to accept those differences without allowing them to be destructive to the progression of the relationship and help build the foundations of a successful marriage.  And then of course we have respect.

3. Pillar of Respect

Respect encompasses many different facets in any particular relationship, but for the purposes of this blog, respect is the final pillar on which we can lean and respect is valuing, validating and accepting the person for who they are and allowing them to continue to be who they are without wanting them to change to your viewpoint and belief system. These three pillars are great tools to use when we have a difference in opinions which, oftentimes, can lead to arguments and conflict. Be mindful that your partner/friend has walked a different journey from the one you have, and as much as you require them to understand you the same is required from them for you.

Life Counsel offers Marriage Counselling in Johannesburg and Relationship Counselling for Couples from all walks of life. Please feel free to contact us via email or telephone at 084 797 5514 or for counselling needs pertaining to your relationship.

Written by: Beaulah Rose