• Mindy Utay


Wedding season is around the corner, so it’s time to think about making marriage last beyond the honeymoon phase.

Wedding season is around the corner, so it’s time to think about making marriage last beyond the honeymoon phase.  I counsel couples in all stages of their relationship from dating to divorcing, and everything in between. Since I’m approaching 30 years of marriage myself, I have both on the job and in the trenches experience to share with couples about how to have a healthy marriage regardless of their age or past mistakes. It’s about trust.

Trust is not whether your spouse is faithful or keeps her promises. It is emotional responsiveness. Trust comes from the confidence that your partner will adapt their behavior and attitude and step outside old, familiar patterns of relating to become the partner you need to feel truly respected and understood. 

Couples enter marriage with different ways of communicating and expressing their needs and feelings, which are learned in childhood. In some families feelings and emotions are discouraged, while in others, emotions are tossed around with abandon. In some families, feelings are expressed lovingly and respectfully. In others, aggression and power are the core dynamics. Couples bring to marriage these personal histories and are reminded of them when facing difficulties as a couple. To be emotionally open and honest with your spouse, to have a voice and be heard, depends on whether you could express yourself openly and honestly in your family. The responsiveness of parents to their child’s feelings and experiences forms the basis of trust as an adult.

In marriage, you can re-examine these issues to overcome roadblocks in your relationship. Couples can modify or adapt their style of communication to be more open and receptive to each other. This creates a climate of emotional safety and couples grow more confident and connected to each other over time.

Working together to overcome emotional barriers and learn new ways of communicating is the key to a marriage that can continue happily into old age.


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