There are several elements of an effective (marriage) relationship like respect, emotional transparency, trust, and effective conflict resolution. Michael Formica mentions a few others:
Transparency: Partners who are aware of what the other is doing get to feel safe and develop a sense of security and consistency about their relationship. It’s a simple thing to pick up the phone, shoot a text or an email and say, “I’m on my way.” or “I’m late.” or “I forgot the milk.” Being transparent also diminishes potential conflict because no one has to guess, make up stories or be responsible for ferreting out information. One couple I know is in a constant state of tension because the husband, rather than volunteering information, considers it the wife’s responsibility to ask him questions. Not such a great plan because the partner responsible for asking question ends up feeling like the other is constantly “moving the finish line.”
Communication: Talking to one another about everything supports this idea of transparency. We are the only species on the planet that has been gifted with symbolic language, yet we often fail to use it in its most effective capacity – building and maintaining healthy relationships. Couples who converse get to know what’s going on. There’s no second-guessing, no surprises and no sense of potential deception or sneakiness.
Putting Things on the Table: If you’re going to be transparent and communicate, then you might as well put it all out there. Truth goes a lot farther than eggshell walking. A source of potential conflict and discontent is transformed into a source of mutual growth and cultivation. Telling the truth about the way that we feel can only benefit a relationship. Stuffing never ends well.