There are setbacks in every relationship. What are the signs of a relationship, which will resiliently come back and recover.
- The partners are available and responsive to one another’s needs. She may need him to listen after a tough day, or suddenly he needs her to pick up the kids or cook when it was his turn to do so. Responsiveness when the other person is in a bind shows caring.
- The couple tells stories about difficult circumstances that they’ve overcome. It is easy for difficult, challenging periods to overshadow real successes that the couple may have achieved. By taking a look at what has been overcome together, successes can be highlighted, putting troubles into perspective.
- The partners face fears and share needs as a couple. The most resilient couples turn to each other (that phenomenon of secure attachment) when life becomes difficult.
- Time is taken to invest in activities, which build pleasurable memories and bonds. These are not just fun times together; they are reminders the partners make to each other about how important the other person is. The partners often have a list (at least a mental list) of places and activities they enjoy together. They make sure that they take time to go to them and do them.
- Hurts or misunderstandings are quickly repaired. Disappointments, miscommunications, and arguments are common in healthy couples. Quick, successful repairs strengthen a relationship. If one partner realises that he or she has really hurt the other, the injury is addressed immediately, with acknowledgement, apologies, and sharing that that is not the kind of person the partner desires to be.
- The couple sees a purpose in their relationship, and the partners communicate that worth to one another. The partners make sure to let each other know how much they mean to each other from time to time. The more they do this, the less awkward and more natural it becomes to do it.
(Adapted from Bradley & Furrow, 2013).