The marital bond is a unique connection that only a couple can share. It provides support, safety, understanding, and love to each member of the couple. Although the marital bond is one all-encompassing description of a marriage, relationships have many aspects that make up a solid foundation. The key aspects that make up the marital bond are respect, trust, and intimacy.
Respecting your spouse and accepting his or her strengths and weaknesses is the basis for a mature and intimate relationship. Respect comes from having a clear view of who your spouse is. This entails knowing your partner’s positive and negative traits while still respecting and loving him or her. Treating your partner with respect strengthens the marital bond because it means engaging in healthy and positive interactions as a couple. This includes not demeaning your spouse, working with him or her as a supporter, and communicating with care and concern.
Trust integrates pragmatic and emotional components in a relationship. In order to be truly satisfied in your relationship, you must be trusting of your spouse. Trust that he or she cares about you and has concern for your best interests. Trust that he or she will not intentionally hurt you or subvert your needs. Your spouse needs to also trust that you do the same. Trusting your spouse and having him or her trust you is the emotional basis of a satisfying marriage. Having a strong belief in your foundation as a couple will aid you in strengthening your bond during times of turmoil in your personal lives and in your marriage. All couples deal with stress, bad feelings, anger, disappointment, and conflict of needs. However, if a sense of trust is maintained, they can deal with these and emerge a stronger couple that has learned from the situation.
Emotional intimacy is the special component that energizes and nurtures the marital bond. A large aspect of this is being able to freely and openly disclose feelings, thoughts, and perceptions with your partner. Intimacy includes developing a comfortable way to be with each other. This is unique to each couple. Some spouses enjoy talking about feelings and aspirations. Others do best when talking is combined with an activity, game, or sport. Intimacy also includes touching, which also varies couple to couple. As a couple, be aware of how you express intimacy. Is it enough for both of you? Be sure to continue to establish intimacy, along with respect and trust, in order to strengthen your marriage and promote positive and happy interactions with each other.
(Source: Couple Sexual Awareness by Barry and Emily McCarthy)