Couples in Houston marriage counseling often spend a lot of time talking about what’s wrong and where they need relationship help, but when I ask people to describe what a “good” relationship means to them, they’re often at a loss. Either that, or they resort to backhanded insults that are really immature clichés that we’re taught to believe about good relationships. That they’re easy. That those in good relationships don’t fight.

But the truth is that everyone argues and fights, and no long-term relationship is easy all the time. Making a partnership work for the long haul is hard work that tends to require sacrifices on both sides. And this isn’t just something that you have to do for a period of time before everything’s nice and rosy again—having a good relationship is an ongoing effort.

Houston Marriage Counseling: What Is a Good Relationship?

This is a highly personalized question but there are several specific things that couples can look for to see if they’re doing well or may need relationship help.

Do you fight productively? As I said above, we all fight. The difference for good, healthy couples is that they fight with the goal of resolving the problem and understanding each other better…at least eventually. The desire to “win” is a hard one to break.

Do you work for balance? The longer we’re in a relationship, the more crowded it often becomes. We gain more responsibility at work. We have kids. When other responsibilities get in the way, you can either give in and put your marriage on the backburner or you can work hard to make it a priority, too.

Do you know what your partner thinks? Since what’s “good” is personal, it’s important not only to think about what “good” means to you but also what it means to your partner. The healthiest relationships are the ones where people appreciate each other’s desires and try to meet in the middle.

Get Relationship Help in Houston Marriage Counseling

If you feel like your relationship doesn’t meet those standards or you’re just not sure how to answer those questions, it doesn’t hurt to talk to an outside party. Sometimes it can be difficult to put our emotions into words but if you’re looking to improve your relationship, Houston marriage counseling can help.