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If you’ve read my book Framed with Purpose then this post wouldn't come as a

surprise. My marriage was in shambles a few years ago. My husband and I worked long and hard towards having a healthy relationship. Notice I didn't use the words perfect or great. I specifically meant health. Focusing on the following elements has taken our relationship to new heights.

Communication: Although this is a work in progress in my home, my husband and I tend to put a little more focus on this area. I know it may be cliché but Communication is Key. I have never had an issue speaking my mind. After all I am a mouthy Louisiana woman who doesn't want to be wrong.... EVER! Throughout our 22 years of marriage I had to learn communication is more than spouting out what is on the top of my mind and that we have to be open to listening. I’ve also had to become accepting of my husband's emotional tolerance. Giving him the freedom to speak his mind to express his hurts and pains.

Friendship: A marriage cannot not survive on sex alone. You have to be friends. My husband is my best friend and this much different relationship from my bestie. I think women sometimes get friendship confused when it comes to our spouses. While friendship and marriage may have a few key areas that overlap, they aren't fundamentally the same. No! They are not our sister friends and may not want to hear the latest gossip or go shopping for shoes but our spouses will be there as our lifetime companions. Although some of the same characteristics of our girlfriend relationships may be the same like fun, laughter and time together.

Sex: Frankly stated, where would a relationship be without it. Need I say anymore?

Personal Growth: In efforts to be good to someone, you have to learn to be good to yourself. You are two different individuals, which means that you are growing together but differently. Be okay with that! Believe it or not, the improvements that you make on a personal and individual level can exponentially improve your relationship. That self fulfillment usually spills over into the relationship.

Patience: Heaven knows my husband works my nerves as I do his. You will need to have patience in any lasting relationship. This means understanding that your partner isn't perfect and sometimes you will need to compromise (not my strong suit). Recognize that we are all human and fall short.

xoxo Monique Chantel Johnson


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