A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

10 Things All Remarkable Couples Understand According to a Marriage Therapist

A relationship is a way of being connected and of joining with someone in a special way. Couples in relationships have to learn how to relate to one another, how to communicate, and how to trust one another. It’s no small feat. Relationships can be difficult but, ultimately, they’re like air: we need them to survive.

As a marriage and family therapist, I’ve worked with many couples and I’ve noticed some key characteristics that tend to show up in the most remarkable ones: the couples who are happy, insightful, loving, and caring towards one another while their relationship continues to thrive. They seem to share some common ideas that shape their relationship in special ways. These insights help a couple – any couple – be remarkable.

1 Your role as a partner is paramount

Couples who view being a partner as the most important job they have, and check in by asking “How am I doing?” are cultivating trust, openness, and conversation. They want to hone their relationship skills and they take their responsibilities in building a beautiful life together seriously.

2 Take care of others for an authentic connection with each other

As humans, it’s our duty to care for those less fortunate than we are, but often in relationships it’s easy to take on the “us against the world” mentality. In truth, we’re all in this world together. Remarkable couples help take care of it together. Looking out for others in different ways, like helping the poor, mentoring those less fortunate, or committing to a charity, gives couples an external piece of the world to weave uniquely into their relationship, connecting them to each other and to a larger goal.

3 Give grace instead of judgement in the face of mistakes

Giving grace means giving someone a break. Remarkable couples choose to be patient, calm, and forgiving when the occasional misspoken word or lapse in judgement befalls their partner. Even when feeling upset or hurt, they’re able to pause, take a deep breath, and act with care.

4 Acknowledge mistakes and apologize

You’ve probably heard the classic line from the movie, “Love Story,” “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Erich Segal is the author of these romantic words, but the problem is that they’re totally wrong.

Love means learning to say you’re sorry and meaning it. Couples who say “I’m sorry” to each other are humbling themselves by saying, “I can be vulnerable with you, I know I have been wrong. I have hurt you, and that is not okay.” Being able to acknowledge our own faults and mistakes in a relationship is crucial for reciprocity, trust, and intimacy.

5 Look up!

Remarkable couples look up in several different ways. First, they look up to each other. Both partners equally feel and display a healthy amount of respect for one another. Secondly, they literally look up, at God, the universe, the stars, the future, or a dream.

They have some bigger thing in front of them and above them as one goal connecting them in a common belief. The more ways a couple can connect, the more they trust, and the stronger their relationship will be.

6 Even in a fight, you’re both fighting for the same thing

It’s so easy to get stuck fighting about any number of things. Big or small, a fight is a fight, and it can sometimes get ugly. Couples who stay calm and don’t get mean are able to remember that no matter what the fight is about, above all you are fighting for the same thing – a remarkable life with the person you love.

7 Eye contact is a powerful way to engage

Just a few minutes of connection through eye contact can convey feelings of respect, understanding, attention, appreciation, and trust with your partner. I’ve heard many remarkable couples say that they make it a point to sit on the couch together every night for ten minutes to look their partner in the eye and talk. Eye contact is not just about looking at the other person, but really wanting to see them too.

8 Bond with your partner by (gasp!) touching each other

Remarkable couples hold hands and touch one another. In our culture, we’re conditioned to think of touch as purely sexual. Sex, while an important part of a loving healthy relationship, is not the only intimate touch. Small gestures like putting a hand on a back, touching an arm, or meeting elbows at the dinner table are remarkable ways that couples build trust and connect to one another. Humans need touch to thrive, and so do relationships.

9 Show up for your partner

Remarkable couples show up for each other in every way they can. They go to stores they don’t want to, they help out with things when they would rather relax, they attend extended family functions they would prefer to skip, and they do it because their partner wants them there. They do it to be together.

10 Be the best version of yourself and grow no matter how old you are

Humans are creatures of habit. We get settled into habits that are comfortable and we stay there. It’s natural, but it’s boring too. Being a partner who keeps up with the times, tries new things, adopts new skills, and who continues to work on their mental, emotional, and physical health, is exciting and interesting and makes for a great partner. When both partners engage in the world in new and healthy ways it’s truly remarkable.

Relationships work best when both people are invested. Sure, even remarkable couples struggle sometimes. Remarkable couples share the weight of life together, ask for help, and learn to shift some weight when they need to.

Relationships are the most important things we’ll ever have in our lives. They nurture us, feed us, connect us to the world, and give importance to our existence. They also create a beautiful life. Any couple can be remarkable when they open their hearts and eyes, grab each other’s hand, and jump in.

Up next… 

10 Insights of Remarkable Parents


Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

Subscribe to get inspiration and super helpful ideas to rock your #momlife. Motherhood looks amazing on you.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

You might also like:

Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

You might also like:

When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

You might also like:

The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.

Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

You might also like:

Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.