• Achieve Today Team

The 4 Things Every Strong, Resilient Relationship Needs

Updated: May 11, 2018

These characteristics helped these people face and overcome challenges, and when applied to a relationship, they can help your relationship survive and thrive no matter what life throws at you.




In a study published in the International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, researchers looked at Navy Seals, children of the Great Depression (the so-called "Greatest Generation") and law enforcement men and women. (1) The goal of studying each of these three groups was to see how they made it - what characteristics or ideas these people held on to in order to be highly resilient and strong in the face of difficulties.


Tenacity, writes Dr. Everly, is “the ability to persevere despite frustration and even failure (often seeing failure as a stepping stone to success).”

The study identified four key things that law enforcement personnel, people who survived the Great Depression, and Navy Seals all had in common. These seven characteristics helped these people face and overcome challenges, and when applied to a relationship, they can help your relationship survive and thrive no matter what life throws at you.


1. Active Optimism


Dr. George Everly, PhD is a psychologist who writes for Psychology Today magazine. He’s also a scientist who helped with the Navy Seal research. (2) According to Dr. Everly, active optimism is "the belief that life events will turn out well, largely because one believes she/he possess the ability to assist in making things turn out well.”


This belief helps people get through situations like the Great Depression, and it can help you keep perspective and focus within your relationship.


When you’re actively optimistic, you and your partner believe you have what it takes to make your relationship thrive and succeed. Compared to a self-defeating viewpoint (e.g. “Most people get divorced anyway”), active optimism re-frames every situation and helps you approach all scenarios from a place of “I/we can do this!”


Whereas a self-defeating viewpoint often creates a self-fulfilling prophecy (perhaps because your actions start to reflect the negative outlook you have on relationships), active optimism guides you towards actions that benefit both yours and your relationship’s health.


2. Honesty and Integrity


This is a key criteria in law enforcement and the Navy, and it includes things like owning your own actions, taking responsibility for things you might think, do or say, and being willing to forgive others when they operate from a place of their own integrity and honesty.


In a relationship, living from a place of authenticity, and being open to the healing power of forgiveness, can help you and your partner work through difficult scenarios and find healthy solutions to disagreements and mistakes done within the relationship.


3. Decisiveness


Being paralyzed to make a decision can be a life-or-death matter for Navy Seals and law enforcement personnel. If they are to be truly resilient and strong, they must be able to make quick decisions and take action.


In a relationship, being decisive means making the right choice at the right time. How often have you found yourself wallowing in a toxic, negative relationship but struggling to make up your mind? How often have you wavered on speaking up for what you need, or what the relationship needs?


To be resilient on both a personal and interpersonal level, you must be willing to make decisions and take action immediately.


4. Tenacity


Tenacity, writes Dr. Everly, is “the ability to persevere despite frustration and even failure (often seeing failure as a stepping stone to success).”


In a relationship, giving up or “taking a break” often spells the start of the relationship’s disintegration. When you experience a challenge or a disappointment, it means fighting for your relationship (if it’s a healthy, positive relationship). It means standing strong for your values and beliefs. It means making a choice for love.


These four components are essential for a resilient Navy Seal. And they’re also critical for building up a strong relationship that’s shored up against life’s many challenges. Explore more about finding love and building healthy relationships with CUE, our free virtual coach. CUE is completely free and you get access to hundreds of courses, articles, videos, and audios on personal development. Click here to get free access now!



References:1. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=21189352.https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/when-disaster-strikes-inside-disaster-psychology/201803/preparing-bad-things
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