“Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.” – Barnett R. Brickner
Years ago, my family and I embraced a minimalist lifestyle. We decided that too much clutter had collected in our home and it was demanding too much of our money, energy, and precious time.
We embarked on a journey to sell, donate, recycle, or remove as many of the non-essentials possessions from our home as possible. It was one of the best decisions we ever made.
When we began removing the “stuff” from our life, we found a whole new world open up. We found that we had more time for the things that we valued most.
Now, as a result, we spend more time at the dinner table, we take longer walks as a family, and we have been able to save money for some worthwhile experiences—like a weekend at the beach, for example.
Removing the non-essentials has allowed us to focus more on the essentials. And we have discovered that true life is found there.
Often times, our marriages follow the same trajectory.
At first, when we have nothing but each other, we focus intently on the important building blocks of a healthy and successful marriage. But as our relationship continues forward, “stuff” begins to accumulate and begins to distract us from the very essentials of what makes a good marriage.
Suddenly, we worry more about the appraisal value of our home than the value of our relationship. We check the health of our retirement account far more often than the health of our marriage. Or we spend more time taking care of the car in the garage than the other person in our bed.
Things begin to accumulate in our homes and lives and soon demand our money, energy, and precious time. As a result, we have little left over for caring for the very elements of a happy marriage.
Wise couples realize that a nice home, car, or retirement account may appear nice to have, but they do not make a successful marriage. They understand that there are far more important principles at play.
They have learned to invest their money, energy, and time into the 8 essentials of a healthy marriage:
At its core, love is a decision to be committed to another person. It is far more than a fleeting emotion as portrayed on television, the big screen, and romance novels. Feelings come and go, but a true decision to be committed lasts forever—and that is what defines healthy marriages.
Marriage is a decision to be committed through the ups and the downs, the good and the bad. When things are going well, commitment is easy. But true love is displayed by remaining committed even through the trials of life.
2. Sexual Faithfulness.
Sexual faithfulness in marriage includes more than just our bodies. It also includes our eyes, mind, heart, and soul. When we devote our minds to sexual fantasies about another person, we sacrifice sexual faithfulness to our spouse. When we offer moments of emotional intimacies to another, we sacrifice sexual faithfulness to our spouse.
Guard your sexuality daily and devote it entirely to your spouse. Sexual faithfulness requires self-discipline and an awareness of the consequences. Refuse to put anything in front of your eyes, body, or heart that would compromise your faithfulness.
We all have weaknesses and relationships always reveal these faults quicker than anything else on earth. An essential building block of a healthy marriage is the ability to admit that you are not perfect, that you will make mistakes, and that you will need forgiveness. Holding an attitude of superiority over your partner will bring about resentment and will prevent your relationship from moving forward.
If you struggle in this area, grab a pencil and quickly write down three things that your partner does better than you—that simple exercise should help you stay humble. Repeat as often as necessary.
Because no one is perfect (see #3), patience and forgiveness will always be required in a marriage relationship. Successful marriage partners learn to show unending patience and forgiveness to their partner. They humbly admit their own faults and do not expect perfection from their partner. They do not bring up past errors in an effort to hold their partner hostage.
And they do not seek to make amends or get revenge when mistakes occur. If you are holding onto a past hurt from your partner, forgive him or her. It will set your heart and relationship free.
Relationships don’t work without time investment. Never have, never will. Any successful relationship requires intentional, quality time together. And quality time rarely happens when quantity time is absent.
The relationship with your spouse should be the most intimate and deep relationship you have. Therefore, it is going to require more time than any other relationship. If possible, set aside time each day for your spouse. And a date-night once in a while wouldn’t hurt either.
6. Honesty and Trust.
Honesty and trust become the foundation for everything in a successful marriage. But unlike most of the other essentials on this list, trust takes time. You can become selfless, committed, or patient in a moment, but trust always takes time. Trust is only built after weeks, months, and years of being who you say you are and doing what you say you’ll do. It takes time, so start now—and if you need to rebuild trust in your relationship, you’ll need to work even harder.
Healthy marriage partners communicate as much as possible. They certainly discuss kids’ schedules, grocery lists, and utility bills. But they don’t stop there. They also communicate hopes, dreams, fears, and anxieties. They don’t just discuss the changes that are taking place in the kid’s life, they also discuss the changes that are taking place in their own hearts and souls.
This essential key cannot be overlooked because honest, forthright communication becomes the foundation for so many other things on this list: commitment, patience, and trust—just to name a few.
Although it will never show up on any survey, more marriages are broken up by selfishness than any other reason. Surveys blame it on finances, lack of commitment, infidelity, or incompatibility, but the root cause for most of these reasons is selfishness. A selfish person is committed only to himself or herself, shows little patience, and never learns how to be a successful spouse. Give your hopes, dreams, and life to your partner. And begin to live life together.
This is a simple call to value our marriages, treat them with great care, and invest in them daily.
Accomplishing the marriage advice listed above will always require nearly every bit of yourself—but it so worth it if you want to learn how to have a happy marriage.
A successful and healthy marriage is more valuable than most of the temporal things we chase after with our lives. And will always last longer.
This list is a bit off. Communication is # 1. Also, Love is a verb, not a noun. Doing all of these things listed in this article IS love.
Zaman john says
Toney Andrew Lee ll says
My girlfriend and have been together for 5 years now. It all started well meeting me with 4 kids seem to no problem for her.
But everything changed the moment she give birth to our son.
We have had series of disagreement between us and now we are like two stranger for over 6 months. what do I do?
Christine Kairuthi says
She has realised that she want to focus more on her kids i guess you should give her more affection and if she was treating other kids nicely i guess your children Can explain better they dont lie
Elbert segura says
Love her as God loves us, unconditional love pays off in the end, it will bring about a change that you taught could have never happen.
My wife and I have been married for 51 years. It didn’t start out well because I didn’t believe I could be faithful to her. You see, I had been very fond of girls when we sere just going steady, and the fun of the chase was my addiction. But she’s a very prayerful person, and made a bet with me that her fidelity and prayers to the Mother of Jesus would win me over. We eventually joined a Christian community, a brotherhood, actually. The influence of like-minded Christian couples helped hugely. We have put Christ in the center of our marriage. It has been heaven ever since.
I am very much grateful for restoring peace back in my marital home I pray God almighty give you the strength and wisdom to help more people. For help you can reach him on his address: (https:// solutiontemple info)
I love my wife we haven’t been intimate in almost 2 years what do I do.
C M says
Have you asked her directly if she’s committed to the marriage or not?
If she is she may be suffering from depression or anxiety.
If she says no, ask if there is anything that will change her mind. Evaluate her answer.
If she says nothing can change her mind. Put your ego aside and know beyond a shadow of a doubt you are worthy and unique deserving of love and respect. Be confident and kind tell her it’s time for her to move on. Give her a definite timeframe to show you her plans.
She will start to rethink her behavior especially when you don’t get offended or angry.
Christine Kairuthi says
She doesnt love you
Ever been in a marriage where you feel like your 2 strangers living under the same roof. Ever expressed how you feel only to be shamed for feeling the way you do? Ever begged and cried daily wishing your wife would comfort you when your upset or hurting? Ever feel like she only has sex with you because she feels like she has to? Ever sit and cry daily over the same stuff and she just sit there like it don’t matter? All this is how I feel and more. I’m at my wits end and have tried everything I possibly can to feel close without any success. Do I give up and walk away? Do I keep trying? If so what do I do cause I’m out of ideas and I just can’t keep going like this. It’s really driving me insane. I have no one to talk to at all and I feel lonely and lost. What do I do?
find a Therapist or find an apartment or family to live with.
Esther Armoh says
What should I look first before I say yes to a proposal. Am a single lady now. Thank you.
I am going through the same thing … I feel your pain. But I’m the wife and my husband is like your wife. I’m also at my wits end … only he just wishes to stay that way and stay married … but I know I deserve love, an respect but we have a child an I feel like if I leave I’m being selfish…
Sadly I know all those feelings to well I am told to keep my feelings to myself and when he does stuff like says he’ll be home at .. and don’t come home until hours after that and then I express how I am upset because he can’t even send me a text to let know he’s not going to be home when he said he says I am trying to fight and that if I say 1 more word he is leaving and the times I don’t shut up and I do tell him I feel like I don’t matter because I am never worth 2 minutes to just send a text keep me in the loop he takes off for 2 days to a week and when ever he decides to come home I am not allowed to ask anything and he never tells me where he was or what he did. I truly love him and I don’t ask for money or gifts or him to even pay any bills or buy any house thing like food tp ECT I pay for everything and all I ask for him is to make time for me which he doesn’t do and to text me let me know things which he won’t do. I don’t know what to do at this point
Ibrahim sa'ad says
Hello everyone here
My girlfriend has be spend for 17 year my love as there is nothing happen our life between her but something must patient our future and i have success engagement on her but wedding next year 2022 grace.
Thank you for kind here story marriage our life, our children, our be successfull.
Olukayode Okunrinboye says
To find love for a man can take years of understanding, giving, working together to know who like us really. I meet this slender tall girl recently, I liked her. I want be in a love relationships with her. She is quite young and beautiful. I wish she would allow me to be her baby daddy, her husband, lover, bed mate, love mate and she hasn’t been asking me for things until recently,how do I tell her. I believe she can love me. And how do I get her to allow me to love her passionately.
vera hernadez says
I was really worried and needed help to save my marriage. I was searching for tips on how I can save my marriage from divorce. I came across a comment which says priest olokun help her out. I contacted him to save my home and restore peace back to my marriage through his email [priestolokun@ gmail. com] After 3days of olokun reunion spiritual prayers I swear with my life my mother in-law came to the house and ask me to forgive her and her Son for the pain they must have cost me. Today we are living in peace as one family. Once again thanks to priest olokun I really appreciate for what you has done.