A successful marriage is a riddle a lot of us have spent our lifetimes trying to figure out. Of course, if you ask happy couples who have spent all their golden years together, they will give you a host of reasons why their marriage turned successful. So, while there may not be a manual to a successful marriage, certain factors do contribute to it.
The primal questions that characterize a marriage are always: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do? The way to achieve a happy and successful marriage is not something you figure out on your wedding day. There is no eureka moment here. Instead, you spend a lifetime figuring out your needs, wants, and desires as a couple and as individuals. A successful marriage is, thus, about how much work you put in. There is no dilly-dallying when it comes to marriage. It’s not easy to maintain a successful marriage.
Marriage takes work. Marriage takes commitments even when there are a million ways to stray. Marriage is all about teamwork and nothing short of it. And marriage is not devoid of problems – marital problems are very much a reality. If a problem arises, it’s the both of you against the problem; you are not against one another. Of course, happiness in a marriage depends on neither of you cheating, lying or deceiving the other. But, other than that, it’s the small things that matter in a successful marriage
Characteristics Of A Successful Marriage
How to have a successful marriage? Every half of a married couple must have wondered about this at some point. A happy and successful marriage is characterized by a few factors that hold two people together in this sacred bond. Although there are many characteristics of a successful marriage, we have come up with 4 very critical pillars of a successful marriage. So, how to be successful in marriage life? Let us tell you:
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This cannot be stressed enough. If you want to know how to have a successful marriage, understand that trust is one of the most important factors that contribute to a happy marriage. It is actually the pillar on which a successful marriage stands.
We have all witnessed marriages that have survived for half a century solely because the people in them never faltered when it came to trust. For example, this confession tells us the tale of a lady who was shocked to find out about her husband’s secret 56 years later. But, despite that, she found no reason to distrust him.
Trust is the foundation a long, happy, and successful marriage stands on. It is as important to trust your partner and their decisions as it is important to not do things that make them question that trust. Mutual trust is born out of a consistent effort. It flourishes when each partner gives their other half their faith while making the decision to not do anything that dishonors their partner’s faith in them every day. Trust is the key to maintain a successful marriage.
2. Mutual respect
This is one of the most important factors and one of the secrets to a successful marriage that contributes to a long, happy relationship that can weather any storm, any crisis. No relationship can survive without mutual respect. Marriage is about respecting each other through heated arguments, through good days and bad.
If there is love but no respect, then the marriage is bound to face one bumpy road after the other. But, when you respect each other as people, as equals, you are able to strengthen your relationship from its very core. Getting to not just love but also to look up to one’s partner is a special feeling. So, make sure your actions, your words, your decisions inspire that respect for you and your actions in your partner. And make sure to offer them the same respect.
Do not belittle them and their needs and decisions. Treat them as an equal. They are supposed to be your companion through everything – through good days and bad. It is why the person you are married to or are in a relationship with is called a partner. So, always remember to treat them as one.
We are not talking about only physical intimacy here. While physical intimacy is extremely important to keep the bond alive in a marriage, couples need to also work on fostering different forms of intimacy – emotional, intellectual, spiritual, to name a few – to build a strong foundation on which the relationship can flourish.
Sexual compatibility is very important, so is emotional interdependence. A successful marriage needs intimacy. It craves it. Emotional, physical, and intellectual intimacy shows that you have faith and respect in each other and nothing can be more important than that. When you are truly compatible with each other in all ways, you will find that you did not just marry your lover, you will remember that you married your best friend.
You will know what it feels like to share the small joys and big stresses of every day. You will find comfort in simple hugs and cuddles in front of the TV. Intimacy is not always about sex. Intimacy in a relationship is born out of an understanding of each partner’s wants, needs, desires. It builds the kind of relationship where you can talk for hours or spend entire days basking in silent companionship. True intimacy is when in moments of pure happiness, of amusement, and grief you think of your spouse first. From memes and jokes to rants about your obnoxious boss, you want them to be the first to hear about it all. And then some.
There are honestly no big secrets to a successful marriage. It’s all just about trust, respect, and mutual understanding. And a willingness to compromise. Healthy compromise leads to a healthy relationship. Compromise is one of the biggest keys to a successful marriage. Compromise is often treated as equal to sacrifice when one person keeps on compromising and the other doesn’t. But martyring all of your wants and needs while your partner does not bend even a little is not healthy compromise.
Healthy compromise is when you give up on something, let go of a small issue, or invest a little more in your spouse’s dreams than yourself. It does not involve turning into a doormat, though. You need to stand up for things you care about. Honesty is important too. But some things are too small to care about. We all have different habits and not everyone will place the trashcan exactly where you like it.
It is understandable to get on each other’s nerves, especially at the beginning of the relationship. Compromises comprise the little adjustment a couple starts making in the first year of marriage that continues throughout their entire married life. While it might seem like that’s a lot of effort, compromising for someone you love and look up to can start feeling effortless with time. After all, nothing is more important than the happiness of the love of your life, right?
These four are the most important characteristics of a successful marriage.
Related Reading: 15 Signs He Disrespects You And Does Not Deserve You
15 Tips For A Successful Marriage
After we have spoken about the essentials of a successful marriage, we will now talk about the 15 tips for a successful marriage. A successful marriage is not a myth. In fact, a marriage that is happy makes for a happy life.
Many couples strive to find the secret to a long happy marriage and have a relationship that fills their life with happiness, positivity, and love. But they also often fail to find the answer i.e. keys to a successful marriage. If you are looking for tips for a successful marriage, you can read and use the below points in your married life. Marriage is all about teamwork so the tips apply to both spouses. In sickness and in health, here are some tips to help you navigate through marriage.
1. There will be sad days and that’s okay
Your marital journey cannot be filled with fairytale stories and unicorns climbing down rainbows kind of days. The secret to a long happy marriage is knowing that there will be dark, sad days and that’s okay. It will pass. Know that there will be times when your spouse might be emotionally distant, or you might be having a hard time loving yourself and your life. But at the end of the day, you have each other to fall back on.
So, spend sad days, but together. Successful marriage stories tell us that spending a not-so-happy day “together” is one of the essentials of a long, happy married life. You need to be able to witness and love each other at your best and your best. Remember, patience, understanding, and compromise are key.
If your partner seems off, try to understand where they are coming from. If they are hurt and you don’t know why, ask. Ask till they tell you. Do not just react instinctively. Put in the effort. Only then will you spend decades together in the bliss that comes with a successful marriage.
2. Be kinder to your partner and to yourself
Be kind to your partner even when the little things go wrong. To yourself too, because there will be times when you need yourself the most. Most often we forget to be kind in a marriage. We keep fighting with our spouses over trivial issues and we get stressed out ourselves thinking we are not doing enough in the marriage. That we are failing in the balancing act of career, marriage, and kids. Be kind and you will be in a happier mental space.
Kindness may just be the most underrated yet most effective way of preserving and strengthening any relationship – romantic or platonic. Being kind to our partners lets us realize that they are human and that they are supposed to make mistakes. It is the same when it comes to ourselves. Facing our failings and weaknesses together while supporting each other through it can create a relationship that is not easily destroyed, come what may.
3. Learn your spouse’s language
There’s a subtlety in the language married people talk in and every couple devises their own language over the years. Successful marriage stories tell us how important it is to learn your spouse’s language. Know what the twitching of the lips means. Does the shoulder shrug mean they are not interested in the given topic of discussion? How do they show adoration? What is their love language – buying you gifts, washing your clothes, cooking your favorite meal? What’s their way of making you feel special?
Learn what gets to them when they are angry. Know all the big and small things about them. What is their favorite soda, their go-to movie when they are upset? What are their pet peeves? After you have learned that, speak their language. One of the many successful marriage tips includes knowing what your spouse is feeling by their body language.
It lets you support them even when they are not fully aware that they are in need of it. A tub of their favorite ice cream after a long day at work can work wonders when it comes to lifting their mood. Find the little ways you can remind them that you love them, then speak that language every day for a lifetime.
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4. Listen to your spouse
Listen. Really listen. This is one of the most vital tips on how to have a successful marriage. Most people tune out of the conversation about a long, dragging day. It might seem like a lot when they talk incessantly about what annoyed them during the day but listening to them is half the job. It shows you care a lot about the little things that go on in your spouse’s life.
If you listen carefully (sometimes by keeping the phone away), then you have given quality time to your partner. Listening can also help resolve arguments quicker than you would have thought possible. If you think they are freaking out over nothing, listen to them instead of countering immediately. It will let you recognize and work on the underlying cracks without giving them the chance to turn your marriage into a full-blown disaster.
5. Don’t forget to compliment your spouse about little things
Little things like “I want to have the cake you baked last Christmas. It was delicious”, “I am sorry”, “You look exactly like the day we got married”, “You are everything” may seem like redundant phrases when you have been together for a while. But it’s the small stuff that does matter, especially in a long-term relationship.
When you have been together for a long time, you may stop giving importance to such things because, even if you don’t compliment them every other day, they still know you love them, right? Of course, they do. But in a relationship, it’s the little things that matter.
Something as small as well-earned praise or a stray compliment here and there can remind them how much you love them and that you still do appreciate them, even if you are married and have been together for a long time. Appreciation goes a long way in making a marriage successful. Compliment your man and or your woman and see how they blush like teenagers.
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6. In an argument, it’s okay to turn the other cheek sometimes
How to have a successful marriage? By being mindful of the fact that you do not always have to win in an argument. You have to stop letting every conversation turn into an argument at some point, it is that simple. In fact, sometimes, turning the other cheek is the best thing to do in an argument. Yes, even when you know you are on the right and they are just being unreasonable. Some fights are just not worth the wasted energy and mood.
Marriage is about compromise (anyone who tells you anything different is lying) and not trying to prove yourself right all the time is definitely the right way to go about it. After all, small annoyances don’t matter when you could spend that time cuddled up with the love of your life.
7. Help each other grow instead of just focusing on the marriage
Help each other grow in the relationship to become better humans, people with bigger hearts. If you grow as a person, your marriage becomes better and stronger by itself. In a successful marriage, you grow together. This is true for both your personal and professional space.
A healthy marriage will help you flourish in your career and offer you the support and strength to deal with personal problems. This way, you can always walk side by side, always keeping pace and growing with each other.
8. In a successful marriage couples travel often
Traveling soothes the soul. Every relationship tends to get monotonous in the humdrum of the same place. Travel far and if finances permit, travel often. Make a budget and a bucket list and explore new places as often as you can. Diversify in the culture of the traveled place, meet new people and come back home happier and with a nourished soul. It’s a great way to rediscover each other as well.
Take this quiz: What Is The Ideal Vacation Spot For You And Your Spouse?
9. Don’t throw the D-word in a heated argument
This is a vital factor that contributes to a successful marriage. Never should you, under any circumstances, no matter how heated the argument gets, use divorce as an ultimatum. While in a marriage you are willing to work for, the D-word is a Dementor’s kiss. Your spouse can react in a way you have never imagined if you use divorce as a final statement of terms. Throwing an ultimatum is not a mature way of dealing with a crisis in a marriage.
10. It’s okay to be vulnerable to your spouse
Do not be afraid to show your spouse what scares you, what makes you wake up from sleep in sweats, and what triggers your emotions. Showing your vulnerability to your spouse doesn’t make you weak. It makes the marriage stronger by creating room for your partner to become a source of your strength and vice versa.
11. Take care of yourself
Take care of how you look. A lot of people stop taking care of their bodies after getting married, thinking that outer appearances cannot impact the love their spouse feels for them. But that’s not true. Take care of yourself as you did before getting married. This is proof that you are not slacking off in being presentable. It’s a sign that no matter how old you get, you are also willing to work on the marriage and yourself.
Also, looking good and presentable always can help you not just lift your own mood but also help you flourish in the professional space. Obviously, we don’t mean that you need to be catwalk-ready all the time. Focus on being your healthiest instead. Healthy people engage in healthy relationships. Remember that instead of letting yourself go the moment you are married.
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12. Keep the spark alive
Try date nights, erotic massages at home or on-the-counter sex for breakfast to keep the spark alive. Sex is an integral part of a successful marriage. Trouble starts when the sex stops and that’s what separate functional marriage from dysfunctional ones. People in successful marriages make every effort to keep the physical intimacy going. It might reduce in terms of frequency but it has to be there. Also, the hugs, cuddles, and spooning help.
13. Assigning blame won’t help
Do not always put the blame for an unpaid bill on your spouse. In a time of crisis, blaming each other is easy, but it can have serious repercussions later. Saying “I told you so” or “You never listen to me” can make them feel like you are condescending. But in the heat of the moment, if things do get uttered, do not feel embarrassed to apologize. The blame game doesn’t work but saying sorry does.
14. Your spouse doesn’t need your advice for all their problems
It’s often easy to offer advice on situations where your spouse is ranting. If they tell you about how their coworker got the presentation wrong, instead of offering advice like, “Maybe you should do the presentation next time” or “She couldn’t have been that bad”, try listening to them without feeling the need to reply. They need a sounding board and not an advising committee all the time.
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15. It’s okay to go to bed angry
It really is. If you are having an argument at night, instead of yelling at each other at 2 am, get some sleep. See how you feel about the argument in the morning. A good night’s sleep can clear your mind and you can approach the argument (if at all there is one) in a clearer light. Most often, sleep does the trick and there might not be an argument the next day. Even if there is a fight the next day, it will probably be a healthy argument that can resolve the problem for good.
A successful marriage is not for the lazy because marriage takes effort and a lot of hard work. There are no secrets to a successful marriage. All of it takes effort. It is a full-time job. Practicing these 15 tips for a successful marriage are just the beginning to having a happy married life.