Wouldn’t you like to know the secret sauce to a happy and long-lasting marriage, especially from those happily married couples who have aced the art of leading a happy relationship?
We unveil 21 keys to a successful marriage that will help you problem-solve the marital issues, disarm the conflicting partner and help you create and maintain a successful marriage.
Whether you are a newlywed or refer to yourselves as ‘old Ball ‘n’ Chain,’ every marriage has its share of ups and downs. While it may sound cliché, lulls and patterns of mundanity are natural to the ebb and flow of married life.
Periods of stress, boredom, and poor communication are part of the course.
“Marriage takes work.”
Marriage does take work, and like anything else in life, you have to do the work to reap the reward. But the work of marriage is not like cleaning the toilet and taking out the trash.
Marriage is a union of two souls, yet the meaning of successful marriage differs from couple to couple. There is no clear definition of a successful marriage. However, here are some standard definitions of a successful marriage.
1. Having a good wife
For some people, a successful marriage means having a good wife. For some marrying, a virtuous woman who will take care of their husband and support him at all costs is what makes a marriage successful.
Some people believe that marriage is the union of two people and the family. They believe as a citizen of society, and they need to raise their kids morally upright.
They believe that if they can raise their children right, society will have better people, and for them, it is the definition of a successful marriage.
3. One with effective communication
Some people believe that clear communication and companionship are the keys to a successful marriage. These people are convinced that talking to each other without reservation and hiding no secrets makes a marriage successful.
If you are looking for a simple secret to a happy marriage, this might be it. This is one of the most talked-about definitions of a successful marriage. Some people firmly believe that sharing life as friends is the ultimate key to a successful marriage.
5. Unconditional love and understanding
Another common definition of a successful marriage is commitment, responsibility, and sacrifice. Some people believe that good understanding and unconditional love are the keys to a successful marriage. Accept your partner with flaws and understand that nobody is perfect.
What are the most important things in a marriage?
If you are looking for the recipe for a happy marriage, you must understand the essential things in marriage that help keep the relationship healthier. Here are some elements of a successful marriage you should consider if you want to fall under happily married couples.
There should be mutual respect in marriage. Without respect, marriage can be toxic and stressful. It would help if you eliminated anything that can lead your partner to disrespect you and vice versa. Understand your partner’s perspective and try to work around that.
Having a different opinion but still understanding where your partner is coming from is an excellent way to show your respect towards your partner.
3. Setting Boundaries
Another important key to a successful marriage is setting personal boundaries without hesitation. You should keep an individual life and take out some time for yourself. You may be going on dates for five days a week, but you should also be able to meet with your friends and family often.
All successful marriages need mutual and unbreakable trust between partners. Although it takes time to build that kind of trust, you have to put in efforts right from the start.
Having a supportive partner makes every marriage happy and successful. It is absolutely important to have a partner who believes in you and supports you unconditionally.
21 Key secrets to a successful marriage
The effort that goes into a successful marriage (read happy, functional, and fulfilling) is the type of work that can be fun and therapeutic.
Read on to know their 21 keys to a successful and happy marriage.
1. Be independent
Independence was rated extremely important in a marriage. To be happy in a relationship, we must be happy first. That is, in fact, the key to a successful relationship. With that in mind, wives and husbands must continue to take out time for themselves, enjoy their hobbies, and in general, spend some time apart.
Not only does absence make the heart grow fonder, but in the time we spend alone, we get to reunite with our spiritual side, re-establish our sense of self, and check-in with the progress of our personal preferences, goals, and achievements.
On the other hand, being dependent weakens your resolve and ability to move forward as a free thinker.
When we maintain our independent sense of self, we will always have something to talk about at the dinner table, and we are forever stronger, healthier, and more attractive to our partners.
Being good together does not mean that couples agree on every little thing. Most of the couples we interviewed had varying attitudes, opinions, and belief systems; and even held opposing views on major areas in some cases.
All couples should have some level of disagreement somewhere. Successful, loving couples respected the point of view of one another and even had a sense of humor over their points of contention.
Remember, respect is one of the major tips for a successful marriage. Recognize two opposite views; one of them does not have to be correct.
There are several books out there on the Languages of Love. This was developed of the concept in psychology that each individual has their unique way of communicating love.
By knowing your partner’s preferences and hobbies, metaphors can be used to communicate something the person understands well.
Observe the physical way your partner shows love, and you’ll know what makes a successful marriage.
This could be, washing your car or picking up the kids. It could be keeping the toiletries stocked and ironing his shirts. For others, it’s words, letters, and affection.
Our advice for a successful marriage? Figure out your partner’s love language so you will always know how to speak to them. Love languages are often talked about, but couples don’t pay as much attention to this as they should.
Understanding a partner’s love language is the secret to a happy relationship.
This can be one of the most complex keys to embrace, especially if you typically hold a grudge. This key goes hand-in-hand with praying together and offering grace.
Forgiveness is an extension of both of those keys. Take a deep breath and forgive your husband for not remembering to stop and grab milk. Forgive your wife for shrinking your shirt.
Forgiveness can transform your marriage, but it takes time and patience with yourself and your partner to look at them and tell them that you forgive them for hurting you in the past.
But if you can forgive your partner, you can move forward together without anger or frustration, and that past pain can begin to heal.
Start small if you can and work up to those big situations. Forgiveness is a powerful tool in marriage and will help you have a more successful marriage this year.
To practice forgiveness here is an educational video that will help you decode one of the keys to a successful marriage:
A major relationship killer, lack of acceptance, is a trait more commonly attributed to women known for their nagging. Remember, you married your partner for who he was then and now. Even if we wanted to change him now, we can’t.
The key to a successful marriage lies in realizing this as soon as possible.
When urging or persuading him, you only focus on his weaknesses or problems. Change your perspective immediately and start focusing on positive traits instead.
7. Take responsibility
It is that easy and one of the secrets of a successful marriage. When you participate in a project, take responsibility for your successes and failures.
When you and your partner have a disagreement or argument, remember to take responsibility for your actions, including anything you did or said, especially if it was hurtful, unthoughtful, or created adversity.
Taking one another for granted may be the most toxic pathogen of all. Once they are comfortable, it is easy for couples to slip into a complacent state – and expectations form.
This is only a matter of human nature, as we get comfortable with what is familiar, but in marriage, you absolutely should never come to a place where you take your partner for granted.
Pledge to respect your partner indefinitely no matter what. Avoid assumptions, and offer to do nice things for your partner whenever possible. Most successful marriages have partners who vouch for this.
9. Date night
Among the other tips for a successful marriage, dating is the most ignored and overlooked by couples. It does not matter what a couple does on their date night.
Simply having a night when they spend their time with each other strengthens the bond and maintains it over time. When you have a date night, you should turn your phones off and put them away, so you are free of distractions.
Watch a movie at home with popcorn or go hiking or rollerblading together. Change it up often and be helpful and cheerful for one another. A romantic and thoughtful date night is not just one of the steps to a successful marriage.
It is important to schedule this monthly, if not weekly, to maintain accountability and establish a pattern of importance regarding date night.
Wondering how to make a marriage successful? Go old school with your romance. Romantic acts can be many – try giving her a flower someday or place a love note in his briefcase or backpack. Surprise him with his favorite meal, or watch the sunset together.
There is no shortage of marriage tips and ideas, and you’ll be amazed at how far a little romance goes toward strengthening the relationship.
11. Keep intimacy alive
Sex is very important to a healthy marriage. Sex should be regular, and therapists suggest doing it even when you’re not in the mood!
We suggest keeping it interesting by talking about what pleases you and adding any fantasy role-playing, positions, or bedroom props you may want to introduce to keep it exciting.
After all, what is a successful marriage if it doesn’t let you get what you desire?
Life coach Giovanni Maccarrone talks about how making this one conscious decision before getting married can help make a marriage successful.
“A compliment a day keeps the divorce attorney away.” Acknowledging your partner’s positive attributes every day, and paying compliments, will go a long way in your relationships.
Stay positive, and keep track of what your partner does well.
When the going gets rough, and his not-so-great attributes come forward, rather than focusing on the negative, try switching gears, and point out the positive stuff instead.
13. Look for the soft emotion
Behind every “hard” emotion is a soft one; psychologists teach this concept.
When we feel anger, it’s usually masking another emotion behind it, such as sadness, disappointment, or jealousy.
We often use anger as a disguise to protect our vulnerabilities.
Looking for the “soft” or vulnerable emotions underneath someone’s complex display of anger will help keep you connected as you are better equipped to empathize with that person’s genuine emotion.
We are often searching for marriage tips for a successful relationship. Still, We fail to realize that a simple thing such as identifying the reality of emotions can keep us on the right track.
14. Let go of the fantasy
Unfortunately, we are socialized to believe in fairytale endings, and we may carry some false perspectives on reality into adulthood. We need to recognize that, while marriage can be a beautiful thing, it is not effortless, nor will it ever be perfect.
Have realistic expectations and do not fall victim to the fairy tale – you may find yourself sorely disappointed. This is not only one of the most important keys to a successful marriage but plays a massive role in your happiness as an individual too.
15. Do not control
Married people often come to a place where they start to lose themselves, they give in to jealousy or feelings of inadequacy, or they forget that they are separate people away from their partners, and they may try to control their partners.
Most of the time, this is done inadvertently, as expectations may grow over time.
What makes a marriage successful are communication, independent time, and healthy indulgences that will keep any couple on track. If you sense you are being controlled or are the controller, get a handle on it or make an appointment for a family counselor.
16. Never use the D-word
Presuming you don’t want to get a divorce, don’t threaten to. Couples using the D-word or talking about separation during fights use this as a control mechanism. Couples using it threateningly are more likely to see Divorce come to fruition.
Making threats is not a mature strategy for solving any problem, so don’t do it.
17. Pray together
This is one of those keys that takes so little time from jampacked days but gives you space to breathe together.
Before bed each night or right after you tuck the little ones into bed and say prayers with them, pray with your partner.
Take a few minutes to offer thanks and grace to God and each other. These quiet moments when you invite God into your marriage helps to strengthen your emotional connection to God and your partner.
If you’re like me, you are relatively quick to offer grace to the people we work with each day or to our children when they make mistakes.
Too often, we hold grudges or harbor anger with our partners rather than offering them that same grace that flows so easily in many other areas of our lives.
Our partner often take the brunt of our frustrations and setbacks, and we forget that we have to also seek the good in them.
My wife didn’t mean to leave the dirty dishes in the sink overnight; she fell asleep after putting our daughter to bed. Instead of grumbling about the dishes, you need to offer her grace. Load the dishwasher and maybe bring her a cup of coffee too.
‘Being quick to grace and not to frustration’ goes a long way to setting our marriages up for success.
19. Have patience for each other
Parenting books talk about how children often behave the worst for their parents because they are most comfortable and safe at home. The same holds for successful marriages.
We often show our worst sides to our partner because we are comfortable and safe with them. That can often look like frustration and a severe lack of patience.
We get frustrated when they take forever in the shower or when they aren’t home at the exact time they said. Remember, this is the person you love most in the world. Grant them the same patience you grant to your toddler at the very least.
20. Respect each other (in private and in public)
One of the highest compliments you can give to another person is to have them hear that you have been singing their praises to others when they aren’t even there.
When you are out and about professionally or socially, respect your partner by singing their praises in conversations. Also, respect your partner through your actions, both in public and private.
If you said you would be home by 5, be home by 5 (as often as you can). If you are running late, respect your partner enough to call.
In private, respect your partner by speaking to them as if they matter to you. Sing their praises in front of your children. Listen to them when they tell you about their day. It is such a simple gesture, and it matters.
21. Encourage each other
It is important to know your partner’s hopes and dreams. This new year is a great time to talk about your goals.
When your partner shares their goals and resolutions with you, please encourage them to accomplish them. Make their goals as necessary as your own.
Be their biggest cheerleader, and do your best to help them and give them the space they need to meet their goals for the year. This also works for the goals you set together.
How can you push and support each other to be the best version of yourselves that you can be? Make your individual and couple goals a priority and celebrate your progress throughout the year.
Most happy couples swear by these successful marriage tips. Follow these keys to a successful marriage, and you will be able to save your marriage and enjoy a highly successful one.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.