Secrets To A Strong Marriage

lovers-heart-connected-loversBY  @ Marriage Counseling Online

Have you ever wondered how couples manage to stay married for decades and still enjoy spending time together? Finding the right person is important, but the truth is that you have to make efforts within your marriage to make it enjoyable for you both. Building a strong marriage is possible if you are ready to truly make a commitment to your marriage and family and to make the efforts daily to be kind and loving every day. Treat your loved ones like you normally naturally treat guests or strangers every day.

Learn To Communicate

You need to build a space where both spouses can express themselves and talk about their dreams and the things they wished were different. Both spouses should be able to express themselves without having to worry about being judged or put down. Avoid using negative language when talking with your spouse and always try to have a conversation when you encounter an issue instead of escalating things into a fight.

Learn To Have Fair Fights

Fighting or disagreeing is an important part of a healthy marriage but your fights should look like discussions where both sides get to state their points of view. If your fights look like shouting matches or if negative words are used, you need to change the way you fight. You might find that it is better to wait until you are in the right mood to discuss the issues you are encountering. Be receptive to what your spouse has to say and do not avoid having a conversation because you know you will have to make a compromise.

Keep Things Interesting

The happiest marriages are the ones where the spouses always do small things for each other and constantly re-invent themselves and their relationship. You need to figure out what works for your marriage. You might for instance want to try a new activity together, travel, surprise your spouse with a small gift or change your look regularly. Trying new things together is important and small romantic gestures are what will keep your relationship interesting.

Build A Happy Life Outside of Your Marriage

You need to build a friendship with your spouse but you might end up expecting too much from your spouse if you have no other friendships outside of the marriage. Spend some time with your friends regularly, make new friends, work on your career and look for new activities you enjoy. Having a happy life outside of the marriage will make it easier to bring a positive attitude to the marriage. Living a rich life will help you grow as a person and so will your spouse if they also have an interesting life filled with friends and hobbies.

Just to clarify, I do not mean having inappropriate interactions with someone of the opposite sex. For example, if you are texting or having phone conversations that you do not want your spouse to read or hear, you know you are off track completely.

Laugh Together

This might seem like a detail, but laughing together will really help you build a strong marriage. Laughter is one of the most positive ways to interact with each other and finding stuff you can laugh at together is the best way to make sure spending time with your spouse is never dull. Being able to laugh together will help you get through the rough patches and make your life more enjoyable.

These five tips will help you build a strong and healthy marriage. Share them with your spouse and talk about the things you might need to work on!


Reposted by permission from Marriage Counseling Online

Waverly J. Hanson is a licensed professional counselor, licensed marriage coach, military and family life consultant, professional trainer and author of How to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage. She has more than 25 years of experience helping individuals and couples improve their lives. To learn more about her effective methods, visit her site.

You might also be interested in these articles from Marriage Counseling Online

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on January 11, 2017, in relationships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. This definitely applies not only to a marriage but also any romantic relationship. Communication is definitely one of the most important things in any relationship which sadly enough a lot of people don’t realize how damaging lack of communication can really be. People shouldn’t assume just because they are romantically involved that their partner will automatically know what they want or are thinking. I agree about learning how to have fair fights especially at the right times. When me and my ex would get into an argument I would want to hash it out right then and there which honestly was probably a bad idea due to not thinking straight on both our ends which would lead to some nasty comments. Building a life outside of one’s relationship in my opinion is definitely a must. If your significant other is your only friend then what happens when you fight? You have no one else to turn to and eventually all those negative emotions turn inward. Although it’s not mentioned directly, I believe that trust is the most important thing in any relationship. Without trust, there can be no respect, without trust it leads people to doubt, jealousy which just leads to all sorts of negative emotions and feelings. I firmly believe that if there is no trust in a relationship then no matter how hard people try that relationship will never work or be a dysfunctional one at best.

  2. Even though I am not married I feel that this is good advice to have going into any relationship. When looking at my parent’s marriage and how they interact with one another, I feel that communication isn’t their strong suit. Though they’ve been together for almost 20 years, I don’t think try to put much effort into their marriage anymore and just sort of go through the motions, which is the case for a lot of people. A lot of people I know have parents that are divorced or they have been divorced themselves and it seems more and more common. Many of my friends now are 20-25 and already getting married for numerous reasons, but a lot of those unions seems rushed. With divorce becoming more common and a lot of outside influences from social media, couples focus more on “keeping up with appearances” rather than focusing on the little things in their marriage that you mentioned. Out of this list I think “Laugh Together” is probably the most important to me, because you can never take each other too seriously.

  3. These tips for building a strong and long marriage, even though they seem to be common sense, are often skipped and undone. I also feel like our generation is so quick to give up on a relationship when things being to go bad, many times it can be fixed by discussing it and coming to an agreement. Another thing I feel can be done is if your partner is making a big deal out of something that is small the other partner should be able to compromise especially if it doesn’t mean that much to them and it can easily be done and not bring negativity to their relationship. My parents have been married for over 25 years and throughout those years I have heard them have discussions and arguments but they always seem to find a solution for it. They also regularly do stuff with each other and have great communication were they both pay attention to one another and give each other feedback as a way of letting the other know they are listening. If your partner is unhappy they only way of knowing is by talking about it and getting it resolved because sometimes letting it go on for to long can make irreversible damage.

  4. I absolutely agree and admire this article, which has put forward many possibilities to having a good marriage. First of, finding the right person is very important because it is everything marriage is built on. I am not married and often question myself if my boyfriend is the right person to marry because getting married is a big step for me and I am sometimes afraid if we will be the same happy couple. I strongly believe having a good communication is the key to happiness, the more open and free minded communication we have, the more they will enjoy the company of their partner. My parents already celebrated their 25th anniversary and are still going strong.

    Keeping things interesting is another way of defining love and showing affection for each other. Laughing together, learning to have fair fights, compromising little things and building a happy life outside of marriage is all equally important. I would definitely remember all these great advice. Thank you.

  5. Excellent article and thanks for sharing. Building a long-lasting, healthy marriage requires hard work and dedication to achieve. Having a successful marriage is a commitment that includes all of the five elements above. Personally, I think having strong communication is the most important aspect of a successful relationship. Without honesty, trust and the ability to communicate, the relationship is bound to be doomed.

    My mother and father have been married for over 25-years, their relationship started with a friendship that later grew into a successful relationship, then blossomed into a beautiful marriage. Things weren’t always easy and they had many disagreements, nevertheless, they set out many goals and achieved them together. With over 25-years of marriage, my parents have been able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. I constantly see them laughing together, enjoying the company of their friends that have been a part of their lives, traveling the world and loving one another unconditionally.

  6. I agree with all of these fundamentals for having a strong marriage although everyone has a different personality that wouldn’t require half of these essentials in a relationship. If I had to choose three fundamental secrets to keeping a strong marriage they would be communication, happiness, and laughter. The reason I chose these three are because they are what create and allow the interest between the relationships to last. I didn’t choose love because I feel that the love should be effortless and natural; instead of trying to force and portray your feelings towards another person. And finding happiness with oneself allows nothing but positivity for the future of a relationship. Being able to understand one another falls under the category of communication, as one is able to “read” the other persons mind without them saying anything. Although, there may be a disagreement with my three fundamentals for having a strong marriage, people have different personalities that require different needs and wants.

  7. Laughing together is very helpful. My wife and I went to a Brian Regan performance in San Francisco and had a great time, and we still talk about it.

    Building a happy life outside of your marriage makes you a more interesting person, and more fun to be around. It becomes a win/win situation.

    Trying to sincerely see your spouse’s point of view during arguments can benefit both of you and make your marriage stronger.

    Also, initially picking out the right person to marry is a very good idea.

  8. I will start off by saying everything listed hear is such great advice, it seems simple yet many couples have a hard time following through with it all. I would like to add that I have been mostly happily married for almost 10 years now (10 years in August =]). All of these points play hand in hand, especially learning to communicate with each other and having fair fights. Without knowing how to have a mature conversation and LISTENING to one another it will be hard to communicate or compromise. Laughter never gets old and it is important to laugh together about anything. Also, by building a relationship based on compromise and communication, it contributes to a healthy YOU and ultimately a healthy marriage by keeping both partners engaged with others as it does get boring when it’s just you and your spouse spending every moment together. Personally I know its not a bad thing, as a mom to 4, going to school, with a husband who works 40+ hours, I enjoy every moment I can get ALONE with my husband, and he enjoys it as well because we both can enjoy drinking a beer together or watching a movie because it is so rare to get time alone with just us. The most important thing I take away from this is compromise, it’s not about you or them losing something, its about 2 people working together to make sure both parties are genuinely happy. It took us 5 years to get to where we are today (but I am sure having kids immediately after marrying made it just a bit more challenging) and we follow this philosophy to ensure we are both happy and want to look forward to many more decades together. This may not work for all, for example my parents had a ‘toxic’ marriage and are still together, fighting and arguing, but they do have moments where they don’t completely despise each other. For any couple of any age soon to be married or just contemplating the idea of marriage, this is something to learn and live by.

  9. Excellent! What a pity that so many marriages are pairings of two people who don’t meet even half of those “Secrets To A Strong Marriage”….and more’s the pity that, all too often, their children grow up in the poisoned atmosphere of their parent’s poor role modeling and, knowing no other way, carry this ‘bad movie’ into their future, like sequels of an endless cycle.

  10. Communication, trust, love, caring and honesty are very important for any marriage to sustain.

  11. Everything else is great advice.

  12. No mention of vibrant sex life?

  13. Ditto your post ! Gracias !

  14. I agree..with all the points. Besides those, giving ‘space’ to each other is also an important factor… 🙂

  15. Communication and mutual respect are the two key factors for a strong marriage.

  16. very insightful… Thanks

  17. I agree with all, whereas communication and honesty is the biggest.

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