10 Keys To A Successful Marriage

10 Keys To A Successful Marriage Marriage | KeatingBartlett.com

Zack and I have been married for almost four years now so I strongly believe that we’re complete experts on everything marriage-related at this point…totally joking. But I do feel that we’ve built a strong marriage thus far and I’m rather proud of it. Like all couples, we have our issues. We’ve fought on many occasions and unfortunately, we’ve said and done plenty of things that we now regret. It’s normal. But I love coming out of it and being able to look back on those issues knowing we tackled them together. It’s an amazing and empowering feeling to know you’ve built a connection strong enough to take on the world and everything life throws at it.

As I watch other couples go through their hardships and even some breakups, I can’t help but feel so unbelief ably thankful for my own marriage. Marriage is hard work. I know everybody says that, but it’s true. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies. In fact, sometimes it even sucks. But in the last few years, I’ve determined that these ten traits are essential to building a strong marriage that lasts.

  1. Friendship. I believe that all successful marriages are built on friendship. You must build a strong foundation for your marriage and that typically starts off with being friends with your significant other first. Zack is my best friend. He’s the one I want to tell my secrets to. He’s the one I go to first when I have a problem or big news. He’s the one I want cheering me on for all my accomplishments and I want to be the one cheering him on for all of his as well. We laugh together and make fun of one another. He’s my favorite person to binge watch Netflix with at the end of every day. First and foremost, he’s my best friend.
  2. Trust. I cannot stress enough how important it is to trust your partner. Without it, a relationship just cannot be successful. You can’t spend your days wondering what your spouse is doing or checking their phone every chance you get to see if they’re cheating. If they’ve give you zero VALID reasons not to trust them then give them the benefit of the doubt and trust them!
  3. Honesty. Trust and honesty go hand in hand. You cannot trust one another if you’re not open and honest with each other in the first place. Don’t give each other a reason not to trust one another.
  4. Communication. I’ll keep this one short since everyone always says it: communication is crucial to a happy and healthy marriage. It’s important to any type of relationship you have in your life, actually. Be sure to communicate any issues you’re having with your spouse along with any thoughts and feelings you feel he should know. If you two aren’t communicating then it’ll be next to impossible to fix any issues that may arise. Make sure you’re always on the same page!
  5. Dedication/Commitment. Marry someone who is just as committed to your relationship as you are. Someone who isn’t going to give up when things get tough or when you settle into a “boring” routine. When something is broke, you fix it. If something in your marriage isn’t working then it’s time to find a solution to the problem and move forward. Find someone who is willing to help you fix those problems and is committed to making it all work out.
  6. Gratitude. Always take time during your day to appreciate the little things that your spouse does. Sure they may not be the cleanest person. It might drive you nuts that their laundry is left in every room of the house or that they leave the bathroom floor wet after their shower. But on the other hand, they might do the dishes for you when they know you’ve had a rough day or they’ll bring you home your favorite soup when you’re sick. No matter how big or small, focus on those good things that they do for you and let them know that you appreciate them. At the end of the day, those good things that they do far outweigh the wet bathroom floor.
  7. Respect. Respect is so incredibly important in a marriage. You absolutely have to respect one another in order for your marriage to work long term. Never talk down to your partner, never broadcast your marital issues on social media or talk poorly about your spouse to others. Never embarrass them or make them look bad simply because you’re not getting along that day. Mutual respect can go a long way.
  8. Forgiveness. While this one can be a challenging one at times, it’s good to forgive your spouse for their mistakes. Bigger issues like infidelity is a whole different topic in my mind, but for a good majority of issues, they can almost always be worked through. So forgive quickly and find a way to move on together.
  9. Intimacy. When I say intimacy, I don’t always mean sex. Although that’s healthy for a marriage as well. But even being able to share your deepest thoughts and feelings with another is so important for a marriage. This goes back to building your marriage off a friendship. Being able to connect with your spouse on all levels will give you a great foundation to build your marriage off of.
  10. Teamwork. Look at your marriage as being its own team and your partner is your one and only teammate. Did you pick a good teammate? Do you know how to get along and work together to tackle problems rather than against one another? Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Zack is on the same team as me. Especially when we disagree on something. But at the end of the day, he’s my husband, my best friend, and the best teammate I could possibly have. We work well together and are good at building each other up and supporting one another which is super important to a happy and healthy marriage.

What do you feel a marriage needs in order to be successful?

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  • Kristen Jones

    YAS to all of these points. I’ve only been married for two months, but in those short two months, I have seen every single one of these points come to life. I think the biggest thing that I learned was gratitude. At first it was so hard for me to look past the dirty laundry sitting on the floor and I never even noticed that he did the dishes or was planning to surprise me with a date night. Communication and of course friendship are also huge for us! I married my best friend and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    • I noticed a lot of these in the very early months of marriage as well. And they’re even more important now, four years later. Gratitude is such an important one. I think that was a bit challenging for me at first as well. It can sometimes be challenging to take a step back and see all those little things that they’re doing and really appreciate it.

  • These are all essential to keeping a marriage healthy… and realizing that sometimes one needs to pick up more of the work for whatever reason, there’s a balance to keep and not a scorecard to keep.

    • Very good point Marissa! I’ve known a few couples who keep mental score cards and it’s not helpful for a marriage at all. Balance is so important in keeping a marriage strong, happy and healthy.

  • You have hit up on 10 things that are extremely important for a good marriage. We also need to be able to share our thoughts and feelings openly and honestly and know they will be accepted and worked through together.

    • Hi Elise! That’s such a great point and super important as well. I love knowing my husband accepts me for who I am. It allows me to open up to him more easily and express my concerns, thoughts and feelings openly. This is crucial in any marriage.

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    Yes. Yes. Yes! These are definitely all essential for a successful marriage. I was trying to decide which is the most important but they all work together hand in hand. Great post!

    • It’s definitely hard to choose a most important key. They really all go together to build that strong marriage.

  • I totally agree with these! Having a strong marriage is essential.

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    This is SPOT on. I think that friendship and honesty are HUGE. But respect and forgiveness definitely matter as well. Love these all!

    • Thanks Kelsie! Friendship is one of my favorites. My husband is literally my BEST friend. Even if we weren’t together, he’d still be the first person I’d want to be silly with or talk about my day with and all that. He’s my person. I couldn’t even imagine our marriage without that friendship aspect.

  • Johnna

    ALL of these!!! I’ve also found that if I’m really upset at something my SO does, sometimes I need to do a little self-reflection because I have a part to play in the fight. That usually makes me a lot more forgiving!

    • Sometimes taking a step back to reevaluate the issue is so helpful. It’s important to know that there are two sides to every issue and taking a step back allows you to see both sides more clearly.

  • It feels great to read blogs again and so wonderful to start with such a post! Great thoughts! I truly believe that communication is the most important, as you have stated as well. I affirm with all your points! Loved reading through it. 🙂

    • Welcome back to your blog reading! 🙂 I’ve been horrible at catching up on blogs lately so I’m definitely going to have to spend a day this weekend catching up with everyone. And I’m glad you loved this post!! 🙂

  • Your cover picture is beautiful by the way! I think respect is huge. I know fights are hard and can be emotional, but as long as neither of us really tears apart the other or disrespects them, we can always bounce back.

    • I completely agree! And there are some arguments where that self-control is a bit challenging sometimes, but it’s so important to not talk down to your partner or disrespect them. It really can be a make it or break it situation in terms of whether or not you’re able to bounce back.

  • Thank you! I completely agree. A marriage is almost like a 24 hour job. Just like being a parent.

  • Thanks Belle! 🙂