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The Ultimate List Of Tips On What Makes A Good Marriage

“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens; it’s something that must be created.” – Fawn Weaver

Modern marriages have recently come under the scanner, for a variety of reasons. With several cases of unmarried cohabitation and ‘friends with benefits’ arrangements, people are beginning to question the relevance of marriage in the modern world. With 1.2 billion people in the world today between the ages of 15 and 24, the future of marriage has assumed significance like never before.


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Is marriage really declining?

So, is it true that the institution of marriage is on its last leg? Marriage statistics around the world certainly do show a trend in that direction. Detailed research on marriage statistics carried out by various organizations including the United Nations shows that the number of people opting to get married is steadily decreasing, especially in North and South American as well as Oceanic countries. Countries which traditionally uphold marriage as sacred, such as China and India are also showing a decrease in the number of married couples.

Suggested read: 10 reasons marriage is dead to the modern generation

One reason for this global phenomenon is the practice of cohabitation or living together. Many young people consider this a more ‘freeing’ arrangement than getting permanently hitched together. The stats also reveal that developed nations like the United States tend to show a larger rate of divorce than other countries, and globally, people are getting married later than ever. This goes on to show that generally, people seem to want to go slow with marriage, and when they do take the plunge, they want a good marriage and they want it to be for keeps.

What is a good marriage?

Learning how to have a good marriage is no small task! Besides, there is no one-suits-all formula for a successful marriage, especially since no two marriages are alike. As Maggie Reyes says, “Marriages are like fingerprints; each one is different and each one is beautiful.” It’s not really surprising, considering that since no two individuals are the same, one can hardly expect the dynamics between them to be similar to any other.


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Yet, we are, after all, humans, and there are some common things that make us click. All of us desire love, trust, respect, and security in a relationship, and ensuring that these are in place can set the stage for a successful marriage. A good marriage, then, isn’t just an arrangement where two individuals live together on a day to day basis without killing each other! It is a relationship where both people involved grow and help each other become the best versions of themselves.

So what makes a good marriage? There are numerous books and resources that dole out tips for a good marriage, but as we all know, too much information can fry our brains! It is important to filter out the useful from the junk, and that is exactly what we’ve attempted here with our ultimate list of tips for a successful marriage.

Ultimate tips for a successful marriage

Like we mentioned, your mind can spin at the sheer amount of information out there in the name of good marriage tips. Here is a condensed version of the best of the best out there, so that your search for successful marriage tips ends here.

1. Respect yourself and each other

couple sitting on a bench

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In many marriages, people tend to focus so much on the ‘love’ part that they forget about ‘respect.’ It is only when both spouses feel like equals in a relationship does it have a chance to flourish well. You are not clones of each other, so respect each other’s differences and beliefs. Do away with gender stereotypes and see your spouse as a person, with skills and flaws unique to him or her. He isn’t your ATM and she isn’t your maid servant. After all, we aren’t in the 1950s anymore!

You can show respect on a daily basis through many ways. Don’t belittle his political or religious views when he gives his opinion. Tell her thank you when she brings you your coffee. Use please and sorry appropriately. Don’t let familiarity breed contempt; that is a surefire way to let your marriage go the boring, soulless way. In the midst of everything, be sure to respect yourself; only then can you expect the same of someone else.

Suggested read: Best marriage advice that has stood the test of time

3. Keep communication open

couple talking

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We’ve all seen cartoons of women standing with rolling pins and a sour face while their potbellied husbands sit on the couch, apparently absorbed in the TV. While this is indicative of the nagging ways of women, by no means is this a gender-specific problem! It’s sad when a relationship between two sparkling personalities breaks down just because they don’t communicate right. Not being good at communication skills is not an excuse; if necessary, you need to take up training for it. It’s incredible how so many people will go for courses and such to improve their chances at a job, but won’t consider the same for the most intimate relationships in their lives!

It is absolutely essential for both spouses to communicate with each other on a daily basis, if it’s only to talk about the weather. Small talk builds up practice and makes it easier to establish a channel for talking about serious topics. Remember that listening is an important part of communication too. Refrain from taking decisions without consulting each other. Frequent and calm communication will help to keep both spouses on the same page and makes an otherwise stressful daily life a lot easier and happier.

3. Keep the trust

man kissing a woman's forehead

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If there was just one answer to what makes a good marriage, it would be trust. Spouses are called life partners for a reason; they are going to share a life together and are partners in making it work. And because of this, they need to be able to trust each other completely. There is no middle path here; you either trust someone 100% or not at all. There needs to be a strong foundational belief that both of you share a circle of trust into which no one else is invited. Being constantly aware of this will keep spouses from straying from each other and communication is key in keeping this circle intact.

In a marriage, trust does not merely mean fidelity, it also refers to keeping confidences. What goes on in your marriage is between the two of you, so discussing confidential matters with your friends or parents is a betrayal of that trust. Your spouse’s trust is to be honored at all costs, and while many things can be fixed, a loss of trust is not one of them. There are many people who think talking about their partner’s bad habits to their friends helps get things ‘off their chest,’ but such acts can only backfire and cause trouble in the long run.

4. Prioritize each other

couple talking

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Once you marry, you start a family of your own. While this does not mean that you should disown your birth family, it does take a second seat to your new one. Your spouse is now the most important person in your life, the one who’s going to walk with you till the end. You are each other’s first priority and this shouldn’t change even with babies, careers or anything else coming into the picture. In many marriages, the wife’s priority becomes her children, while the husband’s becomes his career. But one needs to realize that even for effective parenting or good performance at work, a strong marriage acts as a backbone, and is absolutely non negotiable. Also, once the kids have flown the nest and you’re retired, what are you going to do?

Prioritizing your spouse is something that needs a little extra effort since the pressures of daily life can change your focus temporarily. Scheduling couple time is a great way, like a cup of tea or coffee together in the morning, which should be sacrosanct. In case anything happens, let your spouse be the first to know, whether its good news or bad. This is also a form of respect, not just for your partner, but also for the precious relationship you share.

Suggested read: How to keep the romance alive after childbirth

5. Keep the romance alive

couple kissing

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You and your partner aren’t roommates, nor are you together merely for the purposes of procreation! You are lovers too, although this realization flies out the window soon after the honeymoon phase or when the kids arrive. It is this that keeps the ‘spark’ alive as people call it, and eradicates any kind of mid-life or quarter-life crises. Being romantic towards your partner makes him feel desired and loved. It increases his self-esteem and his loving feelings towards you as well.

It might sound impossible to be romantic when the baby is howling, the maid hasn’t turned up or there are endless meetings late into the night. But that’s life, and you need to find a way to work around these problems. Physical intimacy is very essential to keep things exciting, but it isn’t the only way. Sharing light touches through the day, getting each other small gifts are also effective ways to make each other’s hearts go aflutter!

6. Fight Right

couple arguing1

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The person who said that ‘Marriage is the only war where one sleeps with the enemy’ did have a point! While this doesn’t mean that you have to turn your entire marriage into a war and your home into a battlefield, it means that if you’re married, you might as well learn the rules of decent warfare. They’ll come in handy to help you tide over the inevitable periods of conflict. A good fight can actually clear the air and strengthen your marriage, but it shouldn’t be full of hurtful words and taunts that linger long after the cause of the fight is resolved.

You can actually begin with avoiding fights to an extent by being tuned into your partner’s moods, which shouldn’t be difficult if you’ve been communicating properly. Avoid topics that push each other’s buttons and you can evade many related quarrels. When fighting, stick to the issue at hand and avoid digging up dirt from the past. Don’t drag in children or family members, unless you want the issue to escalate. Use sentences that begin with ‘I’ rather than ‘you’; they are much less accusative and provocative. It’s best to resolve the matter between yourselves too, without asking for help from family or friends who’ll be biased. If you need to, get help from someone neutral, like a therapist.

Suggested read: 7 tips for effective communication with your partner

We’re going to be nice and go the extra mile by giving you a bonus tip on what makes a good marriage

Bonus tip – Be realistic

Marriage is not a long ride into the sunset on a horse with your prince/princess charming. It is a journey with many ups and downs, and expecting every day to be like your honeymoon is going to set you up for some major disappointment. Your spouse is human, who will have good days and bad. You’ll have to face financial crunches, health problems, and family trouble. Being realistic about your expectations will help both of you tide over the bad times and help you appreciate the good ones together.

So there you go; you now have the ultimate list of tips for a successful marriage!! Of course, none of these will work unless you will; both spouses need to make a commitment to constantly put some effort into their marriage rather than just letting it go whichever way it seems to go. If you think it’s too much to ask for, consider this passage from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, which beautifully sums up what we’ve been saying all along:

“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.”

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Best Tips On What Makes A Good Marriage
What makes a good marriage is an eternal question. Here are some amazing tips for a successful marriage.
Fabida Abdulla

Fabida Abdulla

Fabida is an erstwhile Software Engineer and current Freelance Writer cum stay-at-home mom to her boisterous 6-year-old. In between all the writing, baking, nagging, reading, and cuddling, she manages to blog a bit about her crazy life at Shocks and Shoes. []