Successful marriages seem rare in today’s crazy world.
The statistics are grim and the stories of break-up and divorce are harsh.
I’ve always had the mentality that love is not enough to sustain a “til death do us part” relationship, and while that may be true, without love, there is nothing.
- Love may not solve an argument, but love gives you the patience to work through it.
- Love may not ensure that you are always right, but love gives you the perspective to understand that being right isn’t important.
- Love won’t stop you from saying hurtful things, but love demands a heart felt apology.
- Love doesn’t make you less annoyed by the little things, but love will help you focus on what really matters.
- Love doesn’t protect you from getting hurt, but love allows forgiveness.
Mark and I will be celebrating our 6th Wedding Anniversary this Saturday and we’ve had several happily married couples to look up to on our journey. My sister and her husband are celebrating their 17th anniversary this Sunday and my parents have been married for 43 years. Kellie, my best friend from college has been married for 16 years. My good friend Heidi, who designed my e-book has been married for 19 years.
My married friends remind me that love is important when it comes to a happy marriage.
Many of my blogger friends have been happily married for years, and while they don’t write specifically about marriage, you can strengthen your marriage by surrounding yourself with these happily married people…
- Tess Marshall
- Joshua Becker
- Dave Bruno
- Tammy Strobel
- Rachel Jonat
- Leo Babauta
- Katie Tallo
- Melissa Gorzelanczyk
Their blogs aren’t about marriage, but they are full of love. They often mention their spouses or marriage, or love and kindness. They are loving people and they think about their relationships. They prove that that the success of marriage is directly related to the thought, time and attention given to the relationship. I know that sounds obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to put other things first.
We hear more in the media about divorce and destruction, but I am happy to report that the institution of marriage is alive and well for many. Some of the key ingredients to a successful marriage are very similar to the the ingredients for a happy life.
- Gratitude. It’s easy to take the little things for granted, but thanking your spouse for taking the trash out, making dinner and other daily activities is so important.
- Happiness. A strong relationship needs happiness and sometimes with the hustle and bustle of life, you have to fight for that.
- Selflessness. If everyday, you think about how to make your spouse’s day a little brighter, you will become naturally more supportive, more giving and more loving.
- Date Night. Take time for each other. This might be a challenge if you have young children, but figure it out.
- Common Goals. You don’t have to like all the same things, but you do need to work on your future together.
I didn’t include love on the list because it is the glue that holds all of these things together. Love can’t fix everything, but it will give you the strength to get through anything.
I am not always the best wife, but when I get lost, I think of our marriage and our love in the simplest form. This bible verse was read at our wedding. Because I believe these words, I believe in happily ever after.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Focusing on this verse strengthens my resolve to be a better partner. It shows me that when I act with envy or am easily angered, I’m not acting from a place of love. If I’m not patient or kind, I’m not loving. If I always go back to love, then I cannot fail. I can only protect, trust, hope and persevere.
Mark, for our Anniversary this year, My gift to you is another song that makes me think of you, of us. I love you.
What do you think is important for a successful relationship?
- Disclaimer #1: I don’t think you have to be legally married to have a successful til death do us part relationship and I honor all loving partnerships.
- Disclaimer #2: I have many wonderful friends who are single and love them just as much as my married friends.