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15 Secrets of a Happy and Successful Marriage

Updated on June 8, 2012

A Successful Marriage

A happy marriage is a great source of emotional satisfaction, which is why all of us look for the ideal partner or an ideal marriage. A happy and successful marriage provides the stability and security that all human beings need in life. Even though other relationships are fulfilling in their own way, each has its place. A marriage is not a place for physical satisfaction or procreation alone, but it is the very fiber of life. Our goals, aims, desire for happiness, achievements, are all tied to a happy marriage. Our core values and beliefs are centered on this, our emotional balance and coping skills are all tied to the success we have in our intimate personal relationship. This marriage advice article provides tried and tested tips for a happy marriage.

In my years of working with people with emotional problems, I have often come across people who are so bitter and negative, tossing all members of the opposite sex into the same box, branding them negatively, and soon enough I find out that a soured relationship, or a failure in that area of personal intimate relationships has made them highly critical and biased.

Happy Marriages are Made

It is indeed a difficult proposition to live with any individual for long without having differences of opinion. These differences are what attract us to the other in the first place. Difference is the spice of life. Yet the very same differences are what that become our biggest stumbling blocks later on in life.

Wedding is the welding or the unification of two people into one unit. It is the amalgamation of two different identities into one – any amalgamation runs into difficulties. When this happens in business, we are prepared to work hard, sort out differences, use win-win strategies to compromise, and somehow make it work because we have invested our money or life savings into it.

If we could only bring this same attitude to our marriages, oh what wonders we could work! How much pain and bitterness could be avoided, how many more happy and secure people, families and children there would be in this world.

Secrets of a Successful Marriage

Preparation - We prepare so hard to get into business, go to a business school, study hard for years, work at subjects, and do everything within our reach to attain preparedness before we get to a career. I wonder how much preparation goes into the lifelong commitment of marriage or relationship before we take the plunge. How is it that we treat a lifetime venture so lightly, probably we don’t think of it as a lifetime venture at all, no wonder we fail to even get past the prelims! I have seen so much spending, so much preparation for the ceremony with a few hours of pomp and show; but what about the life after, within the close confines? Recently, I was witness to a wedding of my very close relative, a whole city was invited, money was thrown around like it didn’t count anymore, thirty plus flower girls, bridesmaids, pageboys and maid of honour and I know not what. It has not been 32 months yet and the marriage is already on the rocks, threatening to break apart any moment with a baby made in the process. I am sure you, my reader, know where I am going.

Secret to a Happy Marriage - Compatibility

If you want your relationship to last you need to prepare emotionally, physically and mentally before you get into the relationship. I am not dealing with temporary adjustment or one night stands or live-in relationships here, I am talking about the serious business of marriage and family. How does one prepare for marriage? Although physical attraction is what sparks off a relationship, it is the last thing that matters after a few years of marriage.

Compatibility in terms of temperaments, attitudes and values would rank high on my list. My husband and I come from backgrounds that are as different as chalk and cheese. Our eating habits were different, our languages were different, our orientation to life was different, our belief systems were different; yet we continue to live in as much, if not more love than we started with twenty years ago.

15 Keys for How to Have a Successful Marriage

People do envy us. I hear comments all the time, they know it is special. Was it easy? Perhaps not, never was anything harder in life than marriage and yet it is the joy of our lives. What did you do? you may ask. Many things I should say but, let me start with first things first.

We learned to please each other, put our desires secondary to that of our partners. This I speak of not just in physical relationships but in every way. This makes your partner feel special, needed and appreciated. This is not always one person’s responsibility; both partners have an equal and important role to play here.

We never had specific roles; we would just fall in line and complement each other in every task we undertook. When our first baby was born, my husband took it upon himself to nurture his not so healthy wife and an equally unhealthy baby. He put his career second to us. So did I, I just threw away the career of my dreams for a life of no glamour at home. Did it pay? Yes it has and will for generations, I think, for we have nurtured two healthy, secure individuals, so confident in themselves, and in whom the right values have been instilled.

Think, Plan and live as one Unit.

Think and live as one unit. It is called trust. It is when we think of ourselves as different individuals and different entities that we run into most problems. This is difficult in the beginning but over the years with understanding it becomes second nature. It is easy to do this right from the start if we understand it in the right perspective. Making decisions together considering the impact that it would have on each of the partners and arriving at a decision that is most practical and not weighing heavily on one person.

Finances - One important area where a couple needs to function as a unit, to instill confidence in the other is in the area of finances. Handling finances well is of paramount importance to the fabric of the marriage and life together. This is the area that needs both partners in marriage to work together, plan together, budget together and spend with shrewdness. When couples do not handle this well, the fabric of trust and security starts to wear out.

Watch what you say about your partner. Another area where couples find trust wearing out is when a partner jokes or makes comments about the other, making the person look small in front of his or her family or friends. This feels like a let down and total lack of respect. Having a critical attitude and indulging in negative speaking damages the best of relationships.

Body language your body language needs to be in sync with your spoken language. Small gestures like holding hands or just a hand thrown casually over the shoulder is enough to make your partner feel secure.

Successful Marriage is a lot of Work

Remembering special days or perhaps picking just ordinary days to give a small gift - maybe just some flowers.. works wonders!! Somehow we tend to think that expensive gifts are what count. Absolutely not.. a well thought out gift is what makes an impression. The other day, my husband got me a writing pad that is hard and can hold my pens and has provision for me to scribble notes on that can be very useful for me to do what I do. I was so pleasantly surprised and grateful to him for his thoughtfulness.

Do not let anger and poor judgment cloud your reactions. Any difference of opinion needs to be sorted out right away; trying to understand where your partner is coming from will help you keep a balanced outlook and cut the anger out of any arguments that you may have. Asking questions or specific details, with a motive to understand, helps you go farther in a relationship. Be quick to forgive or apologize and don’t carry grudges.

Time together - though we spend a lot of time together working or just doing things around the house, couples need time just for themselves and their relationship. We time. The time that is spent together should be quality time to enrich the relationship. This should be communication time, communication of love, trust, emotions, plans, goals, ideas and most importantly fun time for both. This time is not to be used for routine chores.

Look past mistakes. It is important in any relationship to look past the other’s mistakes, and this could never be overstated in marriage. Differences of opinion, arguments, and disagreements are all part of the equation called marriage, but it is important not to blow up the mistake or problem, instead viewing it in the light of your partner’s character or goodness. This calms you down to a large extent and allows you to see the whole event in the right perspective.

Happy and Successful Marriage Secrets

Expectations - Don’t expect your man or woman to read your thoughts. Often, we make this mistake and expect them to know our mind or understand our desires and fulfill them. If you wait for that to happen, you may have to wait for a lifetime. Communicate your needs and dreams and work them out together, that way there will be two fulfilled people.

Never walk away in a huff or shutdown when you are upset, that is one way to have the relationship explode from the pure pressure of having bottled up emotions and cutting down all means of reaching out.

Be realistic - Sometimes, there are pressures from work, from primary family or things that are happening in life constantly. If your partner is moody or uncommunicative, it would be a great idea to be quietly reassuring and supportive from behind, this helps the person to open up and confide in you. Just being there for the other person maybe all that they need at times, not advise or help.

Hang in there There are difficult times in marriage, don't give up yet, just hang in there. That too will pass, patience and persistence can make all things work.

Marriage is by no means the romantic dream that all young people have, it calls for total dedication, hard work, sacrifice and willingness to forgive the little flaws that all of us have. It would work well to remember that no one is perfect at all times and your partner is just as human as you. Having said all this, marriage can be a satisfying, long lasting, happy place to be in, if only you are willing to put in the effort required to make it work.

Wish you a happy and satisfying relationship!


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    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Pollybeeh, Thank you for stopping by to tell me how you felt. I appreciate it very much. Have a lovely day.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      true to each of the specific words.marriage is a long journey of life,differences if handled wisely with patience,communications,tolerance...definitely brings subtle differences..thank you for this piece of article .

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks Peg for that most inspiring comment.. I could do with it... Have a lovely day!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      7 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      These keys are key! I just had to drop back by and revisit this awesome article with its great advice.


    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thank you Dale, lovely to have you review this hub. you have summed it up so well, you inspire me to write.. Marriage is not about one person, it is about the couple and it takes commitment, consistent work and dedication to keep it happening and interesting from both sides.

      I really do appreciate you taking the time to write this comment as it adds value to what is said here.

      Regards sofs.

    • Inspired to write profile image

      Dale J Ovenstone 

      8 years ago from Wales UK

      Nice article very informative & well written, thank you for sharing this & pointing out the respect, empathy & consideration endured by BOTH partners towards each other to create a long lasting relationship.

      Many couples after they have spent time together tend to focus onto many of the negativities within their partner & then tend to take who they are just for granted instead of working at the relationship as a team & choosing to focus on the good within them & the general commitment they agreed to on that happy day.

      Also making their partner feel special, wanted & love both mentally as well as physically regularly to keep things spicy & attraction present.

      Regards Dale

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi Charlinex, glad that you found this hub insightful, as in most of my hubs I have decided to use professional knowledge and personal example to make it more meaningful.

      Thank you for visiting my hub and following me, will be glad to follow you as I like the work you do to.

      Best wishes and thank you once again Charlinex.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great advice, Sofs! Even though I knew many of these approaches through my training in counselling and negotiation, you have put them together with great insights.

      I am not currently married but have often witnesses relationship and marital issues through the past experience of my own and those of my friends. I cannot agree more that the compatibility of temperaments and values is so important that without it, the sacrifices and compromises often become one-sided and doomed in the long run.

      Keep up with your great work and success at Hubpages, I wish I see more useful writings here. :)

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi there Lex, marriage is not the easiest of things in life.. requires patience, hard work, persistence and empathetic understanding of your partner. think of it nothing in life is easy... is it? fitness isn't, success isn't.. all call for sustained effort from our side and the commitment to make it work.

      Glad you are in agreement with me.. hope we find others to agree too!

      Thank you Lex, Good to find people believing in marriage like I do.

    • lex123 profile image


      8 years ago

      I agree with all your points sofs. If people really follow these points I'm sure the number of divorces would come down drastically, but how many will actually care? Each one thinks he/she is right, and the other one is wrong. If they enter the marriage with a lot of preparation for a life long commitment they can definitely achieve it!

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Peg Cole, glad to have you back. I just love this learning that you pass on, Kiss and say "Goodnight. I love you" sums it all..

      Marriage is hard work indeed ... Love's labour found..

      Love to hear from people who live in the real world..I am real glad PegCole to have met you. Your sharing means a lot to me...Thank you!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      8 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      sofs, This is some of the best advice I've seen in a while. Today's romance fantasies shown on TV commercials do not depict the hard work it is to maintain a good relationship. You're absolutely right about trust being a key ingredient, along with respect and consideration. Sometimes we treat people on an elevator with more courtesy than we do our spouse.

      One thing I've learned in 21 years of marriage is never go to sleep angry at one another. Talk it out or agree to disagree, then kiss and say "Goodnight. I love you", and really mean it.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Wow! this coming from you means a lot to me Tim. The encouragement that I get from your kind comments are so positive that there is only one way to go..that is from better to best.

      I must be scoring some brownie points now if people who have not been married are are getting some truths from here!! Thanks Tim, You are a real encourager.

    • timorous profile image

      Tim Nichol 

      8 years ago from Me to You

      Another fine hub sofs. Your writing keeps getting better and better all the time. :)

      I've never been married myself, but you've certainly raised some important points, that many couples would likely overlook before they leap. You're absolutely right, there is a lot to consider.


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