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Seven Secrets to a Successful Marriage

Updated on August 22, 2016
Sylvia-Smith profile image

Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples.

The thing about a secret is that not everybody knows what it is! When you see two people who have a happy and successful marriage, you may find yourself wondering, “What is their secret?

They must have something special which many other (unhappy and unsuccessful) marriages do not have...” For newlyweds or those preparing for their wedding day, this can be a very pressing question as they seek to figure out the riddle of a happy marriage. In fact there is not only one secret, or even seven – there are many. And each married couple needs to find these special treasures that will make their own marriage successful and satisfying. It is by no means a once-off discovery, but is rather an unfolding process which may take years as you patiently persevere along the highway of married life.


This article will describe seven of the secrets to a successful marriage as a starting point and no doubt you too will be able to add your own secrets by and by.

The secret of having the right attitude...

Attitude is everything. They say a bad attitude is like a flat tyre – you won’t go anywhere until you change it! This is especially true in marriage. If you approach your marriage with the attitude of “what’s in it for me” you will soon be disappointed and irritable. It’s all about giving – wanting to give all of yourself and your love to your spouse, while they do the same for you. And don’t think that it’s a fifty fifty arrangement...The secret is that it takes a one hundred percent commitment from both of you to make one happy and successful marriage.

The secret of having realistic expectations...

When it comes to expectations you need to be realistic. Both of you are far from perfect human beings, so don’t expect your spouse to be perfect. When you are madly in love you may truly believe that he or she is indeed perfect in every way. But sooner or later you will wake up one day and realize that perfection was an illusion. And that’s not a bad thing, because then your relationship can move up a level on the reality scale and you can learn to appreciate the things that truly are great about your spouse, and you can allow each other some slack for the imperfections.

3. The secret of having the right balance...

Marriage, like many things in life, can be a bit of a balancing act. Getting all the aspects of your relationship in the right order can take some trial and error until you find your rhythm. Prioritizing your spouse is essential, especially when the children come along, and there’s friends and family too. Make sure that your beloved knows that they come first, even when you are both busy. When the harsh words, stress and irritability come along, as they surely will, try to balance them out with positive input such as kind words, hugs and thoughtful deeds. Experts say it takes at least five positives to make up for every negative, if you want to learn the secret of having the right balance in your marriage.

The secret of recognizing danger zones...

It’s so easy to ignore the little things that can creep into your relationship unnoticed. If you have ever lived in a wooden house you will know about the danger of termites which silently eat away the floorboards until one day the whole house collapses. It’s like that with things like criticism or resentment... just little comments here and there which you can easily brush aside and explain away. But rather don’t, because over time they can grow into a gaping chasm or a high wall. Rather address the underlying issues and reasons for the negativity. Get help if necessary- it’s worth it.

The secret of saying sorry…

This is probably the biggest and most important secret of all: the ability to say sorry, to ask for forgiveness when you are wrong, and to extend forgiveness to your spouse when they are sorry for hurting you. Each one should be sensitive to the needs of the other and then when an offense occurs it can be quickly rectified. When you know that your beloved has your best interests at heart and vice versa, you will not hesitate to forgive because the offense would not have been intentional. When one spouse refuses to admit any wrongdoing, even when his or her hurtful behavior is pointed out repeatedly, this is a sign of an abusive marriage. The secret of a happy and successful marriage is where both partners have learned how to say sorry and mean it.

The secret of having a filter...

Sometimes a married couple feels that they need to talk all the time about everything. This is not necessarily a good idea in all situations. There are some topics which can be quickly exhausted and constantly revisiting them can lead to ‘overkill’. If there are issues that one or both of you are sensitive about, such as your family or past bad experiences, then don’t blunder in there just because you can. Caution is advised and this is also true when you disagree about something. Rather agree to disagree and move on to another subject. The secret of having a filter in your marriage will help you to know when to stop and what not to talk about.

The secret of sharing your life...

After all the secrets you have learned so far, don’t forget the secret of sharing your day to day life with one another. Take time to catch up at the end of the day and tell each other what happened while you were apart. Everyone is busy, but we should never be too busy to relax in each other’s arms and talk about the highs and lows of our day. If you don’t do this regularly you might just start to feel like ships in the night, living past each other, and slowly drifting apart. So if you want a happy and satisfying marriage, learn the secret of sharing your life with your spouse.

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