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What is the Secret to a Happy Marriage

Updated on October 8, 2012

For those who have been married for a long time, they share their secrets of happiness . For newlyweds desire to know this truth. And for anyone who wants to build a marriage to last, they want more information. This is an age old question, What is the secret to a happy marriage?

When one enters into marriage, their hopes and dreams go along with it. They want their marriages to work. No one goes into marriage thinking, ok I’ll try this out for a while and if it doesn’t work, I’ll just quit and move on. If they do think this way, they should not be getting married in the first place.

It takes commitment

Every marriage requires a commitment. It is a give and take relationship. Having been married for over 32 years, I can share with you what has worked for me.

Let's begin with by saying, I'm a statistic. I broke all the rules. Getting married at a young age of 18, just out of high school, my marriage was statistically going to fail. All the marriages I knew during those early years of my own marriage ended up in divorce.

My parents were married over 48 years when my father passed away. Having grown up in a household that struggled in many ways, my parents remained together. It was not an easy task for either of them and I can recall memories of my parents arguing which resulted in fights, sometimes insults. Why did it work for them? Needless to say, they found a way to understand each other and it took a commitment.

Communication is Key

Anyone who has been married for any length of time will tell you that communication is important.

Understanding the roles in a marriage is equally important. Each person brings a set of values and opinions to the table. Along with the history of their past experiences, each one interacts differently.

Men and women are unique. They are created differently yet complimentary. It is in understanding how these differences can be linked which form a more perfect union.

Love and Marriage

How to Make a Marriage Built to Last?

Step I - Make a commitment.

This is a commitment to each other and to your marriage. This has to be a common goal for both individuals. Working together, your marriage can be one that lasts.

Step II - Be honest with each other and create a sense of trust.

When trust is broken it may take years to rebuild. Make it a goal to never break trust.

Step III - Communicate openly.

Keeping your emotions under control is one thing, but not communicating your feelings is an entirely different subject. Learn the art of communicating. Effective communication can enable your marriage to weather the storms.

Step IV - Be each other’s best friend.

Who is the first person you go to when you want to share something? Whether something is bothering you or you have a conflict with someone else, who do you turn to? Girlfriends need girlfriends. Having a trusted girlfriend to lean on in those emotional turns is a good thing for any girl to have. This is not ok for a guy to have. Men don’t communicate like that and if a man is turning to another woman to share confidences with, he is heading for trouble. The first person you should turn to is your spouse. Just keep in mind, the best friend theory.

Step V - Make each other a priority.

Life has a way of twisting schedules creating unhealthy demands on a person. Make it a priority to be there for each other first. Other people should understand this. In a wholesome environment, your circle of life is established with God at the center. The next outer ring is each other, then family including children, and then friends or outside interests, like careers. It is important to keep that image in mind when making decisions for your future. Of course, children are important and the demands that are placed on parents are tremendous. Children need a loving foundation to build on and they depend on both parents to create this environment.

Step VI - Spend time together.

Do things you enjoy like creating a special night out for yourself. Make this one of your commitments. It could be as often as once a week but once a month works well for many.

Step VII - Accept each other’s faults.

No one is perfect. Each person enters into a marriage with a set of baggage from their past. People often change, but it is in their own free will and in their own time. Never force a person to change or manipulate them to being the person you expect them to be. This will only harm the relationship in the long run.

Step VIII - Honor the roles of men and women.

The role of every family member varies from person to person and there is no one size fits all. Except for one basic rule, the established role of the husband and wife and this is where it gets tricky. Society states all men are created equal; however man and woman are not the same. The role of the husband is formed as the head of the household, anything less than that will surely crumble the foundation. I know this is not something everyone will agree on, so let me clarify a bit. If a man is suited to run the family, he will be honored. That means, if the man is an abuser, an addict, hateful, or unloving, he is not suited. His first quality is to love and cherish his wife. Cherish means to value her and keep her in high regard. If he is suited right, then his role is to be respected. On the other hand, the woman’s role is entirely different. She is the heart of the family. Women are made distinctively to be warm and caring. As she strives to keep the heart centered within her family, she too will be honored. It is the great circle of love.

Step IX - Share in the responsibility around the house.

It is not uncommon to have both parents working full time jobs. This can cause great strains on any marriage. The role of each household member is a juggling mix. This requires diligence and patient understanding. Sharing in the responsibilities can take on many methods. Sit down and work out a schedule of sorts. This is where open communication is crucial.

It's Your Love

Most importantly - LOVE

Step X - Most important of all is to love one another.

Love is patient and kind. Love holds no wrongs. It doesn’t mislead or misguide, nor does it manipulate or fool.

Love requires hard work and faith. Faith in each other and faith in God to trust everything will work out.

Love is honest and love never gives up. Love sticks by the other individual when all else seems to fail.

Love is forgiving and love is being held accountable.

Love is the greatest part of any good marriage. It will strengthen over time and it will build great rewards.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)


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    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 6 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thanks Millionaire Tips. Appreciate your comments. Totally agree with you.

      How often do we take those we love for granted. Putting off today, thinking we'll just handle it tomorrow.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      This is great advice - this list of things is something you have to do everyday, and it is too easy to let something else become a priority, figuring your relationship will wait.

    • profile image

      Omolara titilayo 6 years ago

      I love my husband to be and i also know that he love me but am having some fear that the marriage may not work or last long.please can you advice me?

    • Fluffy77 profile image

      Fluffy77 6 years ago from Enterprise, OR

      Great hub, you make some very good points here and good advise too. I also think it may help to never let the sun go down on your anger make up before you go to sleep, then you have time to rest and can talk things over better the next day too.

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 6 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thanks cherishspirit, I know what you mean. Thanks for the cheers. Appreciate your comments, always!!

    • profile image

      cherishspirit1958 6 years ago

      When you say nothing at all, Allison Krause. 34 yrs this month weathering the storms of life. Know what i mean

    • profile image

      cherishspirit1958 6 years ago

      That 32 yrs makes me happy. Here's to a lifetime together.

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 6 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Larry You are AWESOME. I'm happy to report my husband is the greatest there is. Everyday he teaches me something new.

      The men who make the biggest impact in this world are the ones who believe in their wives.

      The women who make the biggest impact in this world are the ones who stand beside their husbands.

      Together they can make all the difference in the world.

    • profile image

      Larry 6 years ago

      Being married over 32 yrs myself i like this hub. I love FaithDream very much and agree with what she has to say. I would do it all over again. Great stuff.

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 6 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thank you DeBorrah for sharing your thoughts, they are greatly appreciated.

      Congrats on your marriage as well. I totally agree with you, when the Lord is the center of your marriage, all things work together.

      God never intended people to marry then divorce but it happens. With that said, God can also work miracles in a marriage.

      Thank you for your encouraging words.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 6 years ago

      FaithDream, Wonderful hub! You have made some excellent points here that will be quite helpful to others!

      I too married early and I personally have no regrets! It is a continally ongoing fulfilling relationship! I am a witness that Love continues to flourish, grow and bloom! One must know and understand what true love means! Love is essential an eternal!

      Marriage is the ultimate relationship between a man and a woman. It is important that the couple embraces mutual respect for one another and work as a team to develop a loving harmonic and fulfilling marriage!

      Each marriage is unique however by implementing the basic principles you have suggested a happy marriage is truly possible! Marriage takes a lot of hard work! Never underestimate the power of the Lord when He is the center of your marriage!

      Thank you for sharing, In His love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 7 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thank you moonlake for sharing your comments and thoughts. Marriage teaches us important lessons about life and you are certainly wise.

      I can relate to what you said and when it comes to the children, it does require mutual agreement.

      Congratulations for beating all the odds.. 49 years is something to celebrate.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 7 years ago from America

      Good Hub and things that are listed on this hub for a good marriage are right. I married at 17 we did lots of things wrong at the beginning. It's hard for a spoiled child to suddenly have to be a grown-up. We made it through some very hard times. We will be married 49 years in Oct.

      Nothing wrong with being your own person but when it comes to the kids always stick together. Let them see you are a pair what one says the other agrees. It makes the kids feel save.

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 7 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thanks crystolite. Appreciate your comments, thanks for sharing.

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 7 years ago from Houston TX

      Good hub in here with the most honest word I've ever heard.Interesting and educative article.

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 7 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Dear FriendofTruth, what you say is glorifying to God. The truth you mentioned is so right on. If it wasn't for my faith, the obstacles that came before would have stopped me dead in my tracks. God heals marriages by opening the wounds with forgiveness.

      Asking God to enter the marriage can restore any marriage and establish it for His glory.

      Thank you so much for sharing your comments. I pray this is encouraging to others as well.

    • FriendofTruth profile image

      FriendofTruth 7 years ago from Michigan

      Blessings to you FaithDream, I think you did a great job on this article. I also think marriages need to be God-centered. Both people have to love God more than they love themselves, and more than they love each other. When people have this love for Him, it will be easier for them to pour into the lives of their spouse when they are in need (and vice versa). When we love Him more than anything or anyone else, He can flow through our marriages and give healing and peace between the two when needed, He can help spouses to be in agreement, He can help in raising children, He can keep them in unity and strength, He can bring them through any struggles and tribulations. Marriages won't be perfect when we love God more than anything and have Him centered, but they will be able to overcome, last, and be fulfilling.

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 7 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thanks barbergirl. You brought up a very good point and sometimes stubborness is a good thing. Congratulations on your years of marriage. I wish you many more years of happiness.

      Thanks for sharing your comments.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 7 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      This is very thought out. There is only thing that I would add.... Love is Stubborn! I say this because there has been so many times my husband I have been on the brink of divorce, but we pulled through because both of us were to stubborn to leave :) We too were an unlikely statistic. We got married when we were 20 and have now been together for 11 years.

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 7 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thanks fossillady. Yes it has its ups and downs but sticking it out takes faith and determination. It is definitely a constant work in progress, but the rewards are endless.

      Thanks for your sharing your comments.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 7 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Good advise, not always as easy as it sounds, but as you very well know, have faith...with a little help from above to smooth out the rough spots, marriage can be the most fulfilling relationship in life

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 7 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thank you Cogerson for sharing your thoughts. I agree, if there is no communication how is understanding going to factor in. Relationships are built on communicating. Even if it is in arguing, points are shared and communicated. We don't always have to agree but we do have to share.

      Thanks for your comments.

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 7 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts cyclrmom. Indeed you bring out some good points. And yes I have had my fair share and probably more of rough patches in my marriage. That is for another hub. To go over 32 years of marriage in one article would take too long to read.

      This article was meant to capture the essence of a happy marriage. I have 2 adult children both married with children. They are part of some of my other hubs.

      This may sound like a storybook marriage listing, however these are my original thoughts and comments. This has worked for me. Life happens, I agree and no marriage is safe. I have been married for 32 years, this is the truth.

      Many of my hubs talk about my faith and I can state without any reservation that has been my true life saving miracle.

      I have planned to work on future articles regarding love and marriage, this is just the beginning. Considering what you said, I will focus on the ups and downs of life.

      Thanks for your comments.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 7 years ago from Virginia

      Congrats on 32 years that is impressive....I agree that

      learning the art of communicating is one of the best ways to a happy marriage....I was married previously....and we never fought....I figured out later....we never fought because we never shared what was bothering us...thus the marriage did not current marriage....we have more fights....but we get stronger after each disagreement....voted up and useful

    • cyclrmom profile image

      cyclrmom 7 years ago from Destin, FL

      Sorry but this sounded like it's just out of a marriage book. Has your marriage ever been through any major stress/trauma? Do you have kids and how old are they? I like to hear some "original comments and thoughts"!! I never believed in divorce, was married 24 years until the rug got pulled out under my feet. Sharing how you got through things sometimes is more powerful than the great thoughts scenario. Sure we all strive for the ideal, but life happens. Sometimes it slams some of us harder than others. I still believe in marriage and was recently remarried, and yes, we're in love and working our marriage like others. If you've really been married 32 years, put some depth in this hub and it'll be alot more powerful.

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 7 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts jaymelee. :)

    • jaymelee23 profile image

      jaymelee23 7 years ago from United States

      This is a really great hub and very helpful. Rated up :) Thanks for sharing.