Today I want to share with you the 3 most important elements in a marriage to be happy and lasting. Many experts in the field of psychology have explained over time that marriage is a difficult bonding process to maintain.
It seems that couples are becoming less and less committed or are afraid to take the risk of establishing strong and healthy bonds. To give you a better idea, the NCHS (National Center for Health Statistics) noted that the years 2017-2019 saw the lowest marriage rate ever. Even by 2020, this rate continued to decline dramatically.
It is true that, as human beings, our emotions and thoughts are very complex. Moreover, there are many external factors that can shake a marriage. So what makes a union last, what is the most important element in a marriage that keeps it from falling apart?
3 Important Elements in a Lasting Marriage
I know you are thinking that one of the most important things in a marriage is love. Let me tell you that it takes much more than that. Of course it is essential for a couple to have love, but it is not everything.
Many times in talking with my patients, with the people I help as a therapist and pastor, I find that there is love in the relationship, but there is no commitment, no willingness to change, no respect, to name a few things.
While it is true that a healthy and lasting marriage seems like an extremely difficult road to travel, it is not unattainable. There are 3 very important things that need to be in place in your relationship for your marriage to be happy.
Recent Cornell University research on happy marriages showed that, despite the different factors in a relationship, there are three common elements present in successful marriages.
The first of these is knowledge, both of yourself and of your partner. If you know yourself, your interests, what you value in life and what your goals are, you are likely to want a partner who is supportive and has similar values to yours.
As I have told you before, marriage is a union between two totally different, unique people. However, it is necessary to share a space with common interests and values in order for the marriage to have a solid foundation.
Sometimes in my consultations couples arrive with some difficulty or problem and I ask them: Do you know what your partner likes, what he/she loves, what he/she values? Do you know what he/she likes to do in his/her free time? Do you have an idea of what his/her goals or projects for the future are?
What can I do to get to know the other?
I always recommend reading and applying the Gottman method, developed by the mathematician and psychologist John Gottman. This renowned doctor explains that in a healthy marriage there must be a deep friendship, that is, the couple must know each other intimately. By intimate I mean your personality, your hopes, dreams, weaknesses, likes and dislikes and more.
It is the responsibility of each of you to know each other in depth, to know what you love, what you want in life. The best way to achieve this is by sharing experiences and having authentic communication, but this element is what I will talk about next.
The second most important factor in a marriage is authentic communication. In the Cornell University study I mentioned earlier, survey participants responded that they believe one of the leading causes of divorce or separation is due to communication problems.
I totally agree with that statement. That’s why one thing I repeat whenever I can to the marriages I counsel is that talking to your partner is the best thing you can do for your relationship.
Authentic communication means opening up to the other person, being honest about how you feel, sharing your emotions and aspirations, and even your fears and doubts. But authentic communication also means actively listening to your partner, not just you talking and talking, but real communication between two people who love each other.
Last but not least, there is commitment. By joining in marriage, you and your partner have made a commitment, not only here on earth, but also in the eyes of God.
There is always the possibility of separation and some cases where divorce is the healthiest decision. However, experiencing your union as something unbreakable, something to protect and defend, and not as an obligation, will make your marriage much stronger and happier.
What about when things aren’t going well? my patients ask me, and my answer is that you have to respect and commit to the relationship even more! There will always be difficulties along the way, the challenge will be to find a way to resolve and emerge stronger from that situation.
Knowledge, communication and commitment as a happy formula for marriage
It is a known fact that in the United States around half of all marriages end in divorce or separation. This is according to statistical information from the CDC in the country.
Although this can happen for different reasons, how can a couple that has decided to get married make sure that they don’t end up in these statistics?
As in any relationship, marriages also go through challenges that must be overcome with the effort and commitment of both parties. There is no magic recipe to make your relationship last forever and be happy, but with the 3 common elements in every successful marriage that I presented you can achieve it.
Do you want to share some life experience or have questions about the most important things in a marriage? Contact me through this number 407 618 0212. I am here to listen to you and help you in whatever you need.