Hi! In today’s installment from my survey about successful marriages and relationship, I present the keys to success. I grouped key words and concepts into categories. They are listed from highest to lowest frequency, with sample comments:
Compatibility, friendship, and spending time together
- Even though schedules were busy [we] made time for each other as a couple and special family time.
- We are the very best friends, confidantes & supports for each other, characteristics that have allowed us to feel secure in each other’s sanctuary.
- Realize that you are there out of desire and as an adjunct, not out of necessity, then go about doing together what you can while together. Travel, visit, sit quietly, doesn’t matter. Even doing things apart together, i.e., one knits while the other reads, just do it together.
Mutual respect, respecting boundaries, acting with kindness and compassion, giving spouse their space, interest in and respect for the other’s interests and independence
- He is a very kind, considerate, and caring person, both to me and those he comes in contact with.
- Respectful of boundaries; open to compromise; thankful for every day together.
- Different but complementary interests to share in daily conversations. We give each other space.
- Some hobbies we’ve shared, others are individual. Can’t always live in the other’s pocket.
Communication, listening, creating a common language for communicating, allowing for disagreement and acceptance of different opinions through respectful discussion
- We love each other, respect each other, listen to each other, spend time together and work hard at having a good marriage. We did not hesitate to seek counselling when needed.
- Ability to disagree, discuss, compromise.
- We both respect the others right to have an opinion, and do not have any problem accepting it.
Shared values, beliefs, purpose in life, financial goals and interests
- We share the same values on the important issues in our life.
- We have common values, beliefs & purpose, e.g., respecting humanity, our collective responsibility towards each other and the planet, and for each to develop individual potential.
- The same way of thinking, being secure in our relationship, same financial mind set.
- Trust, Respect and Honesty and living within the means of the person you are with.
Commitment through hard times or difficulties is made easier because of the solid grounding of our relationships
- We have always supported each other through lots of ups and downs.
- Commitment means being ready to do whatever it takes to keep the marriage intact.
- Can depend on spouse to be supportive and responsible.
Sited lest often was trust, humour, not letting the “sun set on an argument”
- Our Faith, trust, commitment, honesty and forgiveness, have all contributed to our successful relationship.
- We believe in the adage “don’t let the sun set on an argument”, and we don’t.
- Having trust and working as a team when we were young with a family.
- Never go to bed angry. Never making derogatory remarks to each other.
- Respect and complete trust
Few respondents mentioned love, presumably, love is inherent. One respondent summed it up this way:
- I believe the keys to a long and happy marriage are two: Commitment and Trust. Commitment means being ready to do whatever it takes to keep the marriage intact. Walking away or shutting down when things aren’t going as expected, are examples of a lack of commitment. Another aspect of commitment is commitment to the other’s goals and ideals. Some call this support. However, it doesn’t require participation; appreciation and understanding are sufficient. Trust is much more than just trusting the other. It is that and being trustworthy. This implies having integrity (words and behavior don’t conflict), responsibility (and being accountable when not) and respecting boundaries. Another part of trust is respectfully speaking about the things that frighten you, or don’t meet your expectations, and being able to hear those things without judgement. A great Buddhist teacher once told me that love is the desire for someone to be happy, and compassion is the desire that someone doesn’t suffer. I think these things were already there long before the marriage started, so their presence is implicit. Keeping them alive requires commitment and trust.
Thanks to Jason D for his featured photo from Unsplash
On December 14, Responses to: If you have children, how has raising a family affected your relationship with your partner/spouse?