March 22, 2023

Everyone has a different definition of the ideal spouse or their ideal marriage. Some would prefer a quiet, steady man who works hard, others might go for a passionate, gregarious guy who’s always thinking up a new adventure. 
What we look for when finding a spouse all depends on what we value most in a marriage and a spouse – there’s no one magic formula to have a happy, successful marriage. But there are a few qualities the happiest marriages share, even if they’re expressed in totally different, unique ways. So what do all the most successful marriages have in common?
This may seem obvious to point out, but too often, our understanding of commitment surrounds fidelity (which is obviously a non-negotiable in any healthy marriage). But commitment means much more than staying faithful in that sense – the most successful married couples hold a kind of commitment that says, “No matter how hard life gets or what challenges we face, I’ll keep on choosing you and this marriage.”
We can’t count on the outside world to be sensitive to us – that’s not their job. But our spouse is supposed to be our safe place, the person we can count on to at least have our feelings in mind, even if they aren’t always perfectly sensitive. A healthy marriage requires spouses to care about being sensitive to one another, knowing what would affect each other negatively, and genuinely trying to handle the other’s needs and emotions thoughtfully.
Spouses need to balance each other out, to see each other as partners rather than one of us being a giver and the other a receiver. While no marriage will ever be perfectly 50/50, as we each bring unique strengths, a happy marriage will be made up of two people who will pick up whatever responsibilities the other isn’t able to.
Healthy communication patterns act as the foundation of a marriage. If we aren’t able to communicate with our spouse, we’ll naturally begin to feel isolated, resentful, and distant from them. Every single successful marriage will have two people who feel they can always communicate what they’re thinking or feeling, no matter how uncomfortable or awkward.
Spouses that laugh together stay together – literally. Laughter is deeply important to our overall health, and the unfortunate truth is that as we get older, we tend to laugh less and less. With the most successful marriages, we’ll find spouses that truly enjoy each other, share in humor, and always feel better being around each other.
Our values guide every decision we make, how we see life, and what we choose to invest our time in. They influence what we consider a life well-spent and what we believe to be dishonorable. Spouses who agree on basic values will inevitably have the healthiest marriages because they won’t constantly be at odds with one another, and they’ll be able to trust each other’s motives.
Trust is quite possibly the most crucial ingredient to a lasting marriage. We have to trust that our spouse wouldn’t purposefully hurt us, will have our back, will act for our best interest, and is the type of person we truly want to spend our life with. Trust is about much more than believing he’ll stay faithful to us (though, of course, that’s a valid concern) – it’s about having faith in our spouse’s character.
Every marriage will have its rough patches, and often enough, one person will have hurt the other; this is a reality of being in relationship with another person, especially on a level as deep as marriage. And while learning how to apologize is incredibly important, it’s equally important that we learn how to forgive our spouse and work to rebuild the relationship.
Our marriage could check off so many boxes, but without respect, it’s missing something crucial. A lack of respect means the marriage is at risk of breeding contempt, insensitivity, and disloyalty. In order to cultivate a marriage that can withstand the test of time, arguments, and monotony, we have to respect our spouse’s passions, opinions, desires, unique gifts, and boundaries.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a formula for the perfect marriage, but there are a few things we need to look out for when we’re thinking about getting married – qualities and signs that point to a successful, healthy marriage in the future.
Love Evie? Let us know what you love and what else you want to see from us in the official Evie reader survey.


Leave a Reply