How to Build a Marriage That Lasts: 3 Most Important Things, 7 Ways to Safeguard It

by Gideon
May 17, 2022

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In this post, we’re looking at how to build a marriage that lasts, the three most important things you can do and seven ways to safeguard your relationship.

For any couple, the wedding day is just the beginning.

What comes next is what truly matters: how to build a marriage that lasts.

But how do you make sure your marriage lasts?

How can you safeguard it against every relationship’s trials and tribulations?

Maintaining a good marriage is a lot like baking a good cake: the outcome is 70% the quality of the ingredients, 25% the baker’s skill, and 5% luck.

Therefore, most of the requirements for a long and happy marriage are within your control, so it pays to work at keeping your relationship healthy.

This post will look at three of the most important things to remember and seven ways to keep your marriage strong.

Let’s start with the three most important things for building a lasting marriage.

The 3 most important things for how to build a marriage that lasts

Many things make a marriage last, but communication, commitment, and compromise are three of the most important in my experience.

Couples who can talk to each other well are more likely to be able to solve problems and make their relationships stronger.

People committed to their marriage are more likely to get through hard times and come out even stronger.

And when couples are willing to compromise, they are more likely to find solutions that work for both of them.

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Communication

Communication is essential in every relationship, but it is especially important in a marriage.

To build a strong foundation for their marriage, couples need to be able to talk about their thoughts, feelings, and needs openly and honestly.

How to Build a Marriage That Lasts

When someone is hurt or upset, everyone needs to speak up.

But it can also mean learning to listen to each other with an open mind and heart, even when you disagree with what your spouse is saying.

Doing this builds a strong foundation for your marriage when you can do this.

Because you and your spouse have an open line of communication, you will be able to deal with anything that comes your way.

Communication also helps build trust.

When we talk to each other openly and honestly, we create an atmosphere of safety, trust, and mutual respect.

Active listening means really hearing what your spouse is saying and making an effort to see things from their point of view.

And that can be hard to do sometimes, but it is so important for keeping a relationship strong and making a marriage last.

Commitment

If a couple isn’t committed to making their marriage work, it won’t last.

In the end, a couple is more likely to work through the hard times that come up in every relationship if they are committed to each other.

Because they are committed, they are willing to put in the extra work to make things work.

This commitment builds a strong foundation that can stand up to any storm.

It can be very beneficial to understand that someone is committed to you psychologically.

It can give you a sense of stability and make you feel more confident in yourself and your relationship.

Because you know you’re in a safe place, it can help you feel more sure of your own capabilities and value.

So, if you are in a committed relationship, you need to show your commitment by taking care of your spouse.

This means doing things that make them happy and make their lives easier.

It also means helping them through the hard times when trying to be their best selves.

When you’re committed to someone, they will usually expect you to do this.

When you show your spouse that you support and love them, they are more likely to show you the same love and support in return.

Now, there are many ways to show your spouse you’re committed.

One way is to show support and understanding.

This means being there for them when they need you, whether they just want to talk or need help with something.

Affection is another way to show commitment.

This could be anything from holding hands to saying, “I love you.”

Whatever you do, make sure it matters to them.

Do something romantic if you want to take it a step further.

This could be as simple as making your partner breakfast in bed or as lavish as taking them on a surprise trip.

Make sure that whatever you do is meaningful to them.

Compromise

Making compromises is another crucial part of a long-lasting marriage.

It shows that you’re willing to work together to find a solution that works for you both.

It also shows that you care about your partner more than yourself.

This can be hard to do, but if it means you can stay married for life, it is worth it.

When you are upset with your spouse, it can be hard to find a middle ground.

However, it is essential to remember that you are a team and need to work together for your marriage to work.

From what I’ve seen, the strongest couples know that they need to be able to compromise with each other for their relationship to be healthy.

It can be hard to make compromises when you’re married, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to help your relationship grow.

But what about LOVE?

Isn’t love one of the most critical parts of a long-lasting marriage?

Yes and no.

It’s very important to love your spouse before you get married, but only practical love can make a marriage last.

Practical love means making choices every day that show your spouse you care about them.

How to Build a Marriage That Lasts

It’s not about big gestures or words but about actions that show you care about your spouse and marriage.

When you make daily decisions based on practical love, you put your spouse’s needs ahead of your own.

This kind of love takes work and sacrifice, but it’s worth it because it makes a strong foundation for a long-lasting marriage.

7 Ways to safeguard your marriage

Safeguarding your marriage essentially means taking proactive steps to protect your relationship from outside threats and keep it strong.

This can include things like setting boundaries with in-laws or extended family, communicating openly and honestly with each other, and so on.

But, the essence of safeguarding your marriage is to remember that marriage is a partnership and both partners need to be committed to safeguarding it to ensure it lasts.

Here are seven ways to safeguard your marriage.

1. Maintain realistic expectations

Having realistic expectations for your marriage will do a lot to keep it strong.

You can read about it in other posts I’ve created.

For one thing, getting married doesn’t make you happy by itself, but it can add to your happiness.

So, you can expect to have some problems and hard times.

You won’t always agree on everything, but you can agree to handle your disagreements in a good commitment.

Researchers have found that couples are more likely to stay together if they have realistic expectations about marriage.

But couples who think they will always be happy and never have any problems are more likely to be disappointed and break up.

On the other hand, couples who know they will have to work hard at their relationship and that there will be ups and downs are more likely to stay together.

2. Focus on the good qualities that your spouse possesses

There will be things about your spouse that bother you, but happy couples focus on what they like about each other.

It’s essential to learn to look past small things that bother you, like leaving the toothpaste cap off and focus on more important things, like honesty and kindness.

Research backs up this idea and shows that it’s important to focus on the good things about your spouse.

This means that even when your partner makes mistakes, you should try to see the best in them.

Also, it’s important to tell your spouse how much you appreciate them often.

Your relationship will be stronger if you do these things.

When you think about your spouse’s good qualities, it can make you feel better about the relationship as a whole.

Couples are more likely to be happy with their relationship if they focus on the good things about their partner.

How to Build a Marriage That Lasts

It’s important to be happy with your relationships because it can lead to unhappiness if you’re not.

If you’re not happy with how things are going, talk to your spouse about it and see if you can work on it together.

If you’re still not happy, you might want to try something else.

3. Express your appreciation for your spouse

The research is clear: expressing appreciation for your spouse is one of the most important things you can do to maintain a happy, healthy marriage.

Some researchers found that how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and how sure you are that it will last depends on how much you feel appreciated and how much you think your spouse values you.

In some studies, researchers found that the more thankful people were in their relationships, the more likely they were to still be together a few months later.

Why do gratitude and appreciation matter so much in a marriage?

Because when you thank your partner for being there for you, it reinforces the good things they do and makes the relationship a place they want to stay.

Plus, it just makes you feel good to be appreciated.

Also, showing gratitude helps couples get through things like money problems, fights, health crises, family problems, and the many other rough spots that happen in most marriages, especially those that last a long time.

So, if you want to keep your marriage strong, praise your spouse often and in detail.

For example, let your husband know if he helped you out during a busy week by going grocery shopping by himself.

Or tell your wife how grateful you are that she picks up the kids from school.

4. Show your affection

Another way to safeguard your marriage is to stay close to your spouse by showing them affection often.

For example, even if you’re upset when you get home from work, give each other a kiss or a hug.

Why does this matter?

Some of the benefits of showing affection in your marriage are a happier relationship, a deeper connection with your partner, and less stress.

Several studies have found a link between physical affection and good things happening in romantic relationships.

How to Build a Marriage That Lasts

From another study, it seems that couples who show more affection are also more intimate.

Other studies have shown that couples who show each other more affection are less stressed.

As you might expect, higher levels of satisfaction and intimacy and lower levels of stress will make your marriage a lot better overall, which will help protect it.

5. Be supportive

One of the best things about marriage for many people is that they feel accepted and cared for.

You can’t always fix each other’s problems, but you can listen well and let your spouse know you care.

Research has shown that being supportive in a marriage is one of the best ways to predict happiness and stability in a marriage.

When you think about it, that makes sense since couples who are more supportive of each other are also more likely to be happy.

6. Address conflicts constructively

Studies show that a couple is more likely to be happy and last a long time if they can talk about problems in a constructive way.

When a couple can talk about their differences openly and honestly, they are more likely to find a solution that works for both of them.

Couples who can’t talk about their problems in a healthy way are more likely to split up.

So, the best way to protect your marriage and make sure it lasts is to learn how to deal with disagreements in a positive and helpful way.

Try to be patient with each other.

Try to find good solutions together.

Find ways to calm down so that your anger doesn’t hurt your relationship.

7. Maintain your own identity

Some experts say that keeping your own identity in a marriage is connected to more happiness in the relationship and in your own life.

This could be because couples who can keep their own identities can bring more to the relationship, which makes the relationship more satisfying.

Also, people who are able to keep their own identities are usually happier with themselves, which is good for their general well-being.

So, in a way, you contribute to the overall health of your marriage by making sure you keep your sense of self.

Enjoy being together, but don’t forget to be yourself.

Keeping your own friends and interests will make you more interesting and strengthen your marriage.

The often-overlooked secret to a happy marriage

When we look at what we know about how to make marriages happy and make them last, there is one “secret” that is often overlooked.

Psychologists call this “emotional self-regulation.”

Emotional self-regulation basically means being able to deal with your feelings in a healthy way.

This means being able to control your impulses, keep your moods in check, and deal with stress in a healthy way.

People who can control their emotions tend to have better relationships, do better at work or school, and live more fulfilling lives.

There is also a strong link between being able to control your own emotions and being happy in your marriage.

Couples who can control their emotions well tend to be happier with their relationship and report more happiness in their marriage.

One interesting finding from the research is that couples with higher levels of emotional self-regulation are better able to use these skills to solve relationship problems, while couples with lower levels of emotional self-regulation are less able to use these skills to solve relationship problems.

Even though it’s important to talk to your partner and solve problems in a healthy way, couples who can control their own emotions (especially during a fight) are less likely to fight or fight destructively.

How to Build a Marriage That Lasts

It’s important to remember that the skills listed here, like being able to control your emotions and think logically, are called adaptive skills.

This is because emotions have a purpose.

And it’s important to know what they mean and what to do when you’re feeling strong emotions, like sadness or anger.

This can help someone deal with and get through a hard time.

It’s not a problem to feel something and know how to deal with it.

What’s problematic is experiencing an inappropriate or counterproductive emotion (anger, for example).

The challenge for couples is to learn how to keep their emotions in check during a fight and work things out rationally.

At the end of the day, if you can’t control your emotions, it can hurt your marriage.

When negative feelings like anger and resentment build-up, it can lead to conflict and tension in the relationship.

And if you don’t feel like you can be honest with your partner about how you’re feeling, it can make you feel even more disconnected and distant.

Also, if you fight or argue all the time, it can strain your relationship and make it hard to move forward.

In the end, if you can’t deal with your feelings in a healthy way, it can put a strain on your marriage and make it harder to keep your relationship happy and healthy.

Conclusion

A lasting marriage is built on love, trust, and respect for each other.

Both people have to work hard and be committed for the commitment to last.

Couples need to talk to each other honestly and openly, be willing to make compromises, and support each other’s goals and dreams.

Couples can build a strong and lasting marriage if they work together and put their relationship first.

Happiness in a marriage ultimately comes from the two people working at it and focusing on the good things about each other and the good times.

Please share any tips or lessons about keeping a marriage together in the comments section if you have any tips or lessons.

About the author 

Gideon

Gideon is the founder of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a top-50 relationship blog (2021) and top-100 marriage blog (2021) which focuses on providing healthy relationship advice about love and life. He earned a Master's degree in theological studies before training as a professional counsellor and hypnotherapist (DipProfCouns., DipMSHT.) almost 10 years ago. He completed a graduate diploma in Psychology and is currently pursuing postgraduate Psychology studies at Massey University. He has been married to his wife for over sixteen years and is the father of two children. His articles have been published on Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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