17 Proven Characteristics Of A Successful Marriage

By David Small •  Updated: 11/28/16 •  12 min read

Is it possible to have a successful marriage, in a world where we have more failed marriages than successful ones? The questions on how to have a successful marriage will come up.

Marriage breakups have consistently increased in the past five years, the rate of separations and divorce increases drastically. The secret to a successful marriage is that it’s a two-way affair; a couple must be ready to go through the ups and downs and come out strong.Successful Marriage

But in a society where good is bad and bad is good finding the balance can be uncanny, with new relationship books preaching wine, who will you believe? Couple therapists and psychologist focused on marriage have come up with traits of successful marriages and how to apply them.

In their book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, John Gottman, and Nan Silvergives hope to broken marriages with concrete solutions.

So what makes a marriage highly successful? Here are Top 17 Secrets Traits of A Successful Marriage :-

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  1. Friendship

Marriage is based on a deep friendship, based on knowing each other’s likes, dislikes, hopes, and dreams. But what happens when the kids come, the whole relationship starts focusing on the children. Couples tend to forget to focus on their marriage which can easily get damaged.

Such instances can easily create tensions between couples, in his book the seven principles of a successful marriage; John M. Gottman and Nan Silver emphasize the importance of maintaining the friendship. Maintaining true friendship keeps you connected and always ready to share. It blocks out resentment and builds trust building an even stronger relationship and marriage.

  1. Love and commitment

Secrets of Highly Successful Marriages

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Love is the threshold of a good marriage! It can easily die as you grow in the marriage but not necessarily. If well nurtured then commitment comes easily, love is a strong vital emotion in any successful marriage!  Gary Chapman in his book, four seasons of marriage: secrets to a lasting marriage he takes into account the emotions experienced in every season of marriage. Through love and commitment, you can quickly notice the season your relationship is in.

In winter, spring, summer and fall season, with each season bringing in different emotions. Winter season there detached, cold and bitter emotions reign, in spring a new hope and excitement are felt in the relationship. In summer there is a sense of togetherness but in fall couples drift apart. The saying love conquers all is true especially if you are going through these seasons of marriage.

  1. Support system

The saying ‘behind every successful man there is a woman’ cannot be emphasized enough when it comes to marriage. Supporting each other’s ambitions, dreams and decisions go a long way in creating stronger unions. As a couple, it’s important to have each other’s back, during hardships and not tearing each other down.

A good support system will help you overcome different challenges life throws at your relationship. Supporting each other in business, in your personal lives, and in your dreams will create a better outline of your relationship. If your partner wants to start a venture, be there to support them and listen to them don’t flash the idea down too quickly.

  1. Respect

Respect is earned but also shared especially in marriage. When couples respect each other’s ambitions, dreams and decisions there will be minimal conflict. Respect builds commitment in the relationship but the lack of it breeds contempt.

Anger and resentment set in when couples do not respect each other and without noticing it a fall out occurs. Creating a respectful environment is essential in creating long lasting relationships and especially in marriages. Learn to respect each other without question or without prejudice.

  1. Economic Equality

Successful Marriage

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Economic equality in marriage is an essential part of A successful marriage. A man’s duty is to provide for his wife and children it is his sole responsibility. Economic equality means respecting each other in matters of finances, providing basic needs as well as luxuries. It means not looking down upon your partner because of their economic incapability.

As a homemaker, a woman ensures the home runs smoothly with your help. Undervaluing that effort can easily breed resentment! Learn to respect each other’s economic abilities whether you are a stay at home mom or working in the corporate world.

  1. Trust

John Gottman Ph.D. and Nan Silver in their book, What Makes Love Last: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal, the authors point out trust as one of the main reasons for relationship breakup. Lack of trust in a relationship is recipe for disaster, building it up again can drain your relationship. Trusting your partner and believing him/her in regards to situations is an excellent way to strengthen your partnership.

Trust means believing your partner with no doubt in your heart or mind. Without trust, a relationship can grow stale and full of hate. Work on trusting your partner and continue building the trust years to come, trust is built through communication and mutual respect.

  1. Be forgiving and Patient

Nobody is perfect and you should not expect your partner to be. Forgiving your partner when they wrong you is an important step in building strong relationships. Relationship breakups happen when there is no forgiveness. Understanding the reasons and be patient in terms of forgiveness is an important step in successful relationships.

Learning to be patient in the forgiveness process will help you understand each other’s emotions. Forgiveness opens the doors of emotional connection in relationships, be ready to forgive and forget with no prejudice.

  1. Commitment to thoughts and actions


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You can feel short-changed when your partner is not committed to the process. A long-lasting relationship is one built on commitment. Thriving is inevitable! With a lack of commitment, relationship breakup is imminent, it’s important to relationships to commit to your actions and thoughts.

When you commit to a relationship in your actions your partner appreciates the thought. In marriage actions and thoughts are highly appreciated, your partner will feel loved consequently strengthening your marriage.

  1. Sexual intimacy

Sexual intimacy improves couples connection! Without this type of intimacy, marriages weaken. Relationships breakups due to lack of sexual intimacy can be devastating to both partners. Meeting your partner’s sexual desire will keep them happy! The thing to understand is meeting them at their point of sexual desire.

Communication is important for sexual intimacy to thrive in marriage, be open and tell your partner exactly what you want. Sexual intimacy does not start in the bedroom but acts throughout your marriage. Connecting sexually is built in the way you communicate with each other. Make it your business to understand your partner’s needs in and out of the bedroom.

  1. Relationship vision of Marriage

Top 17 Secrets of Highly Successful Marriages

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Relationships have different stages, understanding and having a clear vision of relationship goals strengthens your marriage. Relationship heartbreak is as a result of lack of proper vision for the relationship. Share your relationship dreams and goals with your partner and be on the same page. By doing so, you will eliminate surprises that come with relationship growth.

Same vision equals same effort in building a successful marriage, understanding the commitments and sacrifices ahead. If as the man you’re planning to buy a home in the near future, keep your partner informed and come up with a viable plan. Sharing such a vision keeps the partnership intact and strengthens your relationship.

  1. Open communication

Communication with your partner should be open, with no secrets. It’s a simple thing but can be hard to comprehend for most couples. Communication problems in relationships breed misunderstanding which results in relationship heartbreak. Communication is a skill that every partner in a marriage can learn. Nobody is born a natural communicator but you can learn the skill.

Successful marriages have proper communication with their partners, in the highs and lows, they learn what their partner entails. Learning the communication skill in marriage helps during conversations fired by anger, you learn to talk to each other without shouting or undermining your partner.

  1. Word of affirmations

In his book, Five languages of love, Dr.Gary Chapman weighs in on the importance of affirmations. In short, complimenting your partner and cheering them on can greatly improve the state of your relationship.Marriage

Relationship heartbreak can happen when your partner feels short-changed and lacks reciprocation. Words describe feelings! Encouraging words keep you motivated and energized to get things done.

Kind words soften your heart as well as build your partners self-esteem. Words of affirmations build your partners emotional, physical and sexual confidence. By practicing this love language your partner feels appreciated and especially loved.

  1. Quality time

Time spent with your partner creates a bond. You will find that most relationship breakups happen due to partners not allocating enough time for their partner. When it comes to quality time, it means undivided attention; you can either go on a date or stay at home without TV.

Quality time in marriage allows you to have quality conversations with each other. Quality conversations get you talking and communicating on different points of your life. Communication skills are nurtured during quality conversations when you now stop been interesting and become interested in what your partner is saying.

  1. Find meaning in the togetherness

When you are mutually connected your relationship grows. Connecting spiritually, through personal goals and even in your life roles stimulate growth in your relationship. Connections strengthen friendship in marriage; no connection can easily kill and lead to relationship heartbreak.

Find out what your mutual connection is and work on it to build and strengthen your marriage. Apart from spiritual goals, family rituals such as date night, family picnics can also work to improve your connection. Connecting with your family as well as communicating with your partner stimulates a sort of connection that cements your relationship.

  1. Conflict resolution


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The easiest road to relationship heartbreak is conflict. In his the book Relationship Cure; John Gottman points out the need to analyze situations and learning to turn towards or against them. He points out the importance of understanding when to turn towards and engage in meaningful conversations. The emphasis on turning away from conversations is widely discussed in this book, stating that such conversations may start on a sour note. In marriage instances such as this one entail practicing patience with their partner.

Learning to have healthy conversations by been mindful of your partners’ emotions is critical.The emphasis on turning away from conversations is widely discussed in this book, stating that such conversations may start on a sour note. In marriage instances such as this one entail practicing patience with their partner. Learning to have healthy conversations by been mindful of your partners’ emotions is critical.

  1. Affection Is One Of The Main Traits of A Successful Marriage

Touching him, touching her that’s physical contact. Physical contact keeps you attached to your partner. A Simple kiss on the cheeks, stroke of the hair, such moments help build your connection. Women especially find that physical touch says more than your words, lack of this type of physical connection can easily lead to relationships break up.

As a couple learns the act of physical attraction, through touching and exploring each other. Research shows that couples with physical connections also have an active sexual intimacy. Build up physical contact and your relationship will grow by leaps and bounds.

  1. Gifting as a way of appreciation


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Gifts show that you are thinking of your partners. This means that you went out and bought either something that your partner wanted or desired to have. Gifting shows that you appreciate your partner’s effort in your marriage and it plays a big role in relationships.

If you take the time to investigate some of the relationship breakup stories you will realize one thing they were not appreciated. Gifts are different according to five languages of love by Chapman, gifts of money or gift of self. Both have different effects but must be original. Let your partner know you can go beyond what meets the eye. Gifts are once in a while but by making such a gesture your partner feels loved.


When it comes to building a successful marriage, you must understand the reasons for discourse or relationship heartbreak. Avoiding such instances and building a cohesive relationship with your partner will stimulate growth in your marriage. There are many traits to a happy fulfilling marriage but the list above makes up some of the major ones. Be selfless with each other; support each other even when it seems like a long shot. Take responsibility for wrongdoing and forgive each other to create understanding.

A Successful marriage is selfless, let go of all your incapacitates and let your partner hold your hand. Nurture the friendship and be vulnerable, be ready to let your partner take charge of situations. Be the best friend they never had, and trust them with your whole being. In the end, a relationship is between two people, understanding it’s a two-way street, a give and receive situation. When you give more you receive more from your partner and vice versa.

Remember: Never give up on each other in marriage!

Images courtesy of  David Castillo Dominici’s at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

David Small

is the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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