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So, what are the most important things in a marriage? A one-size-fix-all solution probably isn’t the best way to offer advice to married couples.
Each couple will reach a stage in their marriage where they will have created their own history and their own set of problems.
But there are several things which will be common across all marriages.
One of them is communication.
But communication will look different from one couple to another. Each person has their own quirks. Some will be outgoing while others will be reserved.
If a couple runs into communication issues, it’s important they think back to when they were going through the dating phase. What was it that attracted them to each other.
What Are The Most Important Things In A Marriage?
Avoiding marriage breakdown starts with maintaining good communication between one another.
Marriage therapist Erin Montgomery (LAMFT, LSAR) when asked what are the most important things in a marriage, quickly identified communication as crucial.
As we mentioned earlier, communication between two people will look different across different couples.
Montgomery was quick to point this out early in our interview. “You have to be able to communicate with your partner”.
“You’ve got to understand different communication styles and you also have to be patient and be willing to work on understanding how it is that you communicate together”.
“To me, communication skills and patience are way up there”.
The Importance Of Communication By Actions In Marriage
Montgomery mentioned patience. This is such an important aspect of keeping a marriage on the right side of a breakdown.
The patience will usually have to be shown by the person who is more vocal and talkative.
For example, in my marriage, I am less verbally communicative than my wife. I once responded to a question she asked in this fashion.
She asked…”you don’t like to talk much do you?” I responded…”I’m all about quality talk rather than quantity”.
This was very early in our relationship and she would have been entitled to “run for the hills”.
But lucky for me, she understood that people communicate in different ways. Yes, I have long conversations with people but only when the subject is something I’m interested in.
In our marriage, much of my communication with my wife comes through showing and actions.
A kiss in the morning as I get out of bed; a bunch of flowers with her name on it when I come home from the store and a surprise or two she was never expecting.
Actions like this just convey that I love her and lets her know that I appreciate her.
And while she loves a conversation, she also knows she needs to show patience and pick her moments to engage me in long conversation.
As a married couple gets older, they begin to know each other’s quirks and habits so well that they’ll anticipate exactly what the other is going to do and say before their partner.
Is this a good recipe for a successful marriage? Well, I’ve now made it through fourteen years of wedded bliss with the promise of many more years to come. Remember this, don’t try and make what should be a simple process complicated.
Other Important Things To Consider?
Erin Montgomery says while each person may have their own communication style and level, making marriage work also relies on a couples shared interests.
While two people may be on a vastly different level of communication the glue that can hold the partnership together could be shared interests.
“It’s important to also have shared interests”.
“You need to have things that you want to do together and plan to do together”.
“Have a good time being together as a couple doing these activities is really important”.
“But at the same time, you also have to very much have your own individual desires, likes and activities that you like to do”.
“And you need to be free to do them in the relationship, allowing each other the freedom to be yourself”.
That last point is extremely important. Allowing each other the freedom to pursue their own likes and interests.
Doing this keeps the relationship fresh. It keeps the mystery alive. Without taking short breaks from each other, a couple runs the risk of going stale which can lead to resentment.
When resentment sets into a relationship, the recovery can be almost impossible. Resentment is the cause or kickstart to many marriage breakdowns.
What are the most important things in a marriage in your opinion? Can you share what has made your marriage successful over a long period of time?