A few years ago we surveyed 186 couples to find out what they thought were the most important ingredients for a lasting marriage. We sent an extensive questionnaire to couples in midlife or beyond who had been married at least 15 years. When we compiled the results, the following ten characteristics headed the list:
- Commitment to marriage (not only committed to stay married, but committed to enrich the marriage).
- Good communication (ability to dialog with each other).
- Vital spiritual life (at least one and sometimes both partners were spiritually alive).
- Effective conflict resolution (able to mutually work out differences).
- Positive impact from other people (maintaining constructive friendships).
- Sexual intimacy (mutually satisfying sexual relationship).
- Fun, leisure, and humor (time was allocated for recreation and they had a sense of humor).
- Realistic expectations (accepting and enjoying each other).
- Serving each other (doing things to please each other on a basis of mutuality).
- Personal growth (growing as an individual to bring a freshness to the marriage).
The same is true for ingredients in a marriage as it is in a recipe. If your first attempt at meeting your spouse’s needs is a disaster, you can figure out what went wrong and improve on it the next time. The ingredients that go into a marriage won’t be perfect all the time. You can aim for perfection, but in this lifetime you and your mate will never reach it. So give yourself credit for the progress you are making in choosing the best ingredients and keep working toward a stronger marriage.
Conway / Farrel Articles ~ Reprint by permission only, ©2011
Midlife Dimensions ~ www.Midlife.com
The Conways and Farrels are international speakers and popular authors.
Midlife Dimensions is a ministry founded by the Conways and continued by the Farrels.