5 Traits Of A Long-Lasting Marriage

Have you ever wondered what a happy married couple their age has in common? Research indicates that all happy, long-lasting marriages have five fundamental characteristics in common, despite the fact that no two marriages are alike: communication, commitment, kindness, acceptance, and love.

1. Communication

According to a Cornell University study, effective communication is the most important characteristic of long-lasting marriages. Nearly 400 Americans who were 65 years of age or older and had been married or in a romantic relationship for at least 30 years were polled by the researchers. Most participants expressed the opinion that open communication could solve the bulk of marital issues. In a similar vein, a large number of individuals whose marriages had failed attributed the disintegration of their partnerships to a deficiency in communication. Couples who communicate well are able to preserve their connection and closeness.

Long-term married couples communicate with one another without lying, blaming, accusing, dismissing, or disparaging one another. They don’t call each other names, become passive-aggressive, or stonewall one another. The happiest couples don’t worry about who is at fault because they see themselves as a unit; their relationship’s health is what matters most to them and what impacts one half of the pair affects the other.

2. Commitment

According to the same Cornell University study, a feeling of commitment is essential for marriages to continue a long time. Researchers observed that the elderly they polled viewed marriage as a discipline — something to be honored even after the honeymoon phase has passed — as opposed to viewing it as a partnership founded on passion. Researchers came to the conclusion that older people thought marriage was “worth it,” even if it meant forgoing immediate gratification in favor of something more fulfilling down the road.

Your marriage is held together by your commitment. There are no threats of divorce, guilt trips, or judgments in happy marriages. Healthy couples make unwavering commitments to one another and take their marital vows seriously. This steadfast dedication lays the stable foundation that successful marriages are based upon. To keep the relationship anchored, the commitment serves as a solid, constant presence.

3. Kindness

The saying “A little kindness goes a long way” is true when it comes to preserving a happy marriage. In fact, University of Washington researchers developed a model that had an astounding 94 percent accuracy rate in forecasting the length of a marriage. The main elements influencing how long a relationship lasts? generosity and kindness.

Though it might sound overly simplistic, consider this: aren’t generosity and compassion frequently the first behaviors that are rewarded in infancy and continue to be reinforced throughout an individual’s life? Although the “golden rule” of kindness and generosity may be a little more complicated when it comes to marriages and long-term committed relationships, it should still be followed. Think about how you communicate with your partner. When he or she talks to you about work or other topics you might not be interested in, are you really listening? Even if you think the subject of conversation is boring, practice listening to your partner instead of tuning him or her out. Make an effort to be kind in all of your interactions with your partner.

4. Acceptance

In happy marriages, partners tolerate each other’s shortcomings as well as their own. They accept their partner for who they are since they are aware that nobody is flawless. On the other hand, those in unhappy marriages only find fault with their spouses; in certain situations, they even blame themselves for their partner’s shortcomings. This is a means of continuing to deny their own shortcomings while becoming more and more insensitive to their partner’s actions.

Accepting yourself for who you are is the first step in accepting your spouse for who they are. Your partner selected you despite your perceived flaws, and he or she needs the same unwavering acceptance from you. It doesn’t matter if you snore too loudly, talk too much, overeat, or have a different sex drive than your spouse.

5. Love

A happy couple is undoubtedly one that is characterized by love. That being said, not everyone needs to be “in love” with their partner. Being “in love” is more akin to an infatuation than it is to being in a sound, established partnership. It’s an idealistic, fantasy form of love that rarely last. Together with the qualities of communication, dedication, kindness, and acceptance mentioned above, healthy, mature love takes time to grow. This is not to suggest that a loving marriage cannot be passionate; on the contrary, the bond is made stronger by passion. When a couple feels enthusiastic about each other, they commit to maintaining their closeness and intimacy, speak openly, and settle disputes with ease.