How to Guarantee Your Marriage Will be a Success!


No one can promise you a 100% guarantee, but there are some keys to a successful marriage that will almost certainly get you there.


The last few years there have been so many instances of wives being abused or even killed by their husbands. It can be dangerous if you are with the wrong man. There are many more husbands who are not faithful to their marriage vows and end up breaking up the home, leaving children and young mothers who are broken-hearted and sometimes nearly destitute. Then there are other men who are on drugs, or into porn, or won't work, or expect a wife to wait on them hand and foot. Honestly, men often have the same problems, just reversed--wives who are lazy or shop-a-holics or angry or whining.


Nobody plans for any of this to happen to them. Everybody dreams of finding either a knight in shining armor who will always protect her and love her, or a dream girl who will be on his side all his life.  Everyone expects the wedding day to be the start of a beautiful life.  But many women and men have not figured out how to watch out for dangerous, selfish, unreliable partners. They fall into the Hollywood myth that if a guy is handsome and charming, or a girl is beautiful and smart, he or she will surely also be kind and unselfish. Well, life rarely is like the movies. It's tough to find a great guy who will be a good husband and father, or a wife who will carry her part of the load, working and caring for the family. Sure, you've heard of someone who just “fell” in love and it was all wonderful and easy. But don't bet on that happening to you.


You have to keep your eyes open, and be on guard for all the clues. Unfortunately, women are extremely prone to excuse the bad behavior of their boyfriends, and men often don’t notice the signs. So be careful. There might be signs that you are unwilling to see. If you are willing to honestly evaluate your relationship, you can know if you are going to be happy or unhappy. Marriage counselors have discovered some good indicators of future happiness or misery. 


Let me let you in on a little secret--how much you are in love before your marriage has nothing to do with your happiness afterwards. Love is a fleeting emotion. It can (and often does) change overnight. There is a lot more to it than feeling in love. And it's not even whether you fight before you get married. Actually, those who make it and those who don't look a lot alike at the beginning. But there are other reliable clues.



The Destructive Power of Negative Words ~


A 10-year study done by psychologists Cliff Notarius of Catholic University and Howard Markman of the University of Denver has uncovered some surprising results. They found a small but extremely important difference between couples who stay together and those who don't. Here's the difference:


Couples who were still together after a decade said that 5 out of every 100 comments they made to each other were negative words.  Whereas, couples who later divorced said that 10 out of every 100 comments they made to each other were put-downs.  This doesn't seem like a very big difference, and whether or not these people had an accurate evaluation of the frequency of their negative words isn't clear. Negative people often don't see just how negative they really are. But what it means is, if couples do not control the insulting, hurtful words that they hurl at each other, no amount of love and affection will be able to overcome them.


You absolutely must learn to control your tongue. The old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is not true. The tongue is a small part of your body, but it can do great damage. The Bible says “He who holds his tongue is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).  In other words, if you or your spouse are the kind of people who just say what they think without considering the lasting effects of their damaging words, then there is little chance that you will be able to make a marriage work. 


The writer of the book of Proverbs really understood human nature when he said, “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil” (Proverbs 15:28).  Doesn't that make a pretty picture in your mind -- 2 people arguing while out of their mouths is gushing all sorts of hurtful words that will be impossible to take back. 


The Bible says, “If anyone doesn’t stumble in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. Indeed, we put bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, and we guide their whole body. Behold, the ships also, though they are so big and are driven by fierce winds, are yet guided by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot desires. So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest! And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Hell. For every kind of animal, bird, creeping thing, and sea creature, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind. But nobody can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:2-8 WEB).


Resist the urge to say negative things, even if you think you are funny. I’ve seen men joke with their wives, while they have no idea the amount of harm they are doing. It isn’t worth the price you will pay. If you have something unkind on the tip of your tongue--you might ought to leave it there. And if you have some unkind words thrown at you, don't respond the same way. Remember, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).  It's hard to argue in a whisper, so tone it down, keep it civil. And if you can't, then just be silent. Abraham Lincoln thought that silence was often a good response when he said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” If you just have to make fun of or put down your spouse or criticize or condemn or complain, you had better start planning what you're going to do AFTER your divorce!



The Bonding Power of Kindness ~


On the other hand, I have found that kindness is one of the 2* most important ingredients in a happy marriage--not love! Kindness is the the ability to control your impulses in such a way that you do no harm to another person. Kindness is doing good for the other person. It is showing concern for their feelings and their well-being. It’s being on their team, having their back.


One of the saddest things I see in marriages is that people often treat their friends better than they treat their spouses. Negatives words drive you apart, but kind words and kind deeds will draw any two people together--even if they are not in love. If fact, if you want to make someone love you, then be kind to them. Few people can resist someone who is kind and caring to them.  


Depositing kindness into the heart of your spouse will cause him or her to overlook many of your own shortcomings, and vice versa. If the two of you will make the effort to be kind to each other, you will be so happy it will be like a fairy tale. Take time every day to say several sweet and kind things, showing love and appreciation for your spouse. Even if it feels weird at first, it will pay you big dividends in the long run.


Kindness is such a strong bonding power that it creates a connection in a marriage that cannot be broken. So, you want to guarantee a successful, happy, long-lasting marriage?  Dump those negative words and be KIND to each other. Sit down with your spouse and work out a plan to say kind words and do loving deeds while stopping the negative words and coarse joking.


Once you are married, you have to work at the relationship. You have to fight for it. Fight FOR your marriage, not fight each other. If you do, then you’ll be on your way to a great relationship!



*The other ingredient is treasuring your priceless partner.


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Every tool you need to find, select, and secure a great husband.