The Beginners Guide to a Successful Marriage: Building a Solid Foundation
Marriage is an important chapter in our lives. We find someone one and decide, “It’s you I want to love and grow old with.”
Two people deciding to become one and live the rest of our lives together, ” For better or worse, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
The ceremony but a celebration. An outward expression of the love that we share and commitment to be made. A beautiful day. The “honeymoon” over, and so… the marriage begins.
So many want and dream about their happily ever after. Some think it doesn’t exist. Some will say that marriage is just a piece of paper, coming from a broken home that’s what I thought as well. I’ve come to learn and believe that it is what we make it and can be a very beautiful thing. I can confidently share that having a strong foundation makes a huge difference in not only getting through difficult times together but also how we handle the seasons in our lives and how we plan and approach the future.
This is the beginner’s guide to a successful Marriage. The 19 key steps we need and how to create and maintain a successful marriage.
What is a Successful Marriage? Building a Solid Foundation
- Marriage is a commitment that we make to one another to stand by each other’s side till the end of our days fulfilling the vows that we made.
- Thing is we may come to the table with a preconceived idea of what a relationship between Husband and Wife, our spouse and our lives are “supposed” to look like.
- We are two different people, raised by two different families which can bring up differences in all matters throughout life. The key thing is coming together and building a solid foundation we will see the effects in our relationship, dealing with finances, raising children and the structure in our home in general.
” A wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell and the floods came, the winds blew and beat on that house but it did not fall….a foolish man who built his house on sand. When the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” – Mathew 7:24-27 ESV
How Do We Start A Successful Marriage On The Right Foot: Building a Solid Foundation
- We need to open ourselves to one another putting our guard down and be vulnerable with one another. Not just in the physical sense but on the intellectual, emotional and spiritual level and respecting each other in that state. Being able to connect to that on a regular basis. All couples experience down moments within the relationship at one point or another but when you can trust one another to be vulnerable than communication becomes easier.
Tips for Success in a Successful Marriage: Building a Strong Foundation
- Communication is key to everything. Remembering our vows and doing for one another with love, gratitude, and understanding. I know if you’ve already been through some things this may feel like fluff. Especially when going through it and that inner petty is whispering in that ear, but how we approach situations and each other make a huge difference.
Keys to A Successful Marriage: Building a solid foundation
Key #1: Roles in the Marriage
- Who is doing what? It’s important to communicate. When one assumes something different than the other and has certain expectations that haven’t been addressed then problems occur. I’ve seen people become resentful towards one another expecting of their spouse without communicating beforehand. It would be easy to say “oh well, we’ll deal with it when we get there.” but that can lead to issues. Things to discuss would be; Are we both working? One staying home? Who’s handling the finances? Are we both? How are we going to set things up? kids?..Is the mother needing to go back to work? Are we expecting her to stay home? Temporarily? Indefinitely? Who is throwing out the trash? Ya, you’d be surprised when the small things become the annoying issues that snowball.
Key#2: Love & Commitment
- There are different kinds of love. The love we need for marriage is the kind that isn’t coming and going with the seasons. When we’re in this journey we may come across bumps in the road where those butterflies of love turn into an upset stomach with an aftertaste. We need to have the kind of love that even when we’re not feeling them too much we can still see them as our partner and keep our commitment. Because I will tell you… there are times we will not be feeling “in love”. There will be times we can’t stand each other or we are pissed the fuck off. Excuse my language but let’s be honest. “For better or worse” right?
Key #3: Patience & Forgiveness
- When we get married we are taking on a new role. We may have lived together before marriage but there is a difference in playing house and roommates and actually planning and living a life together. Figuring out what works can take time and readjustment depending on what is going on in our lives. Sometimes we hurt the ones we love but if we talk through it, forgive and move forward then we need to do just that. When something comes up in the future it’s not fair to throw it in their face. We must also be loving and respectful in not taking advantage of our spouse’s forgiveness.
Key #4: Honesty & Trust
- Mean what you say, say what you mean Keep your word. Forgiveness is great, but once we break our word it chips away at the trust which can become difficult to rebuild once broken. Eventually, the words become empty which can, in turn, open up doors of doubt and lack of security.
Key #5: Quality Time
- Don’t underestimate quality time. We need to make time for our relationship to stay connected. Even when our time is limited it’s our responsibility to make our relationship a priority. If we only have an hour we can have a meaningful conversation, embrace one another, check-in. social media can wait. The point is to make an effort.
Key #6: Don’t Forget Intimacy
- Nobody wants to feel like business as usual within the relationship. We hear people saying they get stagnant within their relationship. Our spouse is not only a partner and friend but a lover as well. Hold that hand, steal a kiss make time for love.
Key #7: Communication
- Without communication, the relationship falls apart. We should be able to discuss anything without fear of being condemned or criticized. There is a difference between constructive criticism and using an opportunity to tear our significant other down to where our partner may eventually close themselves off and build resentment. Listen to understand not to reply.
Key #8: Child-Centered Marriage
- We are the foundation of our family. Continue to make your relationship a priority. Child-centered marriages end up strained because they put their children before their “foundations”. As a partnership in parenting, we take care of the child’s needs and together we decide how they will be raised. We are the example of mother and father, of what a successful marriage is. We set the standard of what it means to be a man, a woman husband, wife to our children. The only way to do that is to lead by example. its hard in the beginning but it’s in the small things and as the kids get older they will understand the importance.
Key #9: Setting Boundaries
- Boundaries are important within our marriage to know what our partner will absolutely not tolerate, but they are also important to set for those outside of our marriage. We married our partner, not our inlaws and friends so it’s important to respect our partner and protect our marriage. Where the “forsaking all others” part of the vows come in.
Key #10: Nobody is Perfect
- Be humble always. Nobody is perfect and it would be unfair to our spouse to judge them as though they should be. In the beginning, we’re always putting our best foot forward. It’s not to say once we get comfortable we should stop trying but understanding that nobody can be perfect all the time.
Key #11: The Grass Ain’t Always Greener
- Things can look good or exciting on the outside, on the surface level, you really don’t know what’s going on until you dig deeper. The shiny new excitement was our spouse and our relationship in the beginning and it’s our job to maintain it. It’s a matter of mastering ourselves and knowing these things to be true and telling ourselves “this isn’t worth losing my partner and family over” water your own grass.
Key #12: Show Appreciation
- Show appreciation for all things. My Husband works nights often. He stayed home yesterday (he’s self-employed) I told the kids “ok start cleaning up now”. As I cleaned the living room with my two oldest he bathed the two youngest. He finished, told them to give me a hug and kiss goodnight. He got the 4 ready and put them to bed. I finished sweeping. he grabbed two water bottles for me for my bedside. I thanked him for helping me with the kids. He replied with ” no need to thank me they are my kids too.” I said ” I know. That’s not the point, I just want you to know that I appreciate you.” He smiled and said, “I appreciate you too my love.”
Key #13: SELF-care
- It’s important to take care of OURSELVES. We can’t give to our spouse or our children from an empty cup. We also can’t be or function at our 100% best. It may be physical as in working out, Eating batter, self-pampering, or maybe finding some kind of hobby to bring some self-fulfillment and accomplishment. We have the ability to create our own happiness.
Key #14: SelfLESSness
- There will be times when something is important to our spouse that may not be important to us. These are moments to be selfless and be considerate. Thinking about our spouse and looking out for their greater good in general.
Key #15: Make Our House a Home
- The home should be a place where we can feel secure and put our guard down and it should be kept that way. It’s important to be our spouse’s safe place, not another obstacle to overcome. there’s always a way to go about things that won’t end up in resentment.
Key #16: How We Approach Things
- It’s not just in how we say things, but also in HOW we say and do things that are very telling. An example could be if we want our spouse to be open with us but when they decide to open up to us we say something like ” what do you want now?” or maybe we don’t say anything but act bothered or disinterested. It’s easy to see how this can cap future communication attempts and bread, hurt, resentment and snowball into more issues if we’re not mindful of how we treat each other. its just as important to be mindful of our own feelings and be sure not to project onto our partner. An example could be having financial problems and do to frustration lash out. Our spouse isn’t an emotional punching bag.
Key #17: Going Through Difficult Times
- No relationship is perfect. At one point or another, there may come a bump in the road and it’s all in how we handle them. These “keys” should be seen as preventative care. Not to say things won’t happen but being mindful as we go can keep things from getting out of hand. The Keys” to help us get through to the other side together.
Key #18: Fight Together Not Each Other
- When we’re not seeing eye to eye it’s important to remember our spouse isn’t the enemy. It’s a matter of discussing and finding a common ground, understanding, and empathy. Acknowledge one another. Acknowledge the problem and how it makes the other feel. Find a solution to either avoid the issue or how to better handle the situation should it arise again. We must also hold ourselves accountable for our contribution in the matter deliberate or not in the conscious effort of trying to have it be an issue in the future.
Key #19: Finances
- Financial issues are among the top stressors in marriage and among the top reason for divorce. While it can be stressful we can’t attack each other. Our spouse isn’t an emotional punching bag for our frustration. Take the time to get to the bottom of the issues. Let us look at where money is coming in and going out. Habits that are costing that can be changed, especially bad habits. Set a budget. Pay off debt, fix and build credit. Figure out ways to bring in multiple sources of income and learn how to make money work for us. Money is a tool. Use money, Love people.
- It is our marriage that is the foundation
- these 16 keys that open the door
- and communication that makes a house a flourishing home
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