Over the past 30 years, we have learned much about what makes great marriages tick – about what makes them successful. Even in spite of ominous odds from time to time, the best marriages survive and thrive, and we know why!
They survive and thrive because they are committed to the Core Values present in all great marriages and successful loving relationships. Here they are in a nutshell.
1. The couple in love is committed to always putting each other first in their relationship with each other. The first thing you notice in all highly successful loving relationships is that those who purport to be in love recognize that their relationship is not about you and me, it is about US.
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Discovering that YOU are not the centre of the universe is the hallmark of a great relationship. Actually putting another human being number one is a powerful indication that you are truly in love.
2. The couple in love is committed to democracy in their relationship.
Always remember, successful loving relationships are egalitarian. Namely, the best relationships understand that theirs is a shared relationship. If one person has all the power and makes all the decisions, it is NOT love! True love is a very democratic thing!
3. The couple in love is committed to ensuring their mutual happiness. Remember, true love is not just about ensuring your happiness. More importantly, and often for the first time in your life, you actually enjoy and are motivated by ensuring the happiness of someone other than yourself. It is a good feeling!
4. The couple in love values absolute trustworthiness and integrity in their relationship with each other. If you cannot trust the one you love, then it is not true love! Trust us on that.
The most successful loving relationships report that they trust their mate unequivocally and without hesitation. To violate that trust is to undermine and, ultimately destroy, the relationship with the one you say you love.
5. The couple in love is committed to caring and unconditional love for each other. When you truly love someone you do so without conditions. It is not about loving you IF . . . True love is unconditional.
6. The couple in love is committed to being mutually respectful towards each other. There is a Golden Rule in true love and it is like the one you learned early in your life – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Do not expect to be treated with respect when you are disrespectful to the one you love. Respectfulness is at the heart of all great loving relationships.
7. The couple in love values their mutual sense of responsibility for each other. People in love care for each other in ways that they have never cared for another human being. They feel a sense of responsibility for another person that they have never felt before. It feels so good to put another’s needs above your own. To do so is to love deeply.
The Core Values of all successful loving relationships are at the heart of the matter. If you and your mate master these values, your love will, in all probability, last a lifetime.
In love and marriage the simple things matter.
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitzmarriage advice and hundreds of practical tips, get the Doctor’s best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts : The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage (Jossey-Bass/Wiley) Available wherever books are sold.
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book