5 Key Ingredients of a Happy Marriage

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					Sadly the chance that your marriage will fail in the first 5 years is 50%. Why do some
marriages fail while others succeed? There are many different reasons. But, most
successful marriages seem to embrace these key ingredients.

Commitment to making the relationship work is the first key. Commitment carries
many negative connotations. What do you picture when you think of the word
"commitment"? Many people picture a nagging spouse, unbearable responsibilities, or
even a ball and chain. But, if you want your marriage to thrive, you must be
committed. Committed to the same value and goals that your spouse is committed to.

Communication is the next important ingredient in a happy marriage. Not the "How
was your day, dear?" sort of communication either. You must learn to communicate on
a deep level with your spouse. This means sharing your private thoughts and feelings.
You may feel uncomfortable at first, that's natural. Over time and with practice it will
become easier. In fact, most couples soon look forward to this time together.

Meeting the emotional and physical needs of your spouse. This is another area that
suffers when communication is missing. Without communication you are forced to
guess what your partner needs. Unfortunately, most of us end up guessing wrong.

Find a good balance between work and home. For many couple, this is the most
difficult part of their relationship to get right. This is not only a time issue but also a
"mind" issue. Too many people spend their time at work thinking about being home
only to get home and think about work.

Have a good sense of humor. Spend time laughing with your spouse. All marriages
have rough spots and setbacks. A sense of humor helps put these into perspective. The
same challenges that pull one marriage apart can make your marriage stronger, if you
and your spouse can find the humor in the situation.

Does your marriage have all or most of these ingredients? If not, it might be time to
make some changes. Just pick the area that seem to need the most improvement and
start working on it. Any work you do will be strengthening the most important
relationship in your life.

If you feel unsure about where to begin, don't worry. There are many resources
available to you. You might want to start with your local library or book store. There
are also many resources available online to help you build the relationship you desire.