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8 things a marriage MUST have to survive

Posted June 6

Most married couples go in thinking everything will truly last “till death do you part,” yet about half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. What are half of the couples in this country missing, and what’s the secret the other half seems to have figured out?

Keeping a marriage alive and thriving takes effort. Unless the relationship contains these eight things, it’ll most likely fail:

1. 100 percent commitment

When you say “I do,” you’re essentially saying “I’m all in for the rest of my life.” Of course, full commitment means never cheating on your spouse, but it also means being fully committed to making your relationship the best it can be, no matter the situation.

2. Service

Service doesn’t necessarily have to involve soup kitchens or canned food donations. To serve your spouse, every morning when you wake up, ask yourself, “what can I do to make my companion's day a good one?” In an interview with FamilyShare, happily married Kari Campbell said that service like this is one of the best ways to show love.

3. Trust

For your marriage to work, you need to fully trust your partner. You also need to refrain from doing anything that would make you untrustworthy.

4. Laughter

Fun and laughter is essential for marriages to thrive during the good times and to survive during the bad. It’s amazing how a rough situation can suddenly seem inconsequential when you make the effort to put a smile on your sweetheart’s face.

5. Support

An old Irish proverb says, “Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together.” Husbands need to lift their wives up, and wives need to do the same. Fully supporting each other includes being a shoulder to cry on, encouraging each other’s goals and pushing the other to become the best they can. In whatever your spouse does, support them.

6. Friendship

In addition to being your spouse, your sweetheart should also be your best friend. As best friends, you should enjoy hanging out with each other. You should also joke around (and maybe even have a few inside jokes). Overall, you should feel closer to your spouse than any other person in the world.

7. Full communication

You’re probably aware that communication is an important thing to have in your marriage, but do you have full communication with your spouse? Full communication means you’re completely comfortable telling your spouse anything — there shouldn’t be any secrets or lies in your marriage. It also means verbally expressing your feelings for each other often and tackling any confrontations head on instead of being silently passive aggressive.

8. Hard work

As any married person knows, marriage can be wonderful but it can also be frustrating, less than glamorous and just plain hard. You can’t just float along through a marriage and end up on top; it’s an uphill journey that takes hard work, and both husband and wife need to put in that work to help their marriage thrive.

With these eight tools, you and your spouse can find happiness in your marriage no matter the trials you both face. Find comfort in each other and be willing to put in the work to have a happy and lasting relationship.

McKenna Park is a staff writer at FamilyShare. She's a happy wife, puppy mama, ice cream addict and film nerd. Contact her at mpark@deseretdigital.com.

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