10 Principles for a Successful Marriage/Relationship

Relationship Help Quick Tip

These ten principles can help you create a new mindset that can improve and strengthen your relationship—all healthy relationships start with a particular mindset that needs cultivation.

1) Being committed to one person for the rest of your life is challenging. Even when we step into the relationship with eyes wide open, things can feel daunting from time to time. Do yourself and your partner a favor and remember that long-term relationships are challenging for the best of us…and they’re worth it, too.

2) Mindlessly coasting through your marriage/relationship guarantees a lifeless relationship—you apply effort to all the other meaningful aspects of your life, so why not your relationship? Remember this when you’re tempted to just let your relationship “slide” or when you’re bemoaning the fact that you need to roll up your sleeves and work on something with your partner.

3) Maturity is a major plus for long-term, committed relationships. But the good news is that even if you consider yourself tending toward immaturity, you can become more mature if you try. Maturity is cultivated, not bestowed.

4) Remember that you’ll get some of your needs met some of the time by your partner. When you expect there to be times when your partner doesn’t/can’t meet your needs, you’ll begin to take more responsibility for your own happiness and well-being and you won’t see your partner as placed in your life for the sheer purpose of making you happy. (And remember that there will be times when you let your partner down, too, despite your trying, so you’ll appreciate when s/he takes that into consideration and gives you the benefit of the doubt.) 

5) It’s good for your relationship when you nurture a rewarding and rich life outside of the marriage/relationship. All too often people think they should slice away any part of their former single life once they commit to a partner, but that will only lead to resentment and stagnation down the road. Nurture the important parts of yourself, in and out of the relationship.

6) If you’re unable to place your spouse’s/partner’s needs above your own from time-to-time, you’re setting yourself up for a one-sided relationship and for an unhappy partner. Give as much as you receive and you’ll feel more fulfilled and your relationship will feel in balance.

7) When you take care of yourself emotionally, physically and spirituality, you’re taking care of the relationship too…when you neglect yourself, your marriage/relationship suffers.

8) If you start to think the grass is greener somewhere else, try watering and weeding and tending that grass and see how green it looks after a decade of heavy foot traffic across it. Comparing your relationship to another, or comparing your partner to another, will only breed trouble, and it can never be a useful comparison, since you can never truly know what’s going on for another couple in the first place.

9) All couples should practice humility; arrogance, competitiveness and egotism have no place in marriage. (Even if you’re a superstar billionaire, repeat the following on a daily basis: “I’m a big success…So what?” To your marriage/relationship, your “success” or “fame” are  trivialities, no matter how important you think they are. Remember that your partner is your equal, not someone clinging to your coattails.)

10) Oh, and one more thing: if you want your spouse/partner to agree with everything you say and do, you probably should stay single…

Until next time,

Dr. Rich Nicastro

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