A healthy successful marriage can be defined in several ways. For some couples, arguments are how they communicate, whereas maintaining a peaceful relationship without a fight may be important to others. Some may simply say a marriage that does not end in divorce is successful whereas others focus more on the quality of the marriage. Some may stay together but want nothing to do with each other, while for others, they can’t get enough of each other.
Is that true love?
What is true love?
A true love…
A true sense of companionship is one that both parties are completely happy. Not content, or complacent. But happy.
And yes, I agree, “success” can be defined in different ways also. But that is for another day.
Hi, my name is Sara.
My husband Shugo’ and I agree that having a happy and successful marriage takes time, effort, and a goal that we both work towards. That goal may be following Christ or any other religious belief that seeks to help others. We talk for hours about how we raise our children, politics, religion, traveling, tv shows, movies, and much more.
You may be thinking, great, another couple with PDA issues and blind love. Rest assured, this is not so.
15 Tips for a Successful Marriage
I am an American. Which means I don’t shy away from confrontation to iron out misunderstandings. And I don’t get offended through the process. I enjoy going on adventures around Japan and am thorough in making and executing plans.
My husband, on the other hand, being Japanese, tends to avoid confrontation as much as possible. He prefers to play things safe when traveling and can be a bit of a worry wort. On the other hand, he jumps into business projects head first without a plan.
We may be quite different, but we believe we have established a successful marriage (so far). From our own experience and also from talking with other couples we know, here are 15 ways that we propose, so that you too can have or improve your relationship with your companion.
Everyone has the right to be loved, to feel peaceful, and to find safety at home.Jeffrey R. Holland
According to Webster’s Dictionary, compassion is sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
We all have stress. Stress from work, school, living day by day trying to figure out how to pay the bills. The stress of, ‘Is my child passing or failing school?’ ‘Have I failed to help my family?’
I am here to say you are enough. You are perfect the way you are.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and know that you are loved.
This is the feeling when you receive compassion from someone.
Compassion is giving a hug or assuring them that they are doing the best they can and that they are good enough. Your spouse or partner may be stressed beyond relief.
With a kind word or deed, the atmosphere of your home will change from dark to light, and you will have a successful marriage.
And have compassion towards yourself too. Go on, give yourself a hug too, because who else knows how hard you are working?
Read this post about 4 Key Lessons From Health Issues in Marriage
This can be a difficult one. When somebody does you wrong, it is human nature to feel the need for retaliation. It may be easier and sometimes even satisfying to slap people back who slapped you in the first place (figuratively speaking).
But what does that solve?
The relationship will get worse and worse. Instead, take a deep breath, remember how much you love your spouse or partner, and understand why he or she did that to you. That understanding and letting it go is forgiveness, and it’s vital for a successful marriage.
There is an exception to the rule. Actions speak louder than words. If your loved one continues to hurt you in any way, and you continue to forgive them, please stop.
Reflect. I know that you are a divine child with great worth. It may be best to forgive those that have wronged you and remove yourself from the situation. From our experience, this is the best choice for everyone. Not the easiest, but for your health and safety, it’s the best.
Read the post What to Do When Your Spouse Hurts Your Feelings
Not only do you need to learn to forgive others, but you also need to learn to forgive yourself. To some, forgiving others may seem like you are playing the fool because instead of retaliating with violence or other means towards those who “deserve” it, you are showing kindness and understanding.
Some may see this as rewarding the wrongdoer instead of punishing them. If you look at it from a different perspective, forgiving them can also mean that you are a bigger, better person than the wrongdoer.
Understanding that you are forgiving that person because you are a bigger, better person, you are already forgiving yourself for “playing the fool”.
Your heart will heal, with a good support group, and faith, you will be stronger. Remember, you are loved!
If you are married to a companion who has broken his or her covenants, your willingness to let God prevail in your life will allow your covenants with God to remain intact. The Savior will heal your broken heart. The heavens will open as you seek to know how to move forward. You do not need to wander or wonder.Russell M. Nelson
Shugo’ point of view
Service is really important for a successful marriage. This can be a simple thing like opening the door for your partner when entering a facility or bringing a hot cup of tea or coffee and a little snack when your partner is working hard at home.
When my wife first came to my apartment when we were dating, she stayed overnight and the next morning I made her a surprise breakfast in bed. She burst out crying from joy because of such an unexpected yummy surprise.
Spontaneous action like this makes the relationship go a long way. It is a good way to show that your partner’s happiness is important to you and you are willing to go out of your way to make sure your partner is happy.
Such a gesture will remain in each other’s hearts. Do it as often as you can.
Read this post about How to Live Happily Ever After in Your Marriage
4) Be Consistent
Consistency goes right along with service in a successful marriage.
A spontaneous breakfast in bed is sweet and nice. But if you do it only once and expect the partner to love you forever, obviously this is not the case. It may not have to be every day or every other day. It can be once a week or even once a month, as long as you do it consistently.
Anniversary is a good opportunity. A wedding anniversary for example would be a good time to take your partner on a special evening to get away from the usual everyday life and spice up the relationship. You can do this once a year. Showing your loved ones that you love them, even if it is once a year, will assure your partner that you love them.
Consistency is basically to periodically remind your partner that you love them so that they won’t forget and they can renew the certainty that you love them.
Read the post How Have a Biblical Marriage with Mutual Respect
Shugo’ point of view
Communication is very important in a relationship. Telling each other what you like or don’t like is essential to understanding and building up a healthy good relationship.
If you don’t like pasta but do not tell your partner because you feel bad telling them, then they will continue to make pasta which may stress you out.
Or if you want to have date nights with your spouse but your spouse does not do so because they feel secure with the relationship, this may also create a lack of satisfaction.
In Japan, for example, people still expect others to read minds and provide actions without being told to do so. Although it is agreeable that it is generally nice for people to do something for you or give something that you like without you asking for it, if that becomes an expectation or requirement, there will be a high chance of disappointment.
I am Japanese but I lack that skill. Therefore, my performance at work was considered “poor” because although I did my best to fulfill tasks, I was not “good enough” to the bosses who expected me to do more or differently without them telling me what they expect from me.
The same can be said for relationships. Although recent trends on how to communicate are changing in Japan due to Western TV shows and movies being more and more available.
Japanese people, especially men, still think it is not necessary to express love in words or gestures. They claim that it is “shyness” that prevents them from expressing love.
Not understanding each other comes from a lack of communication and by the time you realize your partner or your spouse was not exactly your ideal other half, it may be too late to look for a new relationship.
Communication opens the door to your relationship in understanding each other. Expressing priorities to each other, goals, dreams, yes the deeper stuff to build a foundation for your relationship. Underestimating communication is not recommended.
Read the post The Most Important Marriage Advice You Will Ever Hear.
Marriage relationships can be enriched by better communication. One important way is to pray together. This will resolve many of the differences, if there are any, between the couple before sleep comes. I do not mean to overemphasize differences, but they are real, and make things interesting. Our differences are the little pinches of salt which can make the marriage seem sweeter. We communicate in a thousand ways, such as a smile, a brush of the hair, a gentle touch, and remembering each day to say “I love you” and the husband to say “You’re beautiful.” Some other important words to say, when appropriate, are “I’m sorry.” Listening is excellent communication.James E. Faust
Does it take work to be in a relationship and have a successful marriage?
The answer is yes.
And it takes work on both sides.
Two sides to a coin right?
Once a month, I like to take our kids to their grandparents for the weekend. Our kids can bond with grandpa and grandma. My husband and I can reconnect with some adult time. This is the time we can communicate what our needs are and if they are being met. We can take this time to work on our relationship.
But is it only once a month?
No, my friend, no.
A simple hug or compliment can go a long way. We do this daily. My husband may make my favorite dish for dinner and I may watch his favorite movie with him. We love to slow dance in our small living room, yes in front of our kids. And laugh and smile when they join.
With small and simple things, great things come to pass. Try it.
My love language is time. I love being in the moment with people. Doing something, talking about something. Exploring the world, learning something new.
Even if you or your significant other has a different love language, take the time to stop, think about how you are going to show your affection, make a plan on what your significant other likes.
Then proceed forward with that plan.
One of my favorite things to do is go and see Paul McCartney in concert. My husband at first didn’t know much about Paul except his name and that he was one of the Beatles. But he took the time to listen to me talk about the artist and the music. We took the time to see Paul in concert. What a memorable experience that was!
In turn, I take the time to listen to my husband talk about Japanese history and other things that interest him. It’s a key way we have a successful marriage.
Take that time every day to live in the moment. You have survived an international pandemic!
How can you spend some time with loved ones before it’s too late?
More tips for a successful marriage
To get the remaining 8 times for a successful and healthy marriage, head over to Sara’s blog!
About the Authors
Sara is an American that has lived in Japan for over 8 years. Teaching as an English teacher to various schools throughout the country. Shugo is a Japanese who has lived and traveled the world extensively being able to communicate in 5 different languages.
We have traveled to Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, and parts of America together. We bring back a strengthened relationship with each destination and share what we learn with the young people we meet. And we both love hosting dinner parties and showing friends and family around Japan.
Our adventures as a couple have now been doubled with the addition of our kids, Clark and Sophie. Our kids being Irish twins, one a toddler and the other a baby, they keep us on our toes. With growing pains, scattered toys and so many laughs, there is never a dull moment with the Uranos.
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