What are the 3 Most Important Things in a Marriage?

What are the 3 Most Important Things in a Marriage?

A happy and fulfilling marriage requires effort, compassion, and commitment from both partners. While there are many elements that contribute to a healthy marriage, experts agree that the following three components are the most vital for long-term success.

In this blog article, we are going discuss and share tips for all three foundational 3 things for strengthening marriage and a happy relationship.

1. Communication

Open and honest communication is the foundation of any strong relationship. In a marriage, good communication involves:

  • Expressing needs and feelings clearly and respectfully
  • Active listening without judgement
  • Compromising and finding common ground
  • Resolving conflicts in a constructive manner

Spouses should make communication a daily priority by checking in with each other, asking questions, and voicing appreciation. Strong communicators tackle problems as a team and don’t let grievances or misunderstandings fester.

Developing these communication skills early on can prevent frustration, resentment, and disconnect down the road.

happy couple intimacy at beach

  1. Intimacy

While intimacy often refers to sex, it encompasses other forms of closeness in a marriage as well. Emotional intimacy is about forging deep bonds through mutual understanding, trust, affection, and support.

Partners in an intimate marriage make spending quality time together a priority. They share beliefs, dreams, fears, triumphs, and challenges. This level of closeness requires vulnerability, empathy, and truly knowing your spouse.

Physical intimacy also plays a key role through behaviors like hugging, kissing, and of course, sex. Partners should connect physically often as it releases bonding hormones, relieves stress, and expresses love.

Maintaining intimacy in all its forms nourishes the marital relationship.

  1. Commitment

In any long-term partnership, there will be highs and lows. During strained times, what carries a couple through is their commitment to one another and to the marriage itself.

Commitment means:

  • Choosing your partner daily and making them a priority
  • Investing constant effort into meeting their needs
  • Working through problems instead of avoiding them
  • Recognizing divorce is not an option
  • Shared vision, finances, responsibilities, and goals with your spouse

With this big-picture mentality, partners are determined to understand each other, adapt, forgive, show grace, and continue growing together. They face external and internal challenges united as a team.

happy couple at cafe

Tips for Strengthening the 3 Pillars

Implementing the three pillars of communication, intimacy, and commitment in marriage is simple in theory but often challenging in reality.

Life’s demands distract partners from quality time together. Stress erodes compassion. Misunderstandings arise. Priorities shift.

How can spouses cultivate stronger bonds within these foundational areas? Consider the following practical marriage tips.

  1. Boost Communication:

Effective communication is the foundation of a strong marriage. It involves actively listening to each other, sharing thoughts and feelings openly, and being receptive to each other’s needs and concerns. Here are some practical tips for improving communication in your marriage:

  • Schedule regular check-ins to update each other on life happenings. This can be as simple as setting aside 15-30 minutes each day to share your experiences and listen to each other.
  • Designate electronics-free couple time each day. In today’s digital age, it’s easy to get caught up in screens and neglect face-to-face communication. Make a conscious effort to put away devices and focus on each other.
  • Attend counseling to learn healthy conflict resolution tactics. Conflicts are inevitable in any relationship, but learning how to resolve them in a healthy and constructive way can help strengthen your communication.
  • Discuss expectations around major decisions before they arise. It’s essential to have open and honest conversations about important decisions, such as finances, career choices, and long-term goals, to avoid misunderstandings and resentments.
  • Express appreciation often and give constructive feedback gently. Showing gratitude and appreciation for each other can go a long way in building a strong and positive relationship. Be sure to also communicate any areas of concern gently and respectfully.

2. Deepen Intimacy:

Intimacy is essential to a healthy marriage, involving a deep emotional and physical connection between partners. Here are some ways to cultivate intimacy in your marriage:

  • Plan regular date nights for just the two of you. It’s important to make time for each other and prioritize quality time together. Even small gestures, such as a walk or a dinner date, can help strengthen your bond.
  • Ask open-ended questions to understand your spouse’s inner world better. Showing curiosity and interest in each other’s thoughts and feelings can help deepen your emotional connection.
  • Initiate affection like hugs and saying “I love you” daily. Physical touch and expressing love and appreciation can help create a sense of safety and security in your relationship.
  • Surprise your partner with their favorite meal or small gift periodically. Small gestures of kindness and thoughtfulness can help reignite the spark in your relationship.
  • Schedule weekends away together sans devices and distractions. Taking a technology break and focusing on each other can help you recharge and reconnect.

3. Fortify Commitment:

Commitment is a vital aspect of a healthy marriage, involving a deep commitment to each other and to the relationship. Here are some ways to fortify commitment in your marriage:

  • Prioritize your spouse despite outside obligations. It’s essential to prioritize your partner, even when work, family, and other responsibilities are demanding.
  • Regularly reminisce about your journey together. Reflecting on the good times and the struggles you’ve overcome can help strengthen your bond and deepen your commitment to each other.
  • Perceive you and your partner as a team, not opponents. Adopting a united mentality can help you work together to overcome challenges and build a stronger relationship.
  • Celebrate milestones like anniversaries and birthdays. Marking important dates and acknowledging each other’s achievements can help reinforce your commitment to each other.
  • Attend workshops, and seminars, or read books on developing marital connection. Seeking out additional support and learning new strategies can help you build a stronger and more resilient marriage.

4. Discussion Questions:

  • Which pillar – communication, intimacy, or commitment – feels strongest in your marriage? Which could use more attention?
  • What’s one small change you and your spouse could implement this week to build connection?
  • Have you fallen into roles of “opponents” instead of perceiving each other as teammates recently? How can you shift back into a united mentality?

By focusing on communication, intimacy, and commitment, you can cultivate a strong and resilient marriage

While other elements contribute to a strong marriage, experts consider these three pillars to be the most fundamental.

They enable partners to weather difficult seasons, nurture positive connections, and build a relationship that stands the test of time.