Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

6 pillars of a strong marriage August 8, 2012

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:15 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Following on the heels of yesterday’s post on the purpose of marriage, here are what I consider the six most important components to a lasting relationship.  There have to be a few pillars, because let’s face it, pillars do get knocked out from under us.  If one or two of these is damaged on life’s journey, the other pillars are strong enough to hold up the marriage while rebuilding occurs.


1. mutual respect

Precisely what you respect might differ, but you have to value your spouse as an individual.   Intellect? Accomplishments?  Acumen?  Beauty?  Skills?  It doesn’t matter.  If you respect each other for who you are, you acknowledge personal value.


2. communication

Problems will come up.  If you are able to hear one another and work together to solve them, you can overcome them.


3. common purpose

Your goal may be to maintain a middle-class life or to conquer the world.  You may share a faith or intellectual pursuits.  Whatever it is, if you’re both of the same mind and working within the same expectations, your relationship will grow.


4. mutual affection

If you genuinely like your partner as a person, it’s much easier to live with them and their inevitable foibles.  Friends make the best lovers.


5. trust

Trust is earned and must be maintained by constant vigilance.  You need to be reliable and consistent, abiding by the understanding and expectations that you develop together.


6. tenacity

If you are not willing to leave the marriage if problems come up, then you have to negotiate.  You are forced to find solutions to the challenges.  Not being willing to accept the possibility of failure goes a very long way to ensuring success.


Did you notice what was missing from my list?  🙂   I suspect that passion is like the paint on a house.  It makes it look nice, but it has absolutely nothing to do with soundness of the structure beneath.  I wouldn’t want to live in a passionless marriage, but should my spouse be sliced in half in some horrible accident, all the things that make our marriage strong would still be there.

The neurologists talk about the brain chemistry that keeps couples together and passion plays a crucial role.  Check out The Science of Love.  Is all emotion neurological?  Pragmatically, does it matter?

PS 2013/06 I’m thinking that for all my talk of pillars, the walls are the physical intimacies of a sexual relationship.  Yes, the roof/relationship stays up without it, but it’s a lot warmer inside if there are walls to keep out the winds!


4 Responses to “6 pillars of a strong marriage”

  1. Without pillars the house comes tumbling down. I’m very lucky as I live in a tent but I do share some of the pillars anyway.
    Mutual respect…. This must be true, She respects my opinion so I must of course.
    Communication…. I often say good morning to her and I always remember to write things on the shopping list.
    Common Purpose…. I try to male myself comfortable and she tries to do the same for me.
    Mutual Affection…. Well, obviously we both like me don’t we?
    Trust…. I always make sure she trusts me to ensure her list is correct and I trust her to pick it up.
    Tenacity…. I’m very tenacious. If she forgets some shopping I make sure she goes back for it later.
    Kindness…. An extra one- I always let her get a cuppa before going back to get the shopping she forgot.
    I’m living proof the above advice is true. I’m not even going to charge you for it but if you need a private consultation………

  2. Glynis Smy Says:

    After 33 years of marriage, I applaud your list. Trust is the key, clear the air is the foundation, and respect is the cement of a solid marriage. Sex is is the wallpaper that covers them all. Should age peel the paper, and fade it, no matter, the rest will keep it clinging to the walls.

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