By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
The not-so-secret key to a happy marriage
Marriage requires more than just love and passion. Is your relationship built on a sure foundation? - photo by Wendy Jessen
There are a lot of key ingredients to a happy marriage that is long-lasting and satisfying for both the husband and wife. But, one quality seems to rise above the rest.

Marry your best friend

In a recent marriage article that explores happy marriages, participants noted what made their marriages great. When asked the question: Whats the secret to a long, happy marriage such as yours? a common answer from people in long marriages was: I married my best friend ... Similarly, from those whose marriages did not succeed, ... Well, we were good at love, but we never learned how to be friends.

Think about your current best friend (hopefully your spouse) or best friends you've had throughout your life. What qualities do best-friend relationships have? What makes a person your best friend? What do BFFs do together?

Be lovers and best friends

Having a passionate love life is great, but what happens when/if that dwindles? You need to have a solid foundation underneath to keep your relationship strong. You need to enjoy each other's company even when you're not being physically intimate. Couples should do activities together they both love, spend time just being together and be happy to just be.

Enjoy the little, daily things, not just the big moments

Sure, going on a big trip together like a Caribbean cruise or taking a second or third honeymoon are amazing opportunities to spend some alone time as a couple. But, if you can't find joy in the smaller, day-to-day life moments, you're missing out on so much marital bliss.

Couples strengthen their relationships by working togetherdoing dishes, grocery shopping, gardening and taking care of their children. You don't have to have big, expensive times together to make your love grow. Have regular date nights or cuddle on the couch while watching TV or a movie. There is simplicity and beauty in everyday life, and realizing that is the most important foundation of your relationship. Enjoy the ordinary with your spouse.

Make your marriage solid

Being best friends is a really solid foundation for a wonderful marriage. But, as with any relationship, if you don't put in the time and effort, it will slowly erode and fail. Find time to talk, reevaluate how things are going in your relationship and make alone time a priorityevery single day.

Kids, work, responsibilities and other distractions will take up all of your time if you let it, but your marriage needs to come first above all else. Make it a priority and your relationship will become stronger and your marriage more solid.

Even if you didn't initially didn't marry your best friend, you can work to become best friends with your spouse. Having passion and love in your marriage is important, but having a solid foundation of friendship is vital. Nurture your relationship by doing things together you both love and enjoy. With a strong friendship, you'll find the other aspects of your marriage also improve.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters