Surveys and Polls

The Secret of Longevity

What do you think it takes to keep a marriage healthy
and happy in today's divorce-prone society?

Here's what you said . . .
  • Communication. Always talk with your spouse. It doesn't matter about what, just talk. Tell them how you are feeling about work, your relationship, friends, family. Let them know if you are feeling down, happy, excited. Sharing your feelings and dreams means so much. ~ From a married man of 10 years

  • Respect for the others' feelings. Give and take for both. Mutual Trust in each other. ~ From a married woman of 44 years

  • To have a good marriage it takes understanding, and patience along with communication. Telling her I love her. Doing those little things like laundry or dishes or looking after the kids so she can have a little time to herself. A little romantic surprise such as a flower or a card or something special. Once a year we have a getaway just us with no kids. ~ From a married man of 9 years

  • Both partners to stay faithful to one another, everything else will fall into place. ~ From a married woman of 21 years

  • I believe it takes effort on both sides to understand the other person and their needs. It is foolish to assume that all men want is sex and all woman want is romance. Each person communicates their feelings differently. What may look like a need for sex and/or romance might not be as simple as making love more or planning a romantic evening. Relationships are rarely that simple. If it were that simple everyone would be truly happy. You have to connect on a deeper level and strive to understand how that person truly loves. No two people are alike, remember that. ~ From a married man of 4 years

  • Love, respect, trust, being honest between the husband and wife will keep their marriage healthy. ~From a married man of 12 years

  • Put it first, work at it, work at it, and work some more. Understand that there are natural ups and downs and riding that wave is a part of marriage. Enjoy the highs and work like heck to disolve the lows. Embrace each other's strengths and weaknesses. Don't judge too harshly, the spotlight can easily turn to you. Stay FRIENDS with your mate, keep it fun, and speak with kind words when you are mad-hold hands when you have something hard to say. Forgive. Above all love them, warts and all. ~ From a married woman of 14 years

  • A married couple that prays together, stays together! Put God first! ~ From a married woman of 15 years

  • Compromise! Make a genuine effort to work on being a couple. Go to counseling sooner rather than later if you sense problems. ~ From a married woman of 15 years

  • Patience, communication and forgiveness. ~ From a married woman of 22 years

  • Communication, friendship and a satisfying sexual relationship. ~ From a married man of 17 years

  • Make time for each other every day and don't take each other for granted. ~ From a married woman of 10 years

  • Married men want affection and occasional sex and for their wives to not act like it's a chore. Being able to confide your worries and fears to, without being made to feel you are at fault for them. ~ From a married man of 37 years

  • Laughter, love, compassion, romance . . . genuine interest in your partner. ~ From a married woman of 25 years

  • It takes paying attention to one another. Knowing that you are both individuals but also one. Making an honest effort to try to show love.You cannot put it aside until the kids grow up. ~ From a married man of 21 1/2 years

  • Married men would get more sex if they would give more romance.The wife would not withhold if she wasn't so tired from the kids running her ragged all evening, while "the man" watches his TV, reads the paper or works late. I don't feel very attractive when I am being treated like a servant. ~ From a married woman of 6 years

  • The ability to say "I'm sorry" sincerely. ~ From a married woman of 26 years

  • Lots of understanding and communication! And learning to seperate "MOM from WIFE" to always make time for romance and a little spicy sex! ~ From a married woman of 15 years

  • Different interests, as well as common interests, are imperative. Just think about 2 columns holding up a building...if they are too close together, they do not support enough weight. If they are separated, they stand tall and nothing collapses. ~ From a married woman of 40 years

  • Develop trust and have give and take in the relationship. Remember she has feelings too, and good and bad days like men do. ~ From a married man of 25 years

  • Being open and honest with each is the secret. You HAVE to communicate and learn how to compromise. ~ From a married woman of 18 years

  • The ability to communicate well with each other. Not just talking either but taking the time out to really listen to what your partner is saying. ~ From a married woman of 11 years

  • Great communication, good love-making and keeping in touch with what is important to your spouse and also being best friends. We tend to forget that being frineds is the key to a very long relationship with your spouse. My husband is my best freind, my lover, my everything. We have the same interests and we are very compatiable. ~ From a married woman of 14 years

  • Keeping the fires burning. ~ From a married man of 11 years

  • Love, passion, similar interests and goals, individual outside interests, projects to work on together. ~ From a married woman of 32 years

  • A lot of work! I've learned that it's the daily mundane that can take you down but with frequent and clear communication (sometimes hours at a time), you can clear the air, find some focus and things to improve upon and more importantly find new ways to share time together and learn about each other. It's not roses and romance everyday, but it can be daisies, love and respect with effort. ~ From a married woman of 5 years

  • Being able to communicate and keeping yourself interesting to each other as a couple. ~ From a married woman of 10 years

  • Forgiving and working any problems you have out no matter what you have to do. Do it to stay together; that's what marriage is about. ~ From a married woman of 6 years

  • I think that you should be each other's friend, and they should have respect for each other. Another thing is, no cheating. That's why couples are getting divorced these days. ~ From a married woman of 28 years

  • A woman needs to show respect to her husband in a manner which he understands. A man needs to show love to his wife in a manner she understands. In other words, each must learn the "foreign” language of their spouse so they can communicate effectively. ~ From a married man of 22 years

  • Friendship, trust, respect, being a haven for one another. ~ From a married woman of 11 years

  • Prayers, communication, tolerance, patience, acceptance. ~ From a married woman of 7 years

  • Trust and patience and always try to keep it interesting with your mate. ~ From a married woman of 14 years

  • Always having interesting subjects to talk about together. And a shared sense of humor too! ~ From a married woman of 6 years

  • Both partners need to be open and true to each others feelings and needs. ~ From a married man of 6 years

  • First and foremost I believe that you have to have God in your marriage to make it last. I also believe that your spouse needs to be your best friend. If you care more about your spouse than yourself and are willing to please them then you show your love versus being in love. ~ From a married woman of 4 years

  • My opinion is that people need to know that marriage is harder than any business, any child and definitely harder than anyone will ever tell you. If couples would take the time to look at their marriage as the most important thing in life, my opinion is there would be less divorce. What is so hard with telling people that marriage is hard? I hardly ever hear anyone say that. It, to me, has been so trying, not because of four children, but because we have to consistently understand that other person. We need to know how to love each other at each different step in life. We all need to take marriage as a vow and a commitment and not that there is always divorce if it gets tough. ~ From a married woman of 12 years

  • Know going in that divorce is not an option. ~ From a married woman of 3 1/2 years

  • Honesty, healthy sex life, trusting in one another. ~ From a married woman of 5 years

  • Honesty, true love, trust and A LOT of patience! ~ From a married woman of 10 years

  • Don't pay attention to others. Make them mind their own business, and make sure you ignore their bad talking about your spouse. They're just jealous and may want to cause a split, too. Just trust your own instincts and especially your spouse. ~ From a married woman of 10 years

  • A married man wants a wife that is honest and is open about everything, from the bedroom to everyday life. Great sex into elder years. ~ From a married man of 10 years

  • Communication, negotiation, and accommodation--in that order. ~ From a married man of 12 years

  • Love/sincere caring about the partner; their needs, their desires, hopes, dreams and thoughtful interest in them. ~ From a married woman of 40 years

  • Marriage takes three, that is husband, wife and God! I have found that marriage isn't always going to be healthy and happy no matter who you are. Storms will come, guaranteed. My husband and I have weathered our storms using God's strength and wisdom. We wouldn't have made it together for twelve years without Him! ~ From a married woman of 12 years

  • I think the first step is attitude. If you feel divorce is not an option, you will be more likely to look to other solutions to work out problems. I think you also have to think of your marriage as a priority that needs work and attention, just like your kids or your job. ~ From a married woman of 9 years

  • It helps if you choose a mate with similar values. Also, if you choose someone who respects you and who wants the best for you, things go much more smoothly. Remember that you are a team, you're on each other's side. The world is difficult enough without struggling in your marriage. ~ From a married woman of 11 years

  • Well, after 25 years, sex, sex and more sex! Sorry, no big mystery! ~ From a married woman of 25 years

  • It takes communication and feelings for each other's wants and needs and open minded on certain new things in the bedroom. ~ From a married man of 15 years

  • Best best friends. Share long-term goals. Share political/religious opinions. Share interests. Have steaming regular sex. ~ From a married man of 22 years

  • Have great sex and repect each other. ~ From a married man of 6 years

  • First and foremost is faithfulness to one another, trust, respect and sparing time for each other. ~ From a married woman of 14 years

  • Respecting each other. ~ From a married woman of 7 years

  • Love, patience, respect, and kindness. ~ From a married man of 12 years

  • Communication, compassion and understanding. Never go to bed angry. Apologize, even if it wasn't you who started it, that gets the line of communication open again. ~ From a married woman of 5 years

  • Sparks when you touch and friendship. ~ From a married woman of 7 1/2 years

  • Communication is key, so is understanding each other's uniqueness and encouraging each other in all aspects of their lives. If a couple has children, like we do, our marriage is stronger because he has been an active parent. We share all responsibilities together, but also do not keep tabs on what each other has or hasn't done. Respect and love make a marriage last. ~ From a married woman of 8 years

  • I think a great sex life with your mate is a start, but having someone you can talk to and express your feelings. Always being a friend. ~ From a married man of 16 years

  • Communication, communication, communication! ~ From a married woman of 11 years

  • I think that compromise is the hardest part of marriage in the early years. You have to learn to compromise on money issues, household issues and also parenting issues. Communication is also a big thing to making a marriage last. You have to learn how to fight fair. Men have a tendency to deal with problems differently than women. They tend to keep things inside, and women tend to want to discuss the problem. Once a week couples should sit down for a "talk" and discuss not only the bad things that happened that week, but also the good things. Grudges need to be left behind and it's important not to blame. If someone feels attacked they will be on the defensive. And the last thing is to make sure that your partner feels appreciated and tell them that you love them. There are no sweeter words! ~ From a married woman of 8 years

  • You have to love your partner. Dont just love the good parts; accept them for who they are. If you feel distant, find a way to merge back together. Be honest and trustworthy. Try new things with each other and learn to compromise and share. ~ From a married woman of 10 years

  • You have to believe that marriage is forever. Failure is not an option (thanks NASA). You need to talk, grow, share and pray. It is essential that you stand up for what you believe in. We believe in the strength of our family. That enabled us to stand strong when our kids were being tempted by the worst of our culture. Between my wife and I, there is a problem we can't solve. I'm mechanical. She can sew. We bought a houseboat that needs new cushions and mechanical work. We're a team. We've been married 30 years this month. Sometimes I get vain and think that God has singled us out for a special blessing. The truth is that we stayed out of God's way and let it happen. It's a blessing that is for everyone. There hasn't been a week in the past 30 years that I haven't thanked God for my wife. As our daughters have grown up -- the oldest is 30 -- the greatest gift we can give them is the example of our family and our marriage. My parents failed. Her parents were solid and provided us with the example we needed to make it though tough times. As the song says: Can I have this dance for the rest of my life . . . ~ From a married man of 30 years

  • Marry your best friend. ~ From a married man of 32 years

  • Keep the passion. ~ From a married woman of 27 years

  • Unfailing commitment. Not love or mushy feelings, but hard work, somedays feel like pulling your hair out but don't. Keep the commitment. ~ From a married woman of 19 years

  • Communication. ~ From a married man of 11 years

  • The key to a lasting relationship is making sure that you only confide in each other. There is no such thing as a "friend" of the opposite sex. There should never be a need to have a an opposite sex friendship outside the marriage. NEVER let anyone get close to your spouse, only you. If you have a problem, talk to one another, NOT someone else! That is our trick to being happily married so long. Coupled with great communication, really listening to one another, and always finding time for intimacy, even with three children. We have dates a few times a month. And our kids sleep over at my in-laws at least once a month. It's important to keep the spark alive! ~ From a married woman of 17 years

  • Open communication, unabashed affection, praising the good that he/she does and willingness to pull your fair share! ~ From a married man of 15 years

  • I think it takes telling your mate everyday that you love them. And then showing them -- not just sex but those little things, like cranking their car in the morning when it's cold. Spending a lot of quality time with them, but not smothering them. From a married man of 17 years

  • Implicit trust in each other is the foundation to a happy, satisfying, loving relationship w/out it there is no base for it to thrive. ~ From a married woman of 28+ years