"You have probably taken more training to get a driver's license than you have to be successful in a committed relationship or marriage." -- Susanne Alexander, Can We Dance?
All experts agree that building a successful marriage takes efforts of both husband and wife. A successful marriage should be a "fortress for well-being", which can provide strength for both the husband and the wife to live good, productive lives as contributing members of society. Ideally, a successful marriage should bring forth great kids who grow up strong in every way.
No such thing as a perfect marriage
In reality, no marriage is perfect just as no individual is perfect. The lack of perfection doesn't mean that a marriage should be terminated in a divorce. Though it takes only one person to divorce, it takes two people to build a truly successful marriage partnership. Real world marriages have periods of ups and downs, and occassional conflicts and disagreements – in other words, challenges. A strong marriage involves discussions of the issues by both parties, who try to solve the problems. A unnecessary divorce is not an act of courage -- it is an act of cowardice and giving up one's marriage. Successful couples are the ones who don't give up and who are able to overcome their problems with time.
Here are some recommended books and websites for building a stronger marriage:
- The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver
- Hold Me Tight, by Sue Johnson
- The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman
- The Divorce Remedy, by Michele Weiner-Davis
- Fighting for Your Marriage, by Markman, Stanley, Blumberg
- The Secrets of Happily Married Women, by Scott Haltzman
- The Secrets of Happily Married Men, by Scott Haltzman
- 10 Great Dates series of books, Claudia and David Arp; their website is www.marriagealive.com