DYNACII's Life Coach
January 22, 2013

What should I do to maintain a happy, long lasting marriage?

Dear Life Coach,

I am a 25-year-old female and over the holidays, my 28-year-old boyfriend “popped” the question and I said yes. So we are getting married by the end of this year and both our parents approve. We are both employed and we have been going steady for the past 3 years. I am so excited but at the same time very scared because I really want to have a successful marriage. How do I maintain a good marriage and one that lasts over a life time?{{more}}

Excited Woman (EW)

EW, all your dreams are coming true, you are happy, but you are also aware that marriage is a big responsibility.

Your Situation:

A number of factors are at work here: developmental stage, going steady, engagement, pre-marital counseling, pre-marital medical tests, steps to a successful marriage, among others.

Developmental Stage

Both you and your boyfriend are in the early adulthood stage of your development and so by going steady, becoming engaged, and finally getting married you are on the way to resolving your developmental crisis of intimacy in a positive direction.

Going Steady

Going steady means that a couple has made a promise to each other to date (spend time together on a regular basis) exclusively (and not date anyone else). This usually occurs when a couple feels sure about their love for each other (or are strongly attracted to each other) and want to get to know each other better and develop their relationship into something more lasting and meaning (such as marriage).


Being engaged means that a couple have given their pledge to be married to each other. During this period (generally 6 months to two years) there is planning and preparation for the wedding and establishing a home.


Marriage is the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex in holy matrimony as husband or wife in a consensual, contractual, lifelong relationship recognized by law and by God.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Marriage

  • Worship Together: The family that prays together stays together. Find a bible believing house of worship and attend together.

  •  Play Together: Entertainment and other recreational activities are pleasurable. The relational bonds between couples (and the family) are strengthened by these positive experiences.
  •  Honest Communication: Happy marriages are based on need fulfilment so talk to your partner about what you need. Talk about everything including: finances, marital intimacy, things you like or dislike. Do not bottle up your feelings. Do not keep secrets.
  •  Put Your Partner First: Do the things that makes your partner happy; have a servant heart – seek to serve your partner. Put your partner above all friends and family.
  •  Allow for Weaknesses: Your partner is human and will make mistakes, and will need your forgiveness (and you will need his).
  • Forgiveness: When you forgive, forgive – wipe the slate clean. Let it be as if it never happened.
  •  Respect: Treat each other with respect and dignity at all times both in words and deeds.
 Maintain Shared Interests: Couples who share similar interest tend to be closer. If you share different interests, then be supportive of your partner’s interest.

Maintain Marital Intimacy: Have open, honest communication about needs, frequency, and expectations, and seek to please each other. Do not use marital intimacy as a weapon or reward.

  • Share the Work Load: Share the responsibility of maintaining a home, paying bills, shopping (and caring for children when they come alomg). Decide together who will do what.
  •  Fight Fair: Stick to the topic, do not say things you know will hurt, do not bring up past events, maintain a positive focus, use I statements, be respectful, seek a solution.
  •  Resolve Conflicts by the End of the Day: Give in, ask forgiveness, seek a compromise, or forgive. Try to solve conflicts quickly, do not let things fester.
  •  Sweet Somethings: Give compliments and positive feedback to your partner at all times. Say sweet things and use sweet names eg. honey etc.
  •  Seek Counseling: Seek counseling if a problem persists for several weeks. Do not wait until things have gone so bad that it cannot be repaired.
  •  Fidelity: Remain faithful to your partner physically and emotionally.
  •  Room to Grow: Give your partner room to grow. Help your spouse to achieve his (or her) dreams.

What to Do:

  •  Pre-Marital Counseling
Both you and your fiancé should receive pre-marital counseling which is intended to help you explore factors that affect marriage and how well you know each other so that there are no surprises.
  • Pre-Marital Medical Tests

An individual should be healthy prior to marriage since this affects the partner and potential offspring(s). The medical tests that are recommended include: HIV, Hepatitis B, blood group compatibility, and sickle cell anemia.

  •  Plan for your Wedding & your Home

You may do this with your family or use a wedding planner. Decide on an affordable budget and stick within that range, avoid extreme wedding debt.

EW, this is a wonderful and exciting time for you. Here’s hoping that all will go well for you both now and in the future.

Life Coach


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