Biggest Factors in Successful Marriage

posted 2 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
693 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I guess most people think that younger people don’t really know what they want in life yet, so decisions  and feelings change abecause your mind isn’t “fully developed” or whatever. However, I am about to be 24 and my mind never changed as far as my DH. We started dating when I was 15 & he was 17 and I always knew he was for me. Now obviously this isn’t the case for a lot of people. I do know I have changed though as far as my thoughts, beliefs, and wants in life in just the past two years. So I can definitely see why people think that about young people.

I agree with your three; compatibility is definitely one, as is having the same goals and wants in life. Like if one person wants to travel the world and their spouse is a homebody, obviously that isn’t going to work (unless one is just extremely self sacrificing). I agree with maturity to a certain extent, DH & I act pretty immature most of the time but we do it out of fun. But I get what you are saying-for a marriage to work, you have to be mature enough to get over things quickly and easily, you have to sacrifice, put the other person first,etc.

Post # 3
4471 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

jayquellen :  Well age is huge.  People are simply more mature at 30 than 22.  I’m not being ageist or anything, but having been there, thinking I was so mature for my age…but I wasn’t quite “grown up” yet.  That’s why 22 year olds tend to get a bit of flak on here, because “real life” is different when you are paying your own bills, paying for your own groceries, etc.

For me, my priorities are:

1. Financial compatibility.  This is huge — and I mean HUGE — for me.  I wasn’t going to marry a guy who was going to bring credit card debt into the relationship.  I wasn’t going to marry a guy who would max out his credit cards.  I wasn’t going to marry a man who didn’t care about saving for a house or saving for retirement.  This stems from when I dated a guy who was just AWFUL with money and any time something good happened in his life he would “treat” himself to something that was worth anywhere from $50-$500.  We’re talking video games, clothes he didn’t need, a new musical instrument…  Meanwhile he didn’t have 2 dimes to rub together in his checking account.  But now…I married an accountant and we’ve been on the exact same financial page since day 1.

2. Responsibility.  This sort of ties into the financial compatibility piece, but my husband is one of the most responsible guys I know.  We are partners in life, and I’ve never felt like I need to take “care” of him or anything like that.

3. Similar life goals.  Living with someone who wants similar things in life as you do is big.  For example I wouldn’t date someone who wanted to live out of my home state, because I’ve always known I want to settle here.  I do love travel though, so it is important to me that a spouse is in the same boat with that.  Lifestyle is huge with compatibility and a successful marriage.

Post # 4
801 posts
Busy bee

I was with my high school boyfriend from ages 15-20 and sincerely thought we’d get married. I thought I was very mature back then. Now, at 27 I can say that, while I may have been more mature than the average teen, I was certainly not mature enough for marriage. My 20s have included periods of being single, periods of going on lots of dates, and periods of being in long term relationships. All that experience has taught me a lot. I’ve grown a lot more decisive about what I want and am looking for. I put up with things at 20 that I would never ever put up with now; I am simply much better able to assess what is important to me in a partner and how compatible we’ll be than I was then. The 20s are also a transitional period for most people, and I can say that I’ve grown and changed a ton since I was 20 and none of the people I was attracted to then are people who would be good for me now. Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t immature people of all ages, or that all young relationships are doomed. But I do think that it is with good reason that, when trying to give advice on message boards based on a limited amount of information, age is relevant. Also, the divorce rate is MUCH higher for people who get married under 25, so that’s another reason that very young couples are often encouraged to hold off on marriage. There are always exceptions to the rule, but no one is going to assume that you’re an exception when you ask for advice on an anoymous forum. 

To get back to your question, though, I suppose the things that I think are most important in marriage come down to: kindness & mutual respect, dedication to the marriage and willingness to work through things, and comptibility/similar outlooks and goals in life. 

Post # 5
7083 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

Being able to effectively and respectfully communicate is a huge factor in whether or not a relationship will succeed or not. It doesn’t matter what age you are or how mature you are – if you and your partner can’t communicate your relationship probably won’t succeed.

Other things that matter:

– Compatible life goals and financials goals/strategy

– Mutual respect

– Maturity and responsibility 

– Dedication to the relationship (Sometimes in life it’s easy to make your relationship a priority but you have to keep making it a priority even when it’s harder, you can’t just let it slip to the bottom of your list and expect it to all be okay).

I think when it comes to age compatible life goals is one that really matters there. You do a lot of growing and changing in your early twenties, and while you of course are growing and changing your whole life, I think it’s most extreme in your early twenties when you are first on your own, out in the world and really learning who are are as an individual. So even though you may have compatible life goals with your SO when you are both 18, that could very likely not be the case when you are 25 and in that case you wouldn’t want to be married to them and now having to go through a divorce (which is actually happening to two of my friends right now who got married very young).

I’m not saying an older couple couldn’t drift apart over times as well and develop life goals or lifestyles that are no longer compatible – that risk is there in any marriage. But I definitely think the risk is higher the younger a couple is.

Post # 6
6337 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Lola's Trailer Park

1. Age (Have you lived enough and had some life experience? Do you have/are ready to get your shit together?)

2. Maturity (Are you ready to take a relationship seriously? Are you willing to put in the work?)

3. Compatibility (Do you get along well? Do you have similar goals and beliefs?)

4. Communication (Are you able to effectivly communicate with your partner? Can you have disagreements in a healthy manner? Are you able to resolve conflict?)

5. Wholeness as an individual person (Are you a fufilled person? Are you complete on your own?)

6. Respect

Post # 7
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2021

The 3 things that crashed my first marriage were:  1) maturity, 2) money, 3) goals and interests

Maturity, cuz you gotta be on the same level intellectually as well as be able to grow with each other. A stunted man child regardless of age and a partner whoʻs blossoming and growing regardless of her age isnʻt gonna work. 

Money, cuz problems with how itʻs spent, how itʻs prioritized, and honesty in talking about it all can lead to financial infedelity, one person carrying it all and the feeling unimportant then leads to an emotional break down in the marriage.

Goals and Interests to me are the same cuz people spend money and put time into what they enjoy doing and what they want in life. If those arenʻt compatible or  similar, then you start to view how they spend their time and money as wasteful and unimportant, and them yours which leads to isolation, resentment, and frustration.

Post # 9
459 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Though age does not completely determine maturity, it certainly plays a large role in it. When people say age does not matter, or is just a number, they are deluding themselves.

Even the law and content ratings are based on age, because biology has shows that age is the largest factor in maturity and development. You can’t vote until you’re 18 in the USA. That’s not to say that some 16 year olds aren’t capable of voting responsibly, just that the majority of young teens are not capable of it. The same goes for requiring people to be 16 to obtain a license, 21 to drink, and the reason that car insurance rates go down when the insured reaches 25.

I think many times it’s hard to hear someone judge your abilities based on your age, and people (myself included when I was younger) take it as condescension and unfair judgment. People in general tend to take those opinions personally. But the truth is that the majority of us feel we are more mature than others our age. That doesn’t mean it’s true.

Also, putting aside all of that, there are other factors that are closely related to age that can affect a relationship. A younger couple is more likely to have lower income jobs, less education, and less life experience. They’re less likely to be paying their own bills, own a home, and have a clear future plan laid out.

Post # 11
6337 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Lola's Trailer Park

jayquellen :  I think its kind of a catch 22 on some of it.

If you took away age but had all the other things the marriage would likely still work but some of those other things just come with age from my experience, like maturity and being what I can best describe as a “complete” person.

When I was younger I was super mature for my age but looking back I can still see that I hadn’t had quite enough life experience to make me as mature as I am now. I also see that I was very dependent and felt like I NEEDED to have someone in my life. Now at this point I really don’t NEED a partner, I’d be fine on my own if I had to be but I have a partner because I WANT one. Its hard to describe but I feel like a totally fufilled person, i’m not looking for someone to complete me (which I did when I was younger) I invite people into my life just because I like them and they bring me joy now, not to fill some imaginary hole inside of me.

Post # 14
4489 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: San Francisco City Hall

I agree with much of what I am reading here and don’t want to repeat.. however I would like to add acceptance to the list.  I believe marriage is not about trying to change the other person but rather working with them in a partnership.  In order to do so you will need acceptance of who your spouse is and acceptance of your differences.

Post # 15
1738 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

jayquellen :  so I think it stems from what perceived responsibilities you have. It’s assumed by 30 that you’re living on your own, paying your own bills. Whereas at 22 maybe you’re still relying on your parents, maybe you’ve just graduated and are naive about the real world. Obviously as you pointed out, maturity doesn’t necessarily equal age but people do tend to use age incorrectly as an indication of maturity.

I think this stems from an understanding that in a marriage you are not always going to get your own way. Whether that is compromising on a home or when to have kids. Or things that might be completely outside of your control, like infertility or loss of job. I think we assume that at 30 most people will have experienced something not going their way – they’ve either not got that dream job or had to decide between fixing their car and a holiday. I think at 22 we assume most people have never had to compromise on anything and have never had something not go quite to plan.

For me I think when you start discussing marriage you should have:

1) respect – this one is so easily overlooked but you need to make sure that you respect the person to make the right decision (or what you consider the right decision)

2) trust – not just trust them not to cheat but you actually trust them with your life. If you marry this person, they will be your next of kin. If the worst should happen, this will be the person who will agree to turn your life support off, this will be the person who agrees what end of life care you receive. This will be the person who plans your funeral. You need to trust them that they will make the decision you want in the most difficult time of their life and that they will honour your wishes.

3) life goals – it’s always important to check back in on these regailtly though. It’s not enough to check in when you’re dating and assume that nothing will change. Our experiences shape our life and what we want so it’s naive to assume that life won’t alter our life goals along the way. Hopefully your life goals alter in a way that are still compatible with your partners.

4) ability to compromise. You have this other person that means as much as you and no matter how compatible you are, there will always be some element of compromise.

5) the ability to admit you’re wrong/you don’t need to be right all the time. For me, this is definitely something has to do with age (although not for everyone), but at 22 being right was important to me. It was part of proving my worth. It was part of proving that I could make it in the real, adult world. I would hold out on arguments because I needed to be right, the simplest arguments I would need to be right. Since then, I’ve made mistakes. I’ve made mistakes at work and at home, sometimes big mistakes and sometimes small mistakes. Being wrong doesn’t mean you’re a failure it means you just need to learn from your actions. Sometimes DH and I bicker when we’re both tired, the need to be right turns these into big arguments but admitting that it doesn’t matter who “wins” allows us to address the root cause – that we’re tired and haven’t spent enough time together.

Leave a comment

Get our weekly roundup of the best of Weddingbee.
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.

Find Amazing Vendors