What Are the 3 Most Important Things in a Marriage Open Marriages

What Are the 3 Most Important Things in a Marriage Open Marriages

What Are the 3 Most Important Things in a Marriage?

Marriage rates in the United States have been declining recently. According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, national marriage rates decreased from 6.9 to 6.1 marriages per 1,000 people from 2017 to 2019, the lowest rate recorded so far.

While there are many potential reasons for this, it’s clear that many people still want to marry. But since long-lasting marriages are becoming rarer, how can couples ensure theirs is a happy one?

Every couple is different, and so is their relationship. So there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for a happily ever after. However, there are key elements to a long-term partnership.

Below are the three most important things in a marriage:

  1. Commitment: Commitment is more than wanting to stay together. It’s the act of choosing your partner for life and promising to go through all of its ups and downs together. And while there may be plenty of fish in the sea, being married means you are wholeheartedly invested in making the relationship last, casting away any doubts that this is just a temporary experiment.
  2. Love: While most couples start their relationships in love, sustaining that feeling takes effort, sacrifice, and generosity. True love means putting your partner first and giving of yourself without expecting anything in return. It also helps you to accept each other, flaws and all, and to forgive each other when you fall short.
  3. Respect: Expressing love, no matter how heartfelt, doesn’t mean much if marriage partners don’t respect each other. Respecting your partner for their qualities, thoughts, and capabilities means that you not only accept but also admire your differences. Respect can also help you listen to each other’s opinions and overcome challenges and disagreements.
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Of course, while these are the most important things in a marriage, there are other elements to keeping a marriage happy, including patience, communication, intimacy, trust, empathy, and humor.

What are the most common problems in a marriage?

No matter how happy your marriage is, you’re bound to encounter problems—big and small. One of the secrets to a healthy relationship is understanding potential challenges and making efforts to overcome them.

Some of the most common problems in a marriage include:

  • Lack of trust
  • Lack of communication
  • Jealousy or competition
  • Financial issues
  • Parenting issues
  • Differences in opinion
  • Infidelity
  • Cultural differences
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Boredom

At the root of many of these problems is a lack of trust, especially regarding infidelity. Trust is one of the most important foundations of a marriage. So how can you strengthen trust in your relationship?

How to build trust in a marriage

They say that trust is more fragile than glass and shatters easily. And once lost, it may be difficult to regain.

To maintain trust in your marriage:

  • Keep your word, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
  • Be available for your partner when they need you.
  • Express yourself honestly and openly.
  • Be loyal and show them they can count on you.
  • Be a patient listener.

At times, marriage can be a challenge to navigate. But with commitment, love, respect, and trust, you and your partner can make it work, even through tough times. And if all else fails, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a relationship counselor when needed.

QUESTION

What percent of open marriages end in divorce?

Open marriages are complicated and don’t work for every couple that tries them.
Research shows that cheating is cited as a reason for splitting up in 40% of divorces.

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For some couples, non-monogamy is a choice. In open or polyamorous marriages, partners agree to have emotional or sexual relationships with other people. They set rules and expectations and try to be honest about what’s going on in and out of the primary marriage.

Some people open up a marriage for the wrong reasons, such as letting a partner openly cheat rather than lying about it. Other times, a partner may fall in love with an outside partner and want to pursue that relationship more deeply.

For other couples, polyamory brings sexual or emotional satisfaction they won’t get in a monogamous relationship. Their marriages are strong, happy, and long-lasting.

Non-monogamous marriages are as varied as monogamous marriages. They don’t follow a set pattern. There is no sure way to predict if a non-monogamous marriage will last or if the partners will split up.

By some estimates, as many as 20% of Americans engage in some kind of non-monogamy during their lives. Studies suggest that 4%-5% of couples in the United States are non-monogamous. Little published data is available on how many of these couples eventually divorce. Their divorce rates may be similar to monogamous couples.

Choosing a non-monogamous relationship can be very rewarding if both partners are committed to it. For couples who don’t both embrace the choice, it might be the decision that ends their marriage.

Types of non-monogamy

There are many ways couples engage with additional partners. Cheating or non-consensual non-monogamy is common and usually distressing. In addition, you may run the risk of bringing home a sexually transmitted infection from such a relationship.

Other couples choose to have relationships with additional people. They go into it knowing their expectations and avoid deceit or dishonesty. They are upfront about their feelings and try to be sensitive to one another’s needs.

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Non-monogamy can take different forms, such as:

  • Open marriages: Couples agree to sexual contact with other partners. Often, both members of the couple have sex with other partners together. Sometimes, couples prefer to have separate sexual adventures. The primary relationship remains the emotional focus. Most of the outside relationships limit to sex without deep emotional commitment.
  • Swinging: Couples engage in partner-swapping with other couples or invite additional people to have group sex with them. They may go to sex clubs or swingers’ parties to meet like-minded people. Swinging is about sexual gratification without seeking long-term relationships outside the marriage.
  • Monogamish: Couples agree to have sexual contact with others under specific circumstances. They are honest about their personal boundaries and try to stay within them. They don’t typically seek out committed relationships. The encounters are brief and non-committed.
  • Polyamory: Couples look for lasting relationships outside their primary relationship. The parameters vary. Some couples keep their outside relationships separate. Others introduce additional partners to their primary partners. All people involved in polyamorous relationships are aware and consent to everything that happens.

Archives of Sexual Behavior: "Open Relationships, Non-consensual Nonmonogamy, and Monogamy Among U.S. Adults: Findings from the 2012 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior."

Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice: "Infidelity and Behavioral Couple Therapy: Relationship Outcomes Over 5 Years Following Therapy."

Psychology Today: 7 Different Kinds of Non-Monogamy," "Are Open Marriages Happier?" "When Your Partner Wants Non-Monogamy and You Don’t."

Sexual and Relationship Therapy: "Prevalence of Experiences With Consensual Non-monogamous Relationships: Findings From Two National Samples of Single Americans."

Sexual and Relationship Therapy: "Prevalence of Experiences With Consensual Non-monogamous Relationships: Findings From Two National Samples of Single Americans."

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