Here is the simple truth – being in love, marrying your best friend, and living a long life together is a very personal thing. A successful marriage requires the sharing of “core values.” We share those core values with you today.
If you are like us, you are sick and tired of all the debate about what constitutes a successful marriage. The truth is, does it really matter what others think about YOUR love, our love, who we marry, or what makes us happy in life?
Now, before you suffer apoplexy over the previous paragraph, consider this – does it really matter who you love, how you love, who you marry, or whether your type of love is the “preferred love?”
Honestly, does it really matter? Is there some big judge in the sky who determines what works and what doesn’t? Is there a book of “absolute truths” out there that should guide what we believe about love, marriage, and relationships? We think that love is personal and not subject to an easy definition.
We are often reminded of what our respective mothers quoted to us years ago – “Judge not lest ye be judged.” In the end, do we really have the right to judge others about their love life and who they should love and marry?
Not only do we love life, we love it even more so because everyday we experience it in wonderful, delightful, and loving ways. We highly recommend marriage. We are mesmerized by it. In our long marriage we have laughed and cried a lot. Life does, indeed, touch your heart.
We are often reminded of our time in Tangier and Casablanca interviewing successfully married couples several years ago. The noise, the hustle-bustle, the incredible array of colors, and the smiles and passion for life that the people exhibited. We were inspired then and we are today. Watching the “movie” of life is a joyful experience.
We understand life after nearly 50 years of marriage. We understand what it means to grow old. We understand that there are, indeed, ingredients to all successful marriages and relationships — and over the years we have tried our best to articulate them to our thousands of readers around the world.
Our life of love and marriage together has reinforced what we have researched for 30+ years, written about in our books, and exposed in our many blogs – there are “seven core values of great marriages and loving relationships” present in all successful loving relationships around the world, and here they are in a nutshell:
1. The couple in love is committed to always putting each other first in their relationship with each other. The first thing you notice in all highly successful loving relationships is that it is not about you and me, it is always about US. Discovering that YOU are not the center of the universe is the hallmark of a great relationship. Actually putting another human being number one is a powerful indication that you are truly in love.
2. The couple in love is committed to democracy in their relationship. Always remember, successful loving relationships are egalitarian. Namely, the best relationships understand that theirs is a shared relationship. If one person has all the power and makes all the decisions, it is NOT love! True love is a very democratic thing!
3. The couple in love is committed to ensuring their mutual happiness. Remember, true love is not just about ensuring your happiness. More importantly, and often for the first time in your life, you actually enjoy and are motivated by ensuring the happiness of someone other than yourself. It is a good feeling!
4. The couple in love values absolute trustworthiness and integrity in their relationship with each other. If you cannot trust the one you love, then it is not true love! The most successful loving relationships report that they trust their mate unequivocally and without hesitation. To violate that trust is to undermine and, ultimately destroy, the relationship with the one you say you love.
5. The couple in love is committed to caring and unconditional love for each other. When you truly love someone you do so without conditions. It is not about loving you IF . . . True love is unconditional.
6. The couple in love is committed to being mutually respectful towards each other. There is a Golden Rule in true love and it is like the one you learned early in your life, “Do unto others as you would have then do unto you.” Do not expect to be treated with respect when you are disrespectful to the one you love. Respectfulness is at the heart of all great loving relationships.
7. The couple in love values their mutual sense of responsibility for each other. People in love care for each other in ways that they have never cared for another. They feel a sense of responsibility for another person that they have never felt before. It feels so good to put another’s needs above your own. To do so is to love deeply and in very personal ways.
The Core Values of all successful loving relationships are at the heart of the matter. If you and your mate master these values, your love will, in all probability, last a lifetime.
By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts
Authors of the multiple award-winning books, Building a Love that Lasts and How to Marry the Right Guy