What Makes a Marriage Work?

The secret ingredient to any successful relationship.

What Makes a Marriage Work?

The secret ingredient to any successful relationship.

-Melissa Chapman, www.marriedmysuardaddy.com

couple arguing

My husband and I had a heated argument recently. This time we didn’t throw any vases at each other or break any lamps, but it was one of those arguments that made me feel better about our relationship once we were able to recover from it.

Which got me thinking … I truly believe our ability to forgive one another, and to say we’re sorry, is probably one of the reasons why we are still together. Not that I am advocating arguing with your husband so that you can test the power of forgiveness and whether or not it is a force that bonds you. But, there is something very primal about knowing that you can put every last issue you have with your spouse out there into the stratosphere, as opposed to sucking it deep into your gut until it manifests into a tumor (I have no medical evidence to suggest that happens — you’ll just have to trust me). And knowing that, despite some really nasty, hard-to-hear things you might say to one another, you will always forgive.


Because you know you have to. That is the pact you made when you got married (or at least the one I made) — that we would work at this relationship and essentially fight for it until it was dead.

So if you asked me the question, what makes a marriage work? I would say forgiveness — which for me translates into unconditional love. No matter how intensely you and your husband may go at each other, ultimately you know that words are just words and they have no power over you unless you give them power.

I actually polled a few friends about this and here were their thoughts:

What makes a marriage work?


-“Separate bathrooms”

-“Selective hearing loss”

-“Knowing where your mute button is”

And the kicker…

-“An active fantasy sex life!”

Got any to add?

Melissa ChapmanMelissa Chapman blogs about her marriage and everything in between at http://www.marriedmysugardaddy.com/. Her work has appeared in The Staten Island Advance, Care.com, ABC News, BlogHer, Baby Center, Momtourage, Lifetime Moms, Babble, The Washington Post, Time Out NY Kids and iVillage.

Read all of her Betty columns here.

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