6 Secrets of Successful Couples

Secrets to Successful Couple

Photo: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

What will your relationship look like after a year? What about after 5, 10, or 20 years? To find out, Brides talked to nearly 50 married couples with the hopes of uncovering the secret to marital success. We asked our long-lasting couples about the low moments in marriage, the high points—and how newlywed lvoe changes into something even better. Want your marriage to make it to year 20 and beyond? (Of course you do!) Whether you're newly in love, recently engaged, or just married, these lessons are definitely ones to bookmark. Here, what our long-lasting couples all have in common, and what you can learn from their longevity:

They are each other's champions. You needn't be pie-eyed about your partner's abilities and talents—although it's wonderful if you are—but you do need to be affirming of his dreams and goals.

They are interdependent, not codependent. Your partner may be your other half, but he is also a separate individual who was not put on the earth solely as your ego booster.

You don't live in each other's pockets. Separate goals and interests are fine as long as you're both committed to the relationship.

They don't expect perfection. There will be times when you are bored, cranky, irritated, et cetera.

Marriage isn't a fairy tale. Think of life together as a novel with some slow chapters.

They give and receive good TLC. Be trustworthy, loving, and communicative. Don't fight to win. Rather, "fight" to understand your partner's point of view and ensure he understands yours. That way, you both win!

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