If You Don't Do These 5 Things, Your Marriage Will Not Work — Period

You've got to give a little and take a little.

Couple kissing passionately Cassie Lopez | Unsplash, Wulano | Canva

In our continuing search for great marriages around the world, we journeyed to the beautiful country of New Zealand.

Our interviews with happily married couples took us to Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Wanaka, Arrowtown, and Glenorchy. We flew in a twin-engine plane over Milford Sound, rode a boat on gorgeous glacier lakes, and drove a Jeep down country roads in search of great marriages throughout New Zealand.


While we interviewed several long-time couples in New Zealand (both married and unmarried), there are two that stand out the most. We share marriage advice from two sets of lovebirds (married for over 60 years) — Hank and Hanny, and Harold and Dorothy.

In interviewing these two couples, we found their advice for a successful marriage echoed each other! 

If you don't do these 5 things, your marriage will not work

1. Trust one another

Trust is built over time. In the best marriages, trust grows and is never diminished. There is no cheating, dishonesty, or infidelity in great marriages and relationships.


And to those who say that you can repair your loving relationship after one partner violates the most basic trust — all we can say is, you risk joining the ranks of those couples who got divorced.

RELATED: 5 Tiny Ways You Change (For The Better) When You're In Love

2. Understand that a successful marriage is easy to understand but difficult to put into practice

Marriage is not for the faint of heart. A successful marriage takes hard work: be kind, show respect, and engage in simple acts and loving gestures.


In the end, a successful marriage is a collection of having done the simple things. Never be lulled into thinking you can take your marriage for granted. Work to make it work every day of your lives together.

3. Laugh more than cry

In marriage, it is always better to laugh a lot than to cry. Nobody ever promised your marriage would be great all the time. All marriages go through trauma and uncertainty. Your relationship is not alone in this. What makes your marriage work is how you react to the tough times, the uncertain times.

Sometimes, you need to laugh a lot! Laughing cleanses the soul. Laughter purifies the relationship between you and your partner. How about more laughter in your lives together? Laughter could make or break your marriage.

If You Don't Do These 5 Things, Your Marriage Will Not Work — PeriodPhoto: BalanceFormCreative via Shutterstock


RELATED: 12 Reasons Marriage Is Important For Your Overall Well-Being

4. Express your love — in small and big gestures

The most successfully married couples tell us this — express love to your mate multiple times during the day in a variety of ways.

If you truly love someone, you will find many ways to tell them. And there is a corollary.

It is not enough to love someone and to express that love. The one you love should also be your best friend. In our travels, we have discovered many simple truths, but most importantly, among these is that the one you love must also be your best friend!

5. Give and take

In great marriages, you win some, and you lose some. Never be obsessed with being right.


Frankly, the most important notion you should take from this is that great marriages are characterized by "finding common ground" and "creating common solutions."

couple sharing plans on couchPhoto: Mentatdgt via Shutterstock

Share the burden. Don't always feel like you have to find the best solution yourself. Search for agreement. Great relationships share the decision-making. Being right when you are wrong is not a solution to any debate.


Give a little and take a little. Arrive at the common ground that makes your relationship work.

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Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz are renowned love and marriage experts, and multiple award-winning authors. Their expertise has been featured on SelfGrowth.com, Fabulously40.com, and RelateSpace.com, as well as appearing on "The Doctors" to provide inspiration and guidance.