The Mating Grounds

5 Essential Behavioral Changes for a Long-Lasting Marriage

The Secret to a Long-Lasting Marriage

As someone who has been married for many years, I often get asked what the secret to a long-lasting marriage is. While there are many factors that contribute to the success of a marriage, there are two traits that are absolutely essential: kindness and generosity.

Kindness means showing compassion, empathy, and understanding towards your partner. It means being patient and forgiving, even when your partner makes mistakes.

Generosity, on the other hand, means giving freely without expecting anything in return. It means being willing to make sacrifices and putting your partner’s needs ahead of your own.

Research has shown that couples who exhibit these traits are more likely to have a lasting and happy marriage. In fact, psychologist John Gottman conducted a study of newlyweds and found that couples who showed kindness and generosity towards each other were much more likely to stay together.

But what about couples who don’t exhibit these traits? Gottman also studied couples who were heading for divorce and found that they fell into two categories: “masters” and “disasters.” Masters were couples who exhibited kindness and generosity, while disasters did not.

In fact, disasters were often characterized by criticism, contempt, and defensiveness. So if you want to have a long-lasting marriage, it’s important to cultivate kindness and generosity in yourself and your partner.

This can be easier said than done, especially when life gets stressful. But by making a conscious effort to be kind and generous, you can build a strong and lasting foundation for your marriage.

The State of Marriage Today

While the idea of a long-lasting marriage is a romantic notion, the reality is that many marriages don’t last. In the United States alone, there are 2.3 million couples getting married each year, but over half of these marriages will end prematurely.

In fact, the divorce rate has been steadily increasing in recent years. One factor that has contributed to the breakdown of marriages is infidelity.

Affairs and cheating have long been a problem in marriages, but the rise of technology has made it easier than ever to cheat. In 2015, the Ashley Madison hacking scandal made headlines when it was revealed that the dating website for married people had been hacked and user data had been leaked online.

The impact was widespread, with many marriages ending as a result of the affair website’s exposure. But infidelity is just one factor that can contribute to the breakdown of a marriage.

Financial problems, communication breakdowns, and conflicts over children or in-laws are all common issues that can strain a relationship. The key to preventing these issues from becoming insurmountable is to address them early on and seek outside help if necessary.


Marriage is not always easy, but with the right mindset and approach, it can be a beautiful and fulfilling union. By cultivating kindness and generosity, and being willing to work through challenges, you can build a strong and lasting relationship with your partner.

But it’s also important to recognize the challenges that marriages face today, whether it’s the increasing divorce rate or the impact of infidelity. By being aware of these challenges and taking steps to address them, you can give your marriage the best chance of success.

So if you’re in a relationship, take a moment to reflect on your own behavior. Are you showing kindness and generosity towards your partner?

Are there any issues that need to be addressed? By taking the time to think about these things, you can set yourself up for a long and happy marriage.

Marriage and Behavioral Changes

Marriage is a complex relationship that requires effort and commitment from both partners. A strong foundation is essential for a successful marriage.

However, even the strongest foundation can suffer cracks and can require fixing. Rebuilding a marriage requires a significant change in behavior from both partners.

One study explored positive and negative responses in communication between couples. The study found that successful marriages had a higher ratio of positive responses than negative ones.

The way we communicate with our partners is crucial to building a strong marriage. The study also highlighted that couples who turned toward each other during moments of stress had stronger relationships, and couples who turned away drifted apart.

Kindness and generosity are essential traits needed to build positive communication. In order to rebuild a marriage, both partners need to work on improving their behavior.

Small gestures such as saying thank you, listening actively, and doing something thoughtful for your partner can make a significant difference. In order to rebuild the foundation of your marriage, you should consider the following behavioral changes:


Communicate Effectively

Effective communication is the key to any successful relationship. In order to rebuild a marriage, both partners need to work on their communication skills.

Listen actively and respond positively to your partner’s needs. Discuss issues that may be affecting your marriage and work together to create a solution.

2. Show Appreciation

A simple thank you and expressing your appreciation for your partner’s efforts can make a big difference.

Taking the time to recognize your partner’s contributions to your marriage can help in rebuilding your relationship. Showing gratitude is a small but powerful behavior change that can make a significant difference.

3. Practice Kindness and Generosity

Kindness and generosity are two traits that can help build a strong and long-lasting marriage.

Practice acts of kindness, such as surprising your partner with a thoughtful gesture or complimenting them. Be selfless in your giving and put your partner’s needs ahead of your own.

4. Address Conflict

Conflict is inevitable in any relationship.

It is essential to address it promptly and with respect. Instead of avoiding confrontation, have an honest and respectful conversation.

Listen actively and try to understand each other’s points of view. Work together to create a solution that is fair to both partners.

5. Seek Professional Help

If you can’t seem to get through to your partner on your own, it may be time to seek professional help.

A marriage counselor can help you navigate through the changes needed and provide new insights on communication and conflict resolution. Rebuilding a marriage takes time and effort, but with the right behavioral changes, it is possible.

Positive communication, showing appreciation, practicing kindness and generosity, addressing conflict, and seeking professional help when needed can help to rebuild a strong foundation. Ultimately, it is the behavioral changes that make the difference in creating a happy, long-lasting marriage.

In conclusion, whether it is building a strong foundation for a long-lasting marriage, navigating the challenges that marriages face today, or rebuilding a marriage, the key to success lies in behavioral changes. Kindness, generosity, effective communication, addressing conflict, and seeking professional help when needed are all essential behaviors that can make all the difference in creating a happy and fulfilling relationship.

It takes effort and commitment from both partners, but with the right mindset and approach, a strong and meaningful marriage is within reach. By embracing these behavioral changes and continuing to work towards a better relationship, couples can make their marriage a true partnership built on love and mutual respect.

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