Recipe for a Successful Marriage

Think of your love as an apple pie. (That’s not hard for me, because I adore apple pie.) While each baker’s recipe may include a few different twists (nutmeg), the core ingredients (apples, sugar) must be there.

Social scientists and demographers have collected so much data on marriage that we now have “divorce-resistant” recipes for success. Deseret News (in Salt Lake City) reported last week on what demographers and sociologists say good marriages have in common. Writer David Yount explains the formulas are “simple to state but demanding to practice.” Anyone who has been married can vouch for how challenging each individual ingredient can be. And, the ingredients must be added daily, not just on a good day. I collected the facts into two different “recipes” that have some similar ingredients.

Divorce-Resistant, Happy Marriage Ingredients:

  • Mutual kindness
  • Respect and reverence
  • Appreciation of spouse as exciting, trustworthy & a sympathetic lover
  • Sensitive to partner’s emotional needs
  • Share household tasks
  • Cooperate in raising children
  • Bonus ingredients that improve your odds: common religious faith and investing in romance

Happy and Permanent Marriage Ingredients (according to the National Marriage Project and the National Opinion Research Center):

  • Similar values
  • Friendship
  • Communication
  • Sexual satisfaction
  • Mutual respect
  • Religious faith

*When the above ingredients are present, couples say they would marry the same person again.

Recipe for a complaining spouse:

  • Be dull, unattractive and ill-mannered
  • Have poor personal hygiene
  • Refuse to help around the house

Do you have all the key ingredients for a happy marriage? The good news is that nearly all of the ingredients can be learned or improved. What’s your secret ingredient—the one that adds the spice to your marriage?


One response to “Recipe for a Successful Marriage

  1. Important resource on forgiveness and reconciliation (see: ) An audio version distinguishing forgiveness from enabling, ( ).

    Steve Cornell
    Senior pastor
    Millersville Bible Church
    Millersville, Pennsylvania

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