You get married because you can’t picture your life without your lover and want to be with him for the rest of your days. Unfortunately, keeping that flame lit ’til death do you part is easier said than done.

Earlier this week we hit up our ESSENCE community through our Facebook and Twitter pages and asked you to write to us and tell us what you think the secret to a successful marriage is. It turns out that most of the readers agree that communication is the main ingredient of a good marriage. Others mentioned tolerance, trust, honesty and honor.

Here are your secrets to a successful marriage…

“Communication in a marriage is not always easy, but when you understand how important it is you can move past the difficulties. When I say communication I am not just speaking of general conversations about your kids, the house, jobs, your dog. I am talking about deep, vulnerable conversations that allow you to lay your heart on the line. Communicating openly is the true response to loving your spouse and their response to loving you. Without communication every marriage will certainly fail. It is the pathway to love, the direction to freedom, the liaison from heart to heart.”

Choosing the Right Person
“For me the most important thing in marriage is finding the right partner–not some fairytale fantasy of Mr. Right that doesn’t exist, but instead someone you can confide in, someone who you trust and someone who you know has your back.”

“You need to have a mutual respect for each other’s opinion, whether you agree or disagree you can’t communicate if you don’t have that trust to be free to speak your mind respectfully to each other and be able to agree to disagree, that is where the trust factor comes in. If you do not trust your mate/partner/husband/wife you will not be able to communicate effectively.”

“Trust and love are built around honesty. There will not always be 100% agreement on or in all things, but honesty can be achieved. Just as you want honesty, you must be willing to accept the honest result. At times we ask for the honest truth or honest feelings and then we get angry or upset at the results. Just as we ask, then we should be willing and able to receive and accept the results for which we asked.”

“The secret to a successful marriage is being able to deal with each others faults, no matter how bad or irritating they are. Remember that it’s take work and commitment.

“I’ve been married for 24 years. [We’ve been] together for 26 years. The secret to the longevity is simply tolerance.”

Play Your Part
“I believe that as women we must realize that we must always allow the woman in us to come out. I believe that men should understand their roles as men and lead their wife by communicating to her about the vision and the direction for their lives as a couple and as a family. …Often times, the roles in marriage become reverse which causes friction between the two. She becomes aggressive and he becomes passive.”

Time and Hard Work
“Newsflash: there is no secret! It takes years of hard work, commitment, honest communication, trust, respect, prayer and tenacity. Love isn’t enough. You gotta do the work!” -Juliette

Protect the Partnership
“The secret is diligently protecting the partnership long after the butterflies leave, the once insatiable appetite for sex has waned and the intensity has developed into comfort and routine, you still understand the partnership is a [contract], signed in blood and not to be broken… The goal is to be together until death. Understanding that death and living in your marriage by that code is the secret to a successful marriage.”

“If you have honor within yourself, you will hold yourself to a higher standard of ethics and morals which will never allow you to do anything that would disrespect your mate or yourself or put your relationship with your mate in harms way.”

Do you agree with these secrets to a successful marriage?

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