10 things every marriage needs, according to a therapist

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A marriage works when people work on it too.
A marriage works when people work on it too.
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images
  • Marriage therapist Bakhe Dlamini shares what's important for a healthy and happy marriage.
  • Truth, sex, and financial transparency are among the 10 things a marriage needs, Dlamini says. 
  • Always running to your family members or friends whenever you have marital problems creates division in your marriage.

We often hear that marriage is not easy but that when you marry the right person, the challenges are all worth it. Even though there is no set formula to guarantee that a marriage will work out, principles and values are important for a healthy and successful marriage.

Marriage therapist Bakhe Dlamini shares what's important for a healthy and happy marriage.

READ MORE | 'The perfect conflict-free marriage does not exist' – An expert's advice on marriage counselling

10 things a marriage needs 

1. Truth- Lies destroy a marriage, and deplete trust. Truth increases trust and loyalty; for instance, infidelity has destroyed a lot of marriages.

2. Quality time - You have to spend time together. The lesser time you spend together, the more you grow apart. Many are married but disconnected. 

3. Empathy - Empathy is that care for the other, feeling your partner's pain. The moment empathy leaves a marriage, partners commit heartless acts towards each other. 

What has made your marriage work? Tell us about it here.

4. Humility - marriage isn't for the proud. Both parties have to be humble. Where they have faulted or hurt the other, they need to be willing to humble themselves and take responsibility. 

5. Sex - Intimacy is a crucial component in marriage. The couple has to make time for intimacy. It's important to also remain creative in the bedroom as a couple.  

6. Understanding each other's love language - One needs to speak their partner's love language. Loving your partner "your way" doesn't work. You have to love your partner "their way". For example, your partner's love language may be "gifts". You may not be into gifts or birthday celebrations, but if your partner's language is such, you need to speak that language. 

READ MORE | 'The perfect conflict-free marriage does not exist' – An expert's advice on marriage counselling

7. Financial transparency - Where partners don't involve each other regarding their spending, there are often conflicts and mistrust. It is key that both partners be transparent concerning their income and spending. A couple also has to budget together. Such fosters unity. 

8. Keeping your issues to yourselves - Always running to your family members or friends whenever you have problems in your marriage creates division. Such also exposes your partner's weakness and makes third parties too involved in your marriage. Two is a couple; three is a crowd. Remain a couple; don't turn into a crowd. 

9. Building Each Other - Each party must seek to build their partner up through words. Whenever one speaks, they need to ask themselves if what they are saying will build their partner. If not, they should not say what they intended to say.

10. Marriage counselling - Many couples that don't go for marriage counselling or therapy end in dire places. It is important to hold each other accountable as a couple and be willing to get a second opinion, preferably that of a professional, if you are having a disagreement or are not in a good space. 

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