five steps to a happy marriage

heart hands sunset

Heading to the altar is just the beginning. To live in perfect harmony is quite another challenge.

For a happy marriage, it's important to assess your fiancé's goals and compare them to your own. Common lifetime ambitions and achievements are vital. Start by communicating what you wish for in the future, understanding your partner's goals, and incorporating a compromise when necessary.

money matters

Money is the key to owning your own home, nice cars, and all of your personal possessions. If you're like most couples, you want the all-American dream but how to achieve this is where disagreements can begin. How one person manages money can be another person's nightmare.

Discuss how you will budget your money, how many credit cards you will have, and how much debt-load you can incur before becoming uncomfortable. Do you wish to be a stay-at-home mom or dad? How much of your income do you plan on investing or saving? Set some rules in advance and be prepared when life gives you a bump in the road.


When everyday life sets in, chances are that your desires for sex will vary. A healthy sexual relationship begins with understanding your partner's needs and compromising them with your own. Don't be shy. If you talk about these issues from the get-go, it won't be near as difficult later on. Lifetime changes, disagreements, and stress are among many things that may alter your sex life. Communication is very important to getting you back on track.


Whether you're acquiring a ready-made family or planning for the future, make sure you're on the same page when it comes to children. If, when, and how many kids you desire needs to be discussed in-depth. Unfortunately, not everything goes as planned but if you have the same basic values on child-rearing you're less likely to argue about these issues after your wedding day.

household chores

In today's world, both the husband and wife often need to work outside of the home to make ends meet. It's simply not fair for one spouse to do most of the household chores. Happy couples share responsibilities. Make decisions on who will do the cooking, cleaning, yard work, etc., and rotate the chores when necessary. Agree to be considerate and pick up after yourselves to make the jobs easier.


Religion is often worked out between a couple when they're planning their wedding. The sparks may begin to fly after the wedding when it comes to rearing children. Before you get to the altar, have some lengthy discussions about your faith. If you come from different backgrounds, which religion will you encourage your children to follow? Can you compromise? Do you plan on letting them decide for themselves while they're still young? Whatever you decide, treat these issues with tolerance and respect and you'll both be on the way to a healthy, happy marriage.