The 4 Powerful Pillars You Need For A Successful Marriage

Today, let’s go deeper in our talk on marriage.

Why?

Because it so happens that: according to marriage experts, one of the most powerful pillars you need for a strong marriage is money.

Specifically: Marriage counselors agree that money is one of the major issues that couples need to agree on, for them to have a much higher probability of a successful marriage.

Right now, we’re in the second section of Page 26, under the title ‘Opposites Attract, But…’, in Chapter 2 of Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money.

And here’s my lesson for the day:

The differences between you and your spouse can add lots of fun and spice to your marriage – as long as you both agree on the important stuff.

In the last post, we looked at how marriage is hard; and how couples need to embrace the fact that marriage, by definition, is the merging of two totally different people with different quirks, behaviors, and backgrounds into one, single entity.

That last part, by itself, makes marriage hard and challenging.

But it’s important to note that, being different from your spouse doesn’t mean your you both are incompatible, or that your marriage is destined for trouble.

In fact, it might be important to seek out and celebrate those differences between you and your partner.

Why?

On Page 26 of the book, there’s a quote from Larry Burkett, Dave’s friend and famed American radio show host who handled financial counseling from a Christian point of view…

… Larry said: “Opposites attract. If two people just alike get married, one of you is unnecessary!”

Which goes to show that the differences between you and your partner could actually be a major boost that could make your marriage successful.

For example:

  • One of you is a stickler for time (always keeping to time no matter what happens), and the other almost always needs more time to wear makeup and get ready
  • One of you is an early riser, and the other is a night owl
  • One of you processes thoughts quietly, and the other verbalizes their thoughts at every turn
  • One of you earns money to spend it, and the other earns money to save it
  • One of you recharges by quietly reading a fiction novel, and the other gets energized by being the life of the party
  • One of you wants things here, today, and now; and the other needs to take their time to talk things through and mull it over

And although these differences can make or mar our long-term connection and marriage, certain commonalities initially brought us together.

For example, you and your spouse might have met because you share similar friends, work place, hair salon, ancestry, or country of origin; or you share a similar dislike of ketchup, rom-com or coffee…

… but as you start dating and getting to know each other better, these similarities give way for the underlying differences that hold you and your spouse together over the long haul.

And here’s the fun part: as couples, we mostly tend to cherish these differences while we date, but shun and totally reject these differences after a few years in marriage.

So, the similarities bring us together at the start. And then, over time, we think our differences are cute…

… until they’re not, and further down the line, we realize that these differences actually add to the spice and sparks in our marriage.

But, according to marriage counselors, those spices and sparks will only last, if you and your partner can both agree on a few, but very important areas of your marriage.

These are the important areas that add strength and balance to your marriage.

The 4 Powerful Pillars You Need For A Strong Marriage

  1. Religion (or shared household faith)
  2. In-laws
  3. Parenting
  4. Money

Experts say if you can keep these four pillars standing strong in your marriage, then your marriage has a much higher probability of being a successful one.

Why?

1. Religion cuts through every aspect of your marriage:

Religion will dictate:

  • When / whether you pray,
  • The God you pray to,
  • How you spend your weekends,
  • How you parent your kids,
  • The church denomination you attend,
  • Whether or not you pay tithes (or 10% of your monthly income);

And so, you see why you and your partner need to agree on your religion, in order for you both to have a peaceful, joyful marriage.

2. A lot of marriages have suffered harm because of their in-law dynamics

If you’re a husband, your in-laws have been the closest people to your wife for the past 25+ years, and so it tends to be hard for you and your wife to strike that balance between recognizing how much they’ve done for your wife, while at the same time, be able to live as one independent, united couple.

The relationships you and your partner have with your in-laws on both sides will determine:

  • Where you both spend your Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays
  • How often you call each other’s parents
  • How much time you / your partner spend with their families
  • Whether you / your partner will choose in-laws over each other
  • Whether or not you like your partner’s parents
  • Whether or not your partner takes their parents’ side over yours
  • The time your kids spend with their grandparents
  • The types of relationships between your partner and your siblings
  • The amount of pressure you face to have kids; and grandkids for your in-laws

To be candid, these are real issues that have thrown a lot of marriages into chaos and confusion.

3. Your kids could be the biggest life project you ever accomplish with your spouse

Which is why raising kids is hardly based on logic and rational decisions. There are a lot of emotional conversations going on around parenting, such as:

  • At what age your kids can start dating
  • The majors they should study in college
  • How to establish discipline at home
  • How much influence you need to have on what they choose to do with their lives
  • How much money to spend on the kids
  • Disagreements on parenting styles
  • The right way to parent
  • When / whether to be authoritative with the kids
  • The best foods to feed the kids

Agree on parenting, and you and your partner just improved your odds of building a joyful and strong home.

4. Money’s worth more to us than paper notes; money signifies freedom, security, hope, and assurance

When couples disagree on money, the problem is hardly ever those paper notes that we spend on bills. No, it goes beyond that.

To agree on money, you’ll need to agree on emotionally-charged concerns, like:

  • If / When you’ll go on vacations, and how much to spend
  • The loans you both have, and their sources
  • What constitutes a financial emergency
  • How much to send to parents and in-laws
  • How often you should eat out
  • How often you should treat yourself to luxurious niceties
  • What counts as necessary vs optional expenses

And many more.

This site is focused on personal finances, so we’d be spending a lot more time on money and marriage in the coming days.

But get this:

According to a 2018 survey by Ramsey solutions, money fights (financial infidelity) are the second leading cause of divorce in America, behind sexual infidelity.

Which brings us back to those four powerful pillars you need to build a successful marriage: religion, in-laws, parenting, and money.

Of course, it’s expected that you and your partner share differences on various issues, but watch out for those four critical, important areas where you both need to agree, so you both can build a successful marriage.

Why?

The differences between you and your spouse can add lots of fun and spice to your marriage – as long as you both agree on the important stuff.

That’s all for today, my friend. We’ll continue in the third paragraph of Page 27 of the book tomorrow.

See you then.

-DD

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