By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.
In our interviews over the past 30 years with couples that had a successful marriage we are always struck by their undying trust in each other. They literally trust each other with their lives, their well-being, and their sacred honor. The words they use to describe the one they love more often than not include words and expressions like trust, honesty, loyalty, respects me, admires me, always there for me, never lets me down, truthful, and never lies to me. Their trust for each other is about as complete as you can get.
When we ask couples in love during our interviews to place, in an overall sense, where their relationship is on a 10-point scale with 10 being “Absolute Trust,” without exception, they say “10!” Isn’t that wonderful? Remarkable?
Trust is not something all loving relationships start with. For some couples the trust becomes complete in a few years. For others, it takes awhile. But one thing is for sure; happy marriages survive and thrive on the basis of this trust. Trust is so pervasive in their relationship that they never give it a second thought. They expect it. It’s always there. It is part of the fabric of their relationship.
Successfully married couples never cheat on their spouse! To be truly in love is to be unequivocally and unconditionally dedicated to the one you love. To betray your spouse in intimate ways is to destroy your relationship, make no mistake about that. Most marriages cannot recover from this form of betrayal. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it can.
There is one thing you can take to the bank – all people in love have faced temptations in their relationship. The pretty girl in the restaurant captures your fancy. The handsome man walking down the street draws your attention. The flirt at work is tempting at times. And, we will dare say, sometimes in every relationship you think about slipping in the sack with some of the beautiful people you meet. But here’s where it stops – these are only fleeting moments of passing fancy. These are the moments of momentary lust for another human being that are not acted on.
Why? People in love who are happy in their relationships control their urges because they know that while a moment of sexual fantasy is healthy and normal, following through and enjoying sexual satisfaction with someone other than their mate – cheating on their mate – is destructive to the loving and trusting relationship between them. It’s okay to have sexual urges and fantasies regarding another person, but to act on them ruins all that trust. It destroys the tie that binds.
Couples who are truly in love in their relationship know that a few moments of sexual satisfaction can NEVER replace the loving, trusting, and caring relationship they have developed with their mate. As someone once said to us, “I have a marriage license but I didn’t give up my looking license!” Admiring others in intimate ways is normal and healthy. But acting on those urges has ruined many a marriage and many a loving relationship.
Those wonderful couples we have interviewed resist these normal urges and temptations of life because they know their relationship is no much more important to them. Destroying the trust between them causes the foundation of their relationship to crumble.
Character in a successful marriage or relationship does matter, and character is about trust. Being honest and trustworthy is at the heart of all the best loving relationships we have studied. It really is a 10 on a 10-point scale. In our estimation, character is the foundation of true love!
The foundation of true love is trust. Destroy that foundation and you destroy your love. When you do so there is rarely redemption – there is rarely ever reconciliation. Never forget this simple truth – there is character in the best loving relationships. Practice good character and your love will not only survive, it will thrive.
In love and marriage the simple things matter. Love well!
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For hundreds of tips to enhance your relationship get the Doctor’s best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage (Jossey-Bass/Wiley) Available wherever books are sold.
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book
Nautilus Book Awards Winner for Relationships
As America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts and award-winning authors, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz help international audiences answer questions about love, marriage and relationships. With over 30 years of research on love and successful marriage across six continents of the world and their own 46-year marriage, the Doctors know what makes relationships work.
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