Skip to main content

The Three Pillars of a Successful Marriage—Love Is Not One of Them!

Kathryn Skaggs is the founder of Latter-day Saint Women Stand, a community of over 50K faithful Latter-day Saint women who love their faith!


pillar [pilər]: noun, a tall vertical structure of stone, wood, or metal, used as a support for a building, or as an ornament or monument.

• something shaped like such a structure : a pillar of smoke.

• a person or thing regarded as reliably providing essential support for something : he was a pillar of his local community.

Strong Pillars on a Solid Foundation

Am I saying that love is not important in a marriage? Of course not. The romantic love which brings two people to the marriage altar is not that which successful marriages are built upon. So lest we have the impression that romantic love will somehow sustain us through everything... let's just remove that idea right from the beginning and talk about reality.

The kind of love that is truly romantic is that love which is developed during the course of a life together, with someone whom you have worked hard with to then claim that lasting love. The kind which we all dream about.

A successful marriage is something that two people work hard at building together. Marriage requires two people who desire to walk the same walk in life, and in the process build a successful relationship and family life.

There are three pillars for a successful marriage which are absolutely necessary in order for you to enjoy the blessings of a successful marriage. If even one of these is left out, the likelihood of your marriage losing balance and focus are increased greatly.

What is a pillar? In a building it is one of a total number of props that literally hold up a structure and keep it from losing balance and eventually collapsing altogether. For a building to stand, it is imperative that at least three pillars are placed upon a well prepared and planned foundation. This is necessary to remain standing when pressure of any kind or from any direction is applied.

The foundation upon which said pillars are placed is critical if the structure is to stand, and withstand the elements. A foundation is just that—a place to begin to build. A foundation in itself must be determined to have integrity - before building upon that foundation is begun. Therefore, an inspection is usually performed.

The integrity of the foundation will then be depended upon by those who build upon it to ensure the safety, security, and ultimately the longevity and usefulness of that which is built upon it... the building.

In building, those who build upon a solid and secure foundation, should never need to ever return to the foundational beginnings of the structure, if a problem in stability arises. If structural issues in a building become apparent over time, each pillar that is in place must first be looked at and carefully inspected, as a probable source of a potential breech or structural issue.

Once a good foundation has been established; and today we have building codes to determine the integrity of such—a permit is given. The building begins to be constructed when the first pillar is placed. The integrity of the final building or house will be determined by the strength of the combined pillars, which then support the entire structure.


Inspecting the Foundation: Dating

Dating is another word for inspecting the potential foundation for a successful marriage. It is imperative, as discussed earlier, that the person you choose to marry and build your life with has a very similar belief and value system before you can be sure that the proper foundation can be built.

You must, above all else, make sure that the person you have chosen to build your marriage and life with is stellar as an individual. This initial step must be cleared, before you even think of building anything together - of which you expect to last. The long-term success for your marriage can only be ensured - 'if' you take the responsible position to make sure your intended marriage partner - passes the initial inspection 'while' dating!

If during the inspection process, you begin to see any 'flags' going up... ALERT - ALERT - ALERT! Deal with it now! If you cannot do so - move on and fast!

Individuals who think that they can 'live' with it, or change it... have not themselves learned the value of having respect for other's individuality and choices in life. We do not and never will change another person... no matter how cute or persuasive you think you are.

The Vital Decision of Marriage...

"Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but also with eternal joys. It affects not only the two people involved, but also their families and particularly their children and their children’s children down through the many generations."—Spencer W. Kimball

Scroll to Continue

Ensure a Successful Marriage

Marriage is defined differently today by many different sources, which come from all walks of life. I am going to talk about how to have a successful marriage regardless of all outside influences.

More than half of all legal marriages that are entered into in the United States end in divorce. A marriage that ends in divorce is not a successful marriage. A successful marriage is one that is enduring, and has endured, the many hits that are an inevitable part of weathering life's storms - which will naturally and inevitably beat upon it, relentlessly. Got that?

If you are in a marriage that currently is struggling to withstand the storms of life then you will most assuredly want to review the Three Pillars For A Successful Marriage. Perhaps a bit of structural repair is necessary so that you might reinforce your current marriage for future longevity!

Identify where you might be having a bit of structural stress in your marriage and what then, must be done to remedy the breach.


Quotes for a Successful Marriage

"In the enriching of marriage the big things are the little things. It is a constant appreciation for each other and a thoughtful demonstration of gratitude. It is the encouraging and the helping of each other to grow. Marriage is a joint quest for the good, the beautiful, and the divine."James E. Faust

"Marriage demands work. A happy marriage exacts the very best of us. Yet above all, maintaining a successful marriage is a choice."—Janette K. Gibbons

"Covenant marriage requires a total leap of faith: they must keep their covenants without knowing what risks that may require of them. They must surrender unconditionally, obeying God and sacrificing for each other. Then they will discover what Alma called 'incomprehensible joy.'"Bruce C. Hafen

"The secret of a happy marriage is to serve God and each other. The goal of marriage is unity and oneness, as well as self-development. Paradoxically, the more we serve one another, the greater is our spiritual and emotional growth."—Ezra Taft Benson

"A . . . false notion about marriage is a too-common belief in the fairy tale phrase, ‘They married and lived happily ever after.’ To achieve marital happiness, it is necessary that couples work together to overcome difficulties and temptations, and they must show a willingness to meet the other challenges that will always be a part of their married life together."Dale F. Pearson

"Marriage, like any other worthwhile activity, requires time and energy. It takes at least as much time to keep a marriage in shape as it does for a weight lifter to keep his body in shape."—Dee W. Hadley

Pillar One: Integrity

There are many today, who have experienced divorce from many angles, and are asking the question: why even get married ? Especially if the majority of marriages end up looking like a wrecking ball has struck. Marriages that end in divorce are tragic. There is no other way to describe the outcome of any divorce. Divorce for anyone involved, rocks the very foundation who a person is, and what they thought they understood about relationships. Recovery from divorce, has little success in itself - so great is the trauma to the individual soul.

As a child of divorce, at the age of ten, I can only say that I consider myself a survivor of divorce - divorced parents' that is. I continue today, to still find that I am surviving from the fallout of such a tragic blow, and at such a young and impressionable age.

Please, I am not one that can be convinced of the lie—not even for a moment—that there is such a thing as a nice divorce. For this reason, as an adult—I became and still am, determined to remain in a "working" marriage.

  • Integrity is the first pillar of a successful marriage.

This pillar of integrity will be critical in the building of a successful marriage and do much to ensure a strong structure. It is also called commitment or honor. In order for your marriage to be successful, or solid, it must be founded upon principles that both you and your spouse agree, and which you both are stellar in keeping. You must inspect each other to decide if you both have what it takes together to build a strong and lasting marriage based on principles that both embrace as true (the foundation).

Mormons believe, along with many other Christians, that marriage is ordained of God. When both marriage partners are committed to God, first, the integrity of that marriage and its ability to endure the many challenges that will come is considerably strengthened.

Our most important and best decisions that we make in life are based upon our values and beliefs as individuals. When both partners in a marriage share the same basic beliefs and values and are committed to living those principles together then they become the first Pillar, which is that of Integrity; to then place upon that solid foundation of beliefs and values.


The Three Pillars for a Successful Marriage

  1. Pillar One - Integrity
  2. Pillar Two - Respect
  3. Pillar Three - Endurance

These three pillars combined and placed upon a strong foundation, will do more to ensure that you have a successful marriage, than anything else - outside of your relationship.

Maintaining the balance of these three pillars, will give the needed strength, as you work to build your successful marriage and family life.

Pillar Two: Respect

Respect and trust in a marriage co-exist. It is not possible to have one without the other. When both marriage partners trust that both in the marriage have the same values and beliefs they able to then trust one another in all things, which are done independently in that marriage. Therefore, pillar two is respect.

A wife generally knows, unless there are extenuating circumstances involved, how her husband will act in a given situation, and very similar to the way she would likely conduct herself. This is based on the fact that both partners in the marriage trust that they share similar values and beliefs; and generally will act accordingly.

When on occasion, the actions of your spouse do not seem to concur with what you expect, the respect for that individual is foremost, and will aid in finding mutual understanding and coming back together.

If both husband and wife in a marriage are able to always keep in mind the stellar foundation of basic values and beliefs, which are the foundation being built upon in your marriage, they can then trust that although differences may and will arise, the goals of the marriage remain.

Respect between marriage partners is a powerful pillar in the building and ensuring that your marriage is successful. With respect as the second pillar, standing beside the first principle of Integrity you are on your way to a successful marriage and family life.

Romantic vs. True and Lasting Love

“Love is far more than physical attraction. It is deep, inclusive, and comprehensive. Physical attraction is only one of the many elements; there must be faith and confidence and understanding and partnership. There must be common ideals and standards. There must be great devotion and companionship. Love is cleanliness and progress and sacrifice and selflessness. This kind of love never tires or wanes, but lives through sickness and sorrow, poverty and privation, accomplishment and disappointment, time and eternity.” —Spencer W. Kimball, "Faith Precedes the Miracle," Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972, pp. 157–58)

Pillar Three: Endurance

Now we must add the element of the third pillar, which is endurance. Endurance, in my opinion, is much more powerful than commitment alone. If we are to lay claim to a successful marriage we simply must stick with it no matter what! Remember, marriage is ordained of God and is a covenant.

Barring any type of abuse in a marriage, your marriage is worth your best efforts. Time and time again, it is not uncommon to hear a person that has opted for a divorce, to later in their life make a comment suggesting, perhaps, that they probably could have worked things out, or that they wish they had never opted for divorce. Considering the pathetic statistics for successful second marriages, working through the rough times of your first marriage is most likely worth it for everyone involved.

When we keep our marriage covenants to God, and with each each other, we are richly blessed in our lives. Covenants with God, require integrity, respect and the ability to endure all that will come our way in this life, with hope of positive end results—a successful marriage and family life!

As the natural man in all of us will... we find ourselves asking the question: what is in it for me? Consider for a moment what it means to have integrity? What is the result of that one attribute within your marriage? A person with integrity is known to be true to that which they speak and claim belief in.

Within the marriage covenant made with God, each individual commits to strive to be like the Savior. Think of the blessings which that would bring into you and your family's life if this is your walk in life.

Your spouse and children will always believe and trust what you teach them, by both your words and deeds. What is more powerful than example to those you desire to bless and maintain strong relationships with?


Inviting God Into Our Marriages

"Of all that can bless marriages, there is one special enriching ingredient, which above all else will help join a man and a woman together in a very real, sacred, spiritual sense. It is the presence of the divine in marriage. Shakespeare, speaking in Henry the Fifth, said, 'God, the best maker of all marriages, combine your hearts in one.' (Henry V, 5:2.) God is also the best keeper of marriages."—President James E. Faust, "The Enriching of Marriage," Ensign, Nov. 1977, 10

Making and Keeping Covenants

A successful marriage and family life are without exception the greatest joy and happiness that can be known and enjoyed by all who are a part of such a blessed unit—your family. The family is the basic unit of society. When society is blessed with strong families we all benefit for generations to come.

There is no greater blessing for parents than to see that the life that they have built through their successful marriage is then manifest in the future—in positive ways by their adult children—and in their growing families.

In order to claim a successful marriage, a couple must stay focused on their firm commitment to endure, or in other words keep the marriage covenant and to adhere at all cost to the foundational values and beliefs of which the marriage has been built upon from its beginning.

Mormons, as all Christians do, believe that when placing God first in our lives and walking with Him and His ways, that all other facets of our lives are blessed. The importance of a personal commitment to keep God's commandments cannot be over-stated as the one thing that each person in a marriage must stand firm upon in order to ensure the building a successful marriage.

When two people come together with the same foundational beliefs, are unified by integrity, trust one another in all actions and respect differences as they come along knowing that regardless of individual differences, you both desire the same goal. When this remains the focus and foundation of your marriage then you can most always overcome any difficulty that comes along in the marriage.


Come Follow Me

As we look to Jesus Christ as the example that each one of us must follow, to ensure our greatest happiness - we also know the important principles of repentance and forgiveness. When we as individuals, apply these Three Pillars For A Successful Marriage, in our marriages; along with repentance and forgiveness as principles that we regularly practice... then we are doing all that we can, to bring about a successful marriage and family life.

A successful marriage is the greatest gift, that two people can give and receive. A commitment to maintain as individuals, the strength of each of these three pillars; Integrity; Respect; and Endurance - will ensure a legacy of love, which will withstand, for generations to come...

As I stated earlier, I am a child of divorce. As such, endurance has been a powerful attribute in my marriage. Patterns that children grow up with, and then bring into their marriage relationship, can be difficult to overcome. Therefore, we must focus on that which we know will bring the results that we desire for ourselves, and for our children.

I am one to talk openly to my adult children about the fact, that they are to be better than me. I hope for my daughters, that they will be both better wives and mothers than I have been.

Every generation better . . . I cannot think of anything greater to pass on to my children than a mother and father who worked in building a successful marriage that would help to ensure the happiness of their futures and way of life.

These three pillars—when we as individuals commit to our own structural integrity—will do more for the building and maintaining of our happy marriage than anything else outside of the marriage.

A successful marriage for each individual, begins with building ourselves first and making sure that we are continually strengthened in commitment to our covenants. The strongest marriages will always begin first with God as our foundation, which, if we apply his teachings in our lives, will then bless us with that successful marriage of which we all desire and a true love that endures many things and will continue to do so, come what may . . .

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Yvette Stupart PhD from Jamaica on July 27, 2015:

Thanks for your insightful thoughts on experiencing a successful marriage, these a truly helpful ideas.

Zee Marriage from Australia on February 20, 2014:

Another beautifully written post. Your testimony, knowledge, faith, and writing skills show through in everything you write.

Mr. Ashok Arora from Delhi on September 25, 2012:

thanks for provide great services

monikaa321 on September 07, 2012:

Heyy WOW ...what a nice hub on marriage and its actual pillers.Really liked it a I am too a child of parents with lots of differences......though its not a divorce. I really agree with your points that commitment,respect ,trust and endurance are more important than romanctic love in a marriage.So, keep posting such fab hubs.Hats Off.:)

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on April 21, 2010:

Hserra84 --

I'm glad you've found this article helpful. As you probably already assume, I am a strong advocate for children. In my opinion, a marriage is the beginning of the creation of a family -- and I believe that every child has a natural birthright to being raised by both their father and mother. I understand that this is not possible for every child, but I do believe that we as a society are responsible to ensure this most favorable circumstance for as many children as possible.

I am not an advocate of gay marriage, for this specific reason. I have no problem with civil unions for those who practice homosexuality, but I would not advocate adoption or any other process that would promote a child not having a mother and a father.

I also believe that marriage is a covenant between a man, a woman and God for the perpetuation of the family/human race. It is impossible for two gay people to make this covenant and/or fulfill the covenant. I am well aware of the many arguments relating to the exceptions for those that don't want children, can't have children, elderly, etc... Nonetheless, it is the creation and perpetuation of emotionally healthy generations that is at the basis of the traditional family -- which is the basic unit of society.

Now, saying that -- I do believe that a gay couple could certainly benefit by utilizing these three pillars of a successful marriage, into their relationship for long-term success as a couple.

I hope this helps to explain my position...

Hserra84 on April 21, 2010:


I really appreciate your essay. It is insightful and I hope to cite some of your wisdom in a paper I am writing for class. Reading through the comments, I read a response that stated:

Willis Whitlock 2 years ago

I can't add much to the ideas in this well written post. I just kept coming back to thinking about how a gay couple could accomplish this. The dots just don't connect.

You replied:

LdsNana-AskMormon 2 years ago

Willis -

It is impossible... therefore, it is no wonder that you are stumped.



Would you be willing to elaborate on why you think it is impossible for a gay couple to accomplish a successful marriage by implementing the three pillars?

Respect, integrity, and endurance seems to me to be concepts that anyone wanting to be married for life can comprehend and implement.

Thank you in advance for your insight.

Sonia from New York on September 09, 2009:

Well written article. This is a good blog.

Anamika S Jain from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on August 02, 2009:

Great Hub! You are very right about the pillars.

INDRANI from INDIA on April 14, 2009:

It is very good hub. This hub is an excellent and very informative. It is the great advice for more people today that here.Your article is given me more important ideas of a good marriage life.

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on January 15, 2009:

Tatjana -

Thank you for such kind words. I look forward to see you again:-)



Tatjana-Mihaela from Zadar, CROATIA on January 15, 2009:

Nana, thank you very much for this Hub, for so many valuable advices,,,,You are great, wise and loving lady. I will be back to learn more from you.

I am youf Fan from now.

Love & Light

roastedpinebark from Iowa on January 15, 2009:

I thought that this hub reflected our beliefs brilliantly, LdsNana.  Couldn't have said it better myself : )  My favorite part, however, were the comments posted and received with one in particular, Willis Whitlock's unconnected dots of gay marriages.  I even never saw it the way that you and Willis pointed it out.  Thank you for a great hub page, might I point out a very minor grammar word under the first pillar: "divorced parents that its". (its might have been intended to be is).  Sorry, I hope I don't seem to knit picky, lol.  Thank you again for these great messages of creating an eternal, celestrial marriage!

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on January 12, 2009:

Bruce -

Thank you for taking the time to comment. There is no doubt, that you and I, think very similar on the subject of marriage, and commitment:-)



bruce1789 from Saint Louis on January 12, 2009:

Hi Nana,

I saw the link for this hub about the three pillars for a successful marriage and love is not one of them (you really know how to pique a person's curiosity) and

I agree, while romantic love is good to have towards one's spouse, Love is a feeling and feelings alone are notoriously unreliable, you may really love your spouse

deeply and at other times they can get on each other's nerves, Marriage is a commitment, something that people don't take too seriously.

It is not a covenant just between a man and woman, to have and hold for a life time but it is a covenant between a man, a woman and God.

That's why its so important to marry someone who shares your beliefs.

Its not a commitment only as long as you make me feel a certain way. There needs to be a commitment from both husband and wife with spiritual counsel to work out any problems they are unable to resolve on their own and that calls for putting their hands up and stepping slowly away from their egos.

Seriously alot of marriages end over a lot of stupid stuff without any real regard of the consequences.

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on October 17, 2008:

MormonSoprano -

I am honored to share your link, about "What is Marriage?" with my readers.  I would encourage everyone to take the time to read it.

I have very similar feelings and experiences with marriage, as yours.  I suppose, that this is why I felt compelled to discuss, what I believe - are the Three Pillars of a Successful Marriage. 

Commitment is everything in a strong marriage.  Choosing to marry someone with your same value system, is critical in ensuring that even though the road "will" get rough -- you are bound with someone who also has the goal of a successful marriage.

I feel, that more people need to understand that marriage is not always easy -- (we are not entitled to a happy marriage, but must work for it) but, it is worth our best efforts to stay committed, until we come together as one.  It really is possible!



MormonSoprano from Utah, U.S.A. on October 17, 2008:

Wow - This is beautiful! I have been married for nearly 19 years now. We have had some really wonderful times and some really awful times. We have been through a stage where we didn't think the marriage was going to last - and contemplated going separate ways. However, thankfully we persevered and stayed committed to making things work out. There is no such thing as the Disney-esque "happily ever after" - where all is now bliss and no more problems or work is required. I think for some couples, especially the newly married, this comes as a shocking and discouraging realization. Rather, we must learn that marriage is a partnership through our life and beyond which takes hard work, nurturing, patience, maturity, forgiveness and commitment. Life will remain hard, whether we are married or not. However, it is so much better when faced as a team, and when the marriage has been entered as an Eternal covenant, it helps us work that much harder. Thank you for listing pillars, and advice, which when followed by both spouses, makes for a strong and enduring union.

I also thank you so much for including a link to my article.

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on September 05, 2008:

jmoore -

Thank you for your very kind words. I could not be more pleased, that these things come through, in that which I write. Who could ask for more?



Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on September 05, 2008:

Willis -

It is impossible... therefore, it is no wonder that you are stumped.



jmmoore321 from Utah on September 05, 2008:

Another beautifully written post. Your testimony, knowledge, faith, and writing skills show through in everything you write.

Willis Whitlock on September 04, 2008:

I can't add much to the ideas in this well written post. I just kept coming back to thinking about how a gay couple could accomplish this. The dots just don't connect.

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on September 04, 2008:

Ediegold -

I'm so very sorry to hear about your separation and eventual divorce. Marriage requires deep commitment from both partners. We cannot always control our circumstances, regardless of how determined we ourselves may be. I wish you all the best.



Ediegold on September 04, 2008:

This is great article, unfortunately I've been separated from my husband for 1 year. Will be divorcing soon after almost 5 years of marriage and knowing him for 26years. He's an atheist from a jewish family who always put family first-----unfortunately "his parents" came first, and that's who he left me for.

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on September 04, 2008:

betherickson -

Thanks. I may not be a marriage counselor, but 30 years of marriage to the same man - has given me some very important lessons in life. I am very comfortable discussing and sharing these observations and beliefs with others.

I think there is much value to be gained, from on-the-job experience. I hope that this marriage advice, can help others to focus on what I truly believe to be in-line with good counseling.



betherickson from Minnesota on September 04, 2008:

Thumbs-up for you LdsNana. I do also marriage counseling and I agree of what you've said here. Informative and great hub by the way. :)

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on August 19, 2008:

cheating signs -

I agree completely with you. Although a marriage may have difficulties along the way-- even cheating, with the right perspectives involved - a marriage can be saved.

Along with a commitment for the future of total fidelity.



cheating signs from A World of Pain on August 19, 2008:

This is great advice that more people today need to hear. Thank you!

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on May 05, 2008:

Peter -

Only time will tell, but current statistics for divorce and second marriages, etc... are so poor - that perhaps more couples who might be struggling, will work just a little bit harder and choose to hang in there.

Marriage is always popular, but making them work is fairly old fashion and out of date. Lets hope for the future of families, that your prediction is right on!



Peter M. Lopez from Sweetwater, TX on April 22, 2008:

Great hub, Nanna. Although I may be in the minority in this view, I believe marriage is on the comeback. I'm claiming (and proclaiming) that anyway.

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on April 10, 2008:

rmr -

I would sat that you are off to a pretty good start:-) I love how you refer to your relationship as "marital bliss"! Congratulations on achieving such a state so young in your marriage... you newlyweds! LOL



rmr from Livonia, MI on April 10, 2008:

Beautiful hub! Compared to some of the good people commenting here, my wife and I appear to be novices with just over 20 years of marital bliss. But we have found that these pillars are not something we have to strive for. They seem to be a natural part of the love and commitment we have felt since high school.

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on April 08, 2008:

Hi amy Jane -

Yes, "stellar"... that is a good word, isn't it? I too love the word stellar:-)

It requires some high standards in those you date. I have often times applied the fairly correct cliché of... "you marry who you date" to my own children and youth that I have taught, when discussing marriage options.

Such a major decision that we make in who we will marry, and for most - at fairly young ages - considering the ramifications. But if we will set a standard to date those with high moral values, then we are most likely to find a stellar companion.

Stellar meaning - one who believes in making and keeping promises and covenants with 'stellar' integrity. Particularly keeping the marriage covenant to be true at all cost!

Now, this does not mean that there will be no flaws in the person you choose to marry, because stellar does not mean perfect. As we all know, even great people have lots and lots of flaws:-)

But yes, tell your girls to set their standards high, on what is most important in an individual. I believe if we raise our children with good moral values, they will be most inclined to choose a partner with the same...

I feel blessed. Each of my married daughters have chosen husbands that are amazing men. I am honored to call each one of them, son. We shall see how my two sons do as well...

I don't think there is much more that can cause us as parents more joy, than when our children marry a good person, that we trust will take care of them in every way. It is such a relief when considering the heartache that can come when things go bad.

There are no guarantees in life, but if we can make good choices from the onset, we are on a pretty good path. If and when those bumps come along... we will have a much better chance at smoothing things out.

I am glad that you have found such a wonderful person. That will go miles and miles in sending the right message to your beautiful daughters:-)



amy jane from Connecticut on April 08, 2008:

Wonderful advice! I really loved what you said about dating, and finding a "stellar" person. I think I will use that very word with my girls when they are older. it also reminded me of how blessed i am to have found (after way too much searching) a stellar man for myself! Respect, Integrity, Endurance - I agree wholeheartedly. :)

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on April 08, 2008:

Gadzooks -

Thanks. I definitely had to debate that title in my head a bit:-)

I am happy that your parents are working for a successful marriage. Perhaps at one point, you could thank them for their efforts and share with them just how much their example means to you. As a child whose parents did divorce, I know what this means to a child, but many parents don't understand the implications of considering divorce for their children and grandchildren.

So, just let them know what their marriage means to you. Who knows, if more understood how much their lives affect their children - they might just work a little harder when the going gets rough:-)

Thanks for commenting.



Gadzooks from United Kingdom on April 08, 2008:

Great title ;-) and great advice, I think a lot of people can identify with this. My parents never divorced, though I suppose there is still time, but its something Im really glad of, I would say I am in a minority amongst my friends, most of whose parents separated.

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on April 07, 2008:

Hi Steph -

Thank you for sharing. What a wonderful legacy both of your parents have given to you. I hope that they are willing to be honest and freely share with you, their secrets for longevity and success in their marriages.

Being a witness to such relationships is powerful and a great gift to bring into your current marriage. I am so happy that both you and your husband bring these examples to the table. I would imagine that it would cause both of you, to desire also, such a cherished relationship -- thus a willingness to work hard.

Past generations are much less willing to talk about the challenges in their marriages, and therefore it can lead their children into thinking that their parent never had problems.

I believe it is best to take our difficulties away from our children for the most part, but I also believe that when they are age appropriate, that we must help them to know -- what it takes to maintain a good working marriage.

I wish you love and happiness always:-)



MOmmagus on April 07, 2008:

If I don't have love, I don't have nuthin'. : )

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on April 07, 2008:

Nana, What a lovely Hub! And I can't agree more. Marriage can be difficult at times and it is so frustrating to watch people bail out quickly and then repeat errors time and again. Not only are they betraying the covenant they made, but they hurt themselves, their partners and children (usually) along the way. I am 13 years into a marriage that has already had ups and downs - as they all do! My parents and in-laws are still married to the same original partners, as well. My grandparents (all sets) stayed married their entire lives. When my grandfather passed away last November, it was after 65 years of married life togther. My poor grandmother is at a loss now after so much time and commitment. But, I digress. I totally see your point about Love not being a pillar. It is part of a marriage, but not a foundational piece. Great work. Thank you. Steph

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on April 07, 2008:

Light Path -

What a lovely name. Thank you for such a wonderful comment.

In my personal experience, and in the high statistics of divorce rates in society today - for the majority of marriages that can be called successful - work and endurance are a major factor which will be necessary.

I believe that I can speak for many, when I say... we are grateful for marriages such as yours - which emulate the state of a successful marriage. I hope that you realize the gift of such, but in that recognition - comes the reality for the majority - that marriage is work!

The fruit of that work, is the delicious and successful marriage of which we cherish. I for one, can honestly say - that because of the work within my marriage... I have come to cherish all that is encompassed with having a successful marriage.

My husband means more to me than words can express, for his love, patience, diligence, understanding, and above all - his endurance, and mine; which are enabling both of us to reap the joy of a family life that is solid. The blessings of this work, cannot be over stated.

As another poster brought up a while ago... basically saying, that endurance is not in style these days. Thus, we must discuss the necessity of work, in a successful marriage.

Within the marriage of the initial 'two', peace can often be found.... but add to this element issues such as; child of divorce; having your own children and the responsibilities that are required; health issues; different styles in living generally; wayward and difficult children; loss of a child; death of loved ones; financial hardship; financial differences... I could go on and on.

For me, these elements within our marriages, require working together - to create balance and smoothing out the roughness of the road.

I am going to go listen to that song:-) Thank you, and I am so happy that you and your companion have been blessed as you have been... with a beautiful marriage naturally.



Light Path from Stockton, California on April 07, 2008:

I really enjoyed you posting. Having been married to the same wonderfull lady for the last 37 years I only object to the comment that you have to "work hard" at it. In my humble experience the key is communication.. no subject or topic is taboo...never let a day pass without some quiet time and conversation with the one you are incomplete without...and never never never violate the turst your spouse has in you. to me these are the true pillars of a long lasting and loving marriage.

I guess for some there must be a working hard at it. For us it came as a natural way of life right from the begining.

oh yeay I also recommend listing to "Charlie Pride's song "Kiss an Angel Good morning" and doing what it

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on April 07, 2008:

Doghouse -

Thank you my dear friend:-) Yes, this is why I used the word 'endurance' specifically versus commitment. It is a way of hopefully making the point that we all have wonderful intentions to have successful marriages, but the ability to make this happen and build such a unit - truly requires the element of "endurance"!

I love the picture of the elderly couple, arm-in-arm, in their own wheelchairs - and 'strolling' along the path together... still. When I found this picture to depict endurance in a successful marriage, it actually brought tears to my eyes. I tried to imagine what all, these two had been through together - in their long working, and apparently successful marriage? It got to me:-)

It is the greatest legacy that we can bestow upon our children, to work at having a successful marriage. Thank you for commenting on "endurance" as being a rare commodity today...



Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on April 07, 2008:

Rob -

Thank you for such a kind compliment. Truth bears itself out over years of trial and error though, does it not? These are the solid truths that I have found to be most imperative in a successful 'working' marriage.

Yes, God certainly knows what He is doing with His children, by Him instituting the 'family', beginning with our record of Adam and Eve in the Garden. After all, He is a Father - the head of the family of Christ...

As I have considered the wisdom of the family unit for the benefit of the world - I have come to realize that there is no other way or circumstance for us as individuals to have such intense experiences in this life, which are the bedrock of learning about ourselves and others - than within the family unit.

If perhaps we struggle somewhat with bringing these pillars into the onset of a marriage, we will quickly find after not too many years into the marriage - just how important it is that we develop these attributes as individuals - IF there is to be hope of ever building a successful marriage.

Then, are we not grateful for repentance and forgiveness - which are made available, by His Son? Successful marriages, will find that they have many new beginnings - because of the Son:-)

Marrying a person who was a child of divorce, brings into the marriage many issues that have to do with the ability to trust that another person will have integrity, respect and endurance... I know:-) It requires a partner with patience beyond measure and a faith that the person they chose to marry, just needs to see a bit of endurance of their part.

Sometimes this does not seem fair... but when a child is deeply wounded at the trust level in this way - it can take many many years with a committed spouse - to heal those wounds.

Recognition is most important on both spouses parts - as this is the only way that confusion as to what is really going on - will not take over the marriage. Which of course leads to major frustration for both individuals.

I was nearly 30 before I began to realize the intense trauma that my parent's divorce had inflicted upon my soul... Today, we are much more aware of the trauma for divorce on children. Marriages today should take a very close look at their relationship, if this is a facet which has been brought to the altar.

With early awareness of these scars, I think that more and more marriages now forming - can work through these bumps much more efficiently.

Successful marriages are so important for those of us in them to work for - in behalf of ourselves and our children; so that we might pave the way for futures of happiness and solidity for them and their children, etc...

Thank you for your comment. It brought out a few thoughts from me, eh?



In The Doghouse from California on April 07, 2008:


With the plight of "the family" so endangered, learning the basics about the first step in this group, marriage, is so important. These three pillars are of such importance in a marital relationship. Personally I think that endurance is one that is becoming less and less prevelant, with the easiness of divorce on the horizon at every turn. I think you have really hit on the fact that divorce is not the easiest road, although at times it seems to be such. Thank you for your views on this important subject.

Rob Jundt from Midwest USA on April 07, 2008:

Extremely well written and informative hub. Your truth meter is pegged for sure. My wife is another survivor of divorce and still carries the scars with her. Above all else, family and marriage must be stewarded with reverence and diligence. I applaud you for your courage and deliverance. A job well done! There is a reason God created the family first!

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on April 06, 2008:

Hi ripplemaker -

Thank you. This Hub was written from the heart and is what I personally know to be true. I am certain, that these three pillars will truly sustain a successful marriage through much of what life can dish out:-)



Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on April 06, 2008:

MrM -

How absolutely sweet is that? You are a light to all of us here... you and your Val!

I hope that in another 20 years, that my husband and I will have what you and Val radiate to all:-) I love to hear about the two of you. You honor her continually.... such respect. It is a great example to me personally.

These three pillars that I have identified here in this Hub, are truly my personal findings in my own almost 30 years of marriage. I expect these pillars to continue to be the strength in my marriage... as they have been the main elements of helping us to this point in our building a successful marriage.

The greatest gift we give to our spouse, is our personal desire and commitment to maintaining these principles in our marriages. When both value these solid pillars, all are blessed.



Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on April 06, 2008:

Hi :-) very truthful and comprehensive hub.

MrMarmalade from Sydney on April 06, 2008:

I met Val at 6 years of age and by eight I told her I was going to marry her.

She did not believe me. It took her 15 years to think differently.

Now going for the second fifty.

I agree with every word you hub is stating.

Thank you

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on April 05, 2008:

Whezo -

So great to have you visit. I had not seen you around the joint for a while and had wondered, hence my post over on your hubs:-) I hope to find all well with you and that which your are anxiously engaged with.

Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your boldness in declaring that without these three pillars to support a marriage - it is bound to fail.

I believe this also, and feel to say that this has been my personal experience in my marriage - of which I pray each day, that I will be able to call a successful marriage.

Anyone who has been in a marriage, which is ongoing and continues to endure the many trials that come along - will understand the necessity of these pillars which have sustained that marriage... literally.

Good to have you come by...



Wehzo on April 05, 2008:

Hi LdsNana-AskMormon,

Very good hub. I certainly agree with these 'Three Pillars For A Successful Marreage'. Without these three things a marriage is bound to fail. Though there are other things that will come to bear on every marriage, these three will indeed withstand any test; allowing the marriage to bask in a 'well worn', 'time tested' love affair.

Related Articles