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What Makes For A
Successful Marriage?

Wedding Chaos, a UK based website, recently conducted a survey to find out what people believe to be the secret to a successful marriage.

An overwhelming majority (83.8%) of our, predominately brides-to-be, believe that open communication is the key to a long lasting and successful marriage. Never has the phrase "it's good to talk" had more meaning than when two people embark on a new life together.

With open communication being the key with so many couples it is perhaps not surprising to see the Governments National Statistics reporting that the number of divorces fell by 7 per cent in 2006 and as a consequence this fall the divorce rate is now at its lowest since 1984.

This decline could be due to a number of contributing factors, the main one being that a growing number of couples are choosing the more fashionable lifestyle choice of cohabiting for many years before tieing the knot, giving them the opportunity to experience living as common law husband and wife. In these situations a breakdown of the relationship bypasses the divorce statistic.

More couples are choosing to have children before they marry and only once they are financially stable do they formalise their union. A marriage is much less likely to end in divorce once children are involved.

When it comes to communicating with your partner, forum member Vicky from Swansea told us: "I've always thought having a good old chat about things really helps. Hubby and I hardly ever argue and if we do its only little ones that do not last long. We talk about everything and anything, if nothing is bottled up inside then there is nothing to get worked up and stressed about."

Is sex the most important factor in a successful marriage? According to more than 1 in 9 of our voters (11.3%) it is.

The British are world renowned for there reservation when it comes to expressing their emotions publically and could it be that privately more women believe a healthy sex life is crucial to a successful marriage but are just too prudent to admit it or could it be for many sex just isn't placed on such a high pedestal?

Having lots of money does not necessarily make for a happy marriage as only just over 1 in 40 voters (2.4%) believe it was the most important factor. So I guess the Beatles got it right when they sang ".....I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love...."

Although forum member Pauline from Tamworth, who has been married twice, argues, "Money and sex are a bonus, but in my opinion they don't make the marriage."

Having children isn't the priority it used to be, with only 1 in 90 voters (1.1%) believing that having children is the most likely change that will lead to a successful marriage. This is a far cry from days gone by where many couples believed that having children would lead to greater stability in a marriage.

Socializing apart doesn't seem to be the vital element required to secure a successful marriage with only around 1 in 70 (1.4%) considering it the most important factor.

Forum member Rebecca tells us, "Personally I've never understood the socializing apart idea - our relationship is possibly weird but time apart just feels like time wasted."

Although Jac from Scotland has the opposite view, arguing, "I think socializing apart should come high on the list too. You may be married but you need your own life too."

Whatever your views on what makes for a successful marriage it's important to believe in, and practice, the three C's, Commitment, open Communication and to Care for one another. This seems to be working well at the heart of marriages in the UK - long may the downward trend in the divorce rate continue.

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