Traits of A Thriving Marriage

Based on research, Focus on the Family's popular author and marriage experts, Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley, have discovered 12 essential traits of successful marriages.


A healthy marriage is built around a solid core of positive communication. These ideas will help promote open, honest, empathetic interaction.

Conflict Management

Every marriage has conflicts, but disagreements can strengthen a relationship. Read how conflict can help you grow and find joy together.

Healthy Individuals

Healthy relationships emerge when healthy individuals come together in a positive way. Here are some ideas to get you moving in that direction.


Nourishing is an action. It involves communicating love in a way the other person finds meaningful. Read the steps to effective nourishing.

Shared Responsibility

Sharing responsibility means being on the same team and working together. Here are some ideas for developing mutual cooperation in marriage.


Your wedding vow probably included a promise to "love, honour and cherish" each other. Here are a few things you can do cherish your mate.

Time Together

Spending time together is key to a strong marriage. These four ingredients will help build the togetherness that enables a marriage to thrive.

Physical Intimacy

Sex really does matter in a marriage. These steps will help in the process of developing healthy sexual intimacy.

Coping with Challenges

It's possible to not only cope with crisis, but grow from it. Here's how difficult times can be transformed into marriage-enriching experiences.


We were never meant to tackle the challenges of life and marriage alone. Here are some ways for couples to surround themselves with community.

Shared Values

Shared values are a strong predictor of marital success. Here are ways to cement the values foundation of your marriage.


A truly thriving and fulfilling marriage is anchored in permanency and therefore, deserves your wholehearted commitment. Read how that plays out in daily life.