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What are the most important qualities of a relationship/marriage?

(47 Posts)
Mosschops30 Thu 11-Apr-13 22:51:20

To you?

I'm still dealing with the fact that I have ended my marriage over seemingly insignificant but important to me things.

Just wondered what everyone's ideas were on what you couldn't do without from your OH

KansasCityOctopus Thu 11-Apr-13 22:57:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cory Thu 11-Apr-13 23:14:11


feeling safe with him

feeling I enjoy being with him

being able to be myself with him

feeling I'm good enough when I'm with him

Dahlen Thu 11-Apr-13 23:16:01

I don't think it's a case of what you can't do without. I don't think any adult relationship works when one partner needs the other for any reason. IMO, it works best when you don't need the other but simply want them for who they are and how they make you feel. It's a lesson in not taking each other for granted.

OTOH, as someone who has two failed relationships behind them, I could be talking out of my arse...

ouryve Thu 11-Apr-13 23:17:34

Being able to trust each other.
Mutual understanding. That doesn't mean agreeing on everything, but it requires a certain level of communication and respect to be possible.
Actually liking each other's company.

TroublesomeEx Thu 11-Apr-13 23:30:53

Honesty, openness, transparency - trust

Kindness, thoughtfulness, consideration

Mutual respect

It sounds so easy when I put it like that!

gomummygoes Thu 11-Apr-13 23:46:52

Mutual respect.
Compatible morals/values.

Have had one failed marriage and now one wonderful marriage. Those three things are the fundamental differences.

tigerdriverII Thu 11-Apr-13 23:49:21

A little bit of surprise but not too much

Andro Thu 11-Apr-13 23:55:56


All of which have to be mutual!

LouLouH Thu 11-Apr-13 23:57:31

When I first wake up in the morning looking like shite/dragged through a hedge backwards and he looks and me with pure love and adoration. Its only been five years but he still looks at me the same way as he did back when it was the "honeymoon period". That is the most important to me (and him) because the day he doesn't look at me like that I'll know hes looking at someone else like it and he'll be torn limb from limb

WallyBantersYoniBox Fri 12-Apr-13 00:00:08

A basic amount of fiscal sensibility

deleted203 Fri 12-Apr-13 00:03:01

Things in common.

Whilst they say 'opposites attract' I have found that the most important thing for DH and I is that we have a great deal in common. So, because we like the same type of houses, furnishings, activities, humour, politics, ideas on raising kids it has meant that we generally get on pretty well.

I can imagine that if you like very modern minimalist furnishings and have a DP who likes comfy, old fashioned period properties you are setting yourself up for a domestic battleground. How tedious it would be to be arguing over the type of wallpaper each of you wanted, for instance.

TroublesomeEx Fri 12-Apr-13 00:17:34

Yes definitely communication and having things in common too.

deliasmithy Fri 12-Apr-13 00:38:20

A Desire to "make it work"
Shared values
Caring about the other person
The ability to Let Things Go
Space to grow

Im a work in progress on one or two of these things ;)

OP, we all have different things on our list, some we can bend, and some are non-negotiable. Sometimes they are small things but represent something bigger. If it was important to you then it wasn't small.

YoniABitBewildered Fri 12-Apr-13 00:45:05

Respect, consideration, chemistry.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 12-Apr-13 00:52:27

Shared moral values - knowing that you can trust him to make a decision if you're not able to for any reason because even if he might choose a different methodology, he'll still be aiming for the same goal.

Respect and a certain amount of genuine admiration.

A total lack of squeamishness about each others' bodies and other stuff.

Listening to each other.

And, as always, seeing me as a person first and a woman second. The most important one for me.

navada Fri 12-Apr-13 01:05:35


ThePavlovianCat Fri 12-Apr-13 02:07:28

Mutual support
Having fun together
Willingness to put the other person's needs first

coalbunkersareblue Fri 12-Apr-13 07:57:47

I'm surprised only one person has put chemistry...

I'm just realising what a negative effect lack of sexual attraction has had on my marriage

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 12-Apr-13 08:04:42

For me I think chemistry comes as a result of the other things, rather than being a separate thing in its own right. Don't know about others.

niceupthedance Fri 12-Apr-13 08:08:09

I was going to put chemistry or physical attraction.

But this is only sustainable if other conditions are favourable:

Bit of ambition or get up and go
Sense of responsibility
Things in common/fun

There are so many ways to not comply with these fundamentals, I wonder if I will ever want a full-time relationship again. Ho hum.

Communication (tackle the small stuff so it doesn't get big)
Respect and equality
Desire to make it work

After 1 failed marriage, now in successful marriage and the big difference is communication!!

FasterStronger Fri 12-Apr-13 08:12:30

liking each other
fancying each other
shared values

Kindness, thoughtfulness, honesty, integrity, responsibility, reliability.

The same qualities that are important for any relationship (family, friends etc).

One of the reasons I love and admire DH so much is that he always does the right thing, even when no one is watching. He is trustworthy in every area of his life (professional, financial etc).

Someone who accepts responsibility, doesn't accuse or blame, shares household tasks fairly, and thinks of others before themselves.

mumblechum1 Fri 12-Apr-13 08:22:49

Not blowing stuff out of proportion
Genuinely caring about the other person
Having a laugh, especially when things are a bit shit.

After 25 years together I think the not blowing stuff out of proportion is just as important as the other stuff.




Good communication


Lots in common



Just having that connection that you get with someone week you share all of those things with.

Lostwithoutacompass Fri 12-Apr-13 08:25:51

Coal, I am currently coming to terms with the fact that my marriage might well be over because I am not attracted to my husband and there seem to be a lot of people in similar situations on mn/other sites. If you are so unhappy about something then there comes a point where you owe it to yourself to make a change. I think I underestimated the importance of chemistry in a relationship, and also the negative impact it's absence can have on other seemingly good and stable qualities.


Underpins everything IMO. DH would no more swear or shout at me than shoot me. We treat each other with the respect we rightly deserve.

I am often appalled by how little respect people have for their spouses and how they speak to them in a way worse than they would a stranger.

fishybits Fri 12-Apr-13 08:27:41

Mutual respect
Similar values

LemonDrizzled Fri 12-Apr-13 08:28:18

Similar enough to be compatible
Different enough to be interesting

Values family and understands my DC come first
Considerate of me in little things
Kind to everybody even the local nutter on the bus
Loopy sense of humour
Great in bed

I think this one is a keeper...

Mosschops30 Fri 12-Apr-13 09:28:42

My marriage lacked:

Mutual respect
Sex (due to lack of above)
Sharing of tasks
Sharing of finances

In all other aspects it was fine, he was trustworthy, honest, hardworking.
Sadly in the end these weren't enough, I know others can't understand why I've ended my marriage but I just felt I'd rather be alone than lack those other things

Thanks for sharing smile

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 12-Apr-13 09:56:23

Mutual respect and intimacy are def very important. And the sharing of other stuff all boils down to respect too smile

motherinferior Fri 12-Apr-13 09:57:50

mutual commitment to doing the housework

mumblechum1 Fri 12-Apr-13 10:00:05

mutual commitment to doing the housework

Arf. Good one. Despite a long and happy marriage my dh has never read that rule wink

He does work 80 hours a week though so can't exactly whinge too much.

LouLouH Fri 12-Apr-13 10:03:53

Knowing what makes the other tick.

As well as knowing them to the point that one look at their face says if theyre bothered by something or upset.

Never bringing up old arguments in a current arguement.

If your out, on way home stop and buy their favourite coffee/chocolate whatever you want. It shows your thinking of them even when your out and about doing your own thing.

Agree with divided/shared chores. We both work full time so only fair. I cook, he washes up.

motherinferior Fri 12-Apr-13 10:26:43

Maybe there's something then about having a mutual view of what 'big stuff' and 'small stuff' is? Because in our house housework is big stuff...but going out for the evening together isn't. And in other households, it's the other way round;.

BeckyhasapainfreeYoni Fri 12-Apr-13 11:28:56

Share enough interests but not all the same
Being allowed to have different opinions without one being right and one being wrong

And the big one for me


Unfortunately all these things are currently lacking in my marriage, and I haven't been happy for a long time. I keep thinking its just me being pathetic and they aren't good enough reasons to leave though.

I should of run for the hills when he wanted me to say love, honour and obey in our wedding vows

I think at the end of the day different things are important to different people, and what some people can live with others can't.

PottedPlant Fri 12-Apr-13 11:45:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumblechum1 Fri 12-Apr-13 17:45:25

Maybe there's something then about having a mutual view of what 'big stuff' and 'small stuff' is? Because in our house housework is big stuff...but going out for the evening together isn't. And in other households, it's the other way round;.

Definitely. Because dh works mental hours, we really value going out for meals/walks/picnics etc, but the house work is a total non-issue. I only work PT so am happy to do it but if I wasn't, I'd just pay someone to come and do it rather than it be a source of conflict.

KateDillington Sat 13-Apr-13 19:52:01

MC I am a poster of olde and in a similar position to you.

Sometimes I wonder what's happened. Part of me is still in shock that I've done it.

I posted about my XH here once... everyone was appalled at the list of behaviours that I gave, but I know we still got on. I think we made a good team for raising children.

But he never 'had my back'. I never quite felt safe with him. I always thought 'but he's never hit me' etc etc.

He never made me a cup of tea, or ran me a bath, or even just smiled when I walked in the door.

I don't know, it was all the little things in the end. Sometimes the last straw is just a straw.

I know I'd rather be on my own, too.

It IS a fucking MESS though! smile

Mosschops30 Sat 13-Apr-13 23:04:03

kate have you left your Dh

I'm finding my split very hard at the moment, hence this thread

KateDillington Sun 14-Apr-13 00:31:24

Yes - 18 months ago. It is hard. I've never wanted to go back though. Wish I'd done it before.

It's the practicalities that are hard - it's tough on your own.

ByTheSea Sun 14-Apr-13 00:44:35

Respect, trust, friendship plus, laughter, love and the attention to the little details of what makes each other happy.

qumquat Sun 14-Apr-13 10:38:52

I have all of the good things people are mentioning with DP, apart from chemistry. It is killing me that I can't just be satisfied with this but I am thinking of breaking up. Ten years in and at 35 with no kids, feel a complete fool for burying my head in the sand and ignoring the problem earlier. Feel like whichever option I take I'll be wondering 'what if?' for the rest of my life.

Mosschops30 Mon 15-Apr-13 14:05:49

qumquat maybe you can't have it all though, but I agree chemistry is important.

I suppose what's important differs but there seems to be some fundamental ones on here that we all agree we should have smile

Ogooglebar Mon 15-Apr-13 18:09:57

Honesty and communication

Kindness and thoughtfulness

Loving and liking each other for who you are not who you want each other to be

Being able to be yourselves together

Chemistry and sex

Having fun together and enjoying each others company

Taking equal responsibility for your life together and pulling your weight

Both being willing to work at your relationship to keep things fresh and interesting, eg both coming up with ideas of stuff to do together

Mutual respect

Showing love and affection regularly and not taking each other for granted

All essential and in no particular order.

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