Ponder the truth of Christian marriage: man and wife are one flesh! Does it not follow that they must share all their possessions? And yet you two haggle over this property! And why? Because of words! St. Macarius of Optina (+1860)  — click the text for more quotations from Orthodox Christian authors and the Holy Fathers …

 

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From an article by Father Alexey Young: 

There are many characteristics that a successful marriage has, but in my view the three most important are these:

1. Praise. No marriage can prosper if there is no praise. Everyone in life needs to feel appreciated at some point by someone. And nothing can kill love faster than continual criticism. When we husbands and wives praise each other – in small ways as well as in big ways – we are also saying to one another: I love you; I value you. Praise nurtures a good marriage. And it is the one characteristic that is most lacking in modern marriages.

2. Forgiveness. Forgiveness is essential for a happy marriage. When couples ask me, “Do you think our marriage can survive?” my answer is always, “Yes, providing you are willing to forgive each other.” And this forgiveness should not be just after a major crisis in a family. It should be every single day. In a successful marriage, a husband and wife are constantly asking forgiveness of each other. When we don’t do this, wounds don’t get healed. We grow apart from each other. We grow cold towards one another, and we don’t obtain the blessings that God sends down on husbands and wives that mutually forgive one another.

3. Time. A successful marriage takes time. It does not happen overnight. It must grow. It is a long and difficult process; like all good things in life, it comes through considerable effort and struggle. Those of you not yet married, or on the verge of marriage, should remember this: we live in a society of instantaneous gratification – we want what we want, when we want it, and that when is now. And this impatience on our part has had a very destructive effect on marriages, even in the Orthodox Church. If we have no patience with each other, and are not willing to give many years to working out a successful marriage, then our marriage is doomed.

Click the text for the full article.