Top 10 Essential Marriage Qualities

Smiling Couple
Photo: Sam Edwards/OJO Images/Getty Images

Finding the right spouse is a very personal journey. There is no easy method to meeting "the one", however, there are some key personality traits that can help lead to a successful marriage.  Of course, every relationship is different, but these top 10 essential personal qualities for a long-lasting marriage may help you learn more about yourself and a potential (or current) spouse. Many of the qualities on this list are not likely to be surprising. 

Top 10 Marriage Qualities

  • Honesty
  • Love
  • Trust
  • Communication
  • Respect
  • Commitment
  • Humor
  • Support
  • Compassion
  • Dependable

Understanding How Personal Attributes Impact a Marriage

When you are able to recognize positive qualities in your spouse and in yourself, you can share compliments like "I love it when you show your gentleness like you did this morning while talking to our son" or "You are such a giving person." We all need to hear these words of support and recognition for who we are. 

During workshops, a question often asked of couples is "What is one of your spouse's most endearing qualities?" Sometimes the answers are superficial and may reflect what someone does, like "She's a great cook" or "He's a good provider." They don't reflect the essence of who your spouse is as a person, and instead focus on things they do. 

It is important to focus in on personal qualities that makes your spouse who they are and not just what you or your spouse can do. These top qualities reflect who you are and not just a person's capabilities or talents. Recognizing, complimenting and supporting these personality traits are what lead to open and positive relationships.

It can be hard to choose which qualities are most important to you. It's unrealistic to expect a spouse to be superior in all ten top qualities. However, these qualities can provide a helpful starting point for thinking about potential or current partners, discussing your goals as a couple and how you can have a successful and loving marriage. 

If you are single and actively looking for a long-term partnership, this list can be a helpful starting point to understand what others may be looking for in a relationship and can help narrow down the qualities you value in a partnership. 


  • sex
  • religious, spiritual
  • loyalty
  • passion
  • forgiveness
  • understanding
  • friendship
  • patience
  • appreciation
  • romantic
  • compatibility
  • compromise
  • equality or partnership
  • passion
  • common goals
  • intimacy
  • affection
  • empathy
  • faithful
  • financial stability

Are you able to do a self- assessment, or better yet, sit down with your spouse to review these lists? What areas do you need to work on individually or as a couple? Ask for specifics from your spouse and then truly listen to the responses and make a concerted effort to change your behavior if necessary. Enlist your spouse's help if necessary to keep you on track! 

Marriage Qualities Survey Results