Top 10 Essential Marriage Qualities

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

In informal survey given over the years was tabulated in 2015 after nearly 5,000 people participated. Results from the survey show what readers consider to be the top ten essential  personal qualities for a long lasting marriage. Many of the qualities on this list are not likely to be surprising. 


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


    • Openness
    • Kindness
    • Faith
    • Caring
    • Sensitivity
    • Tolerance
    • Fun Loving
    • Generosity
    • Nurturing
    • Gentleness
    • Realistic
    • Interdependence

    Why Are Qualities Important in 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 cringeworthy. Why? Because they 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. 

    It is important focus in on personal qualities and not just what you or your spouse can do.

    This survey reflects who you are and not just your capabilities or talents. They also are critical to your sense of security and safety in your marriage and with your spouse. 

    It can be hard to choose which qualities are most important to you. Hopefully, you won't expect your spouse to be superior in all ten top qualities.

    It is important though to realize that it would be difficult for you to be married to someone who, as an example, is unable to be supportive of your endeavors, or is not compassionate, or who is selfish.



    • 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

    *Article updated by Marni Feuerman