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Love and Marriage Article
Does Character Matter in Love and Marriage?

by Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

In case you didn’t know it, there is a character element in love and loving relationships.  People who say they love each other and then cheat on their spouse or lover, or lie to them on a regular basis, aren’t really in love.  Oh, many think they are, but they really are not.  People who love each other have character when it comes to their marriage or relationship.

In our interviews over the past 27 years with couples that had a successful marriage we are always struck by their undying trust in each other.  They literally trust each other with their lives, their fortune, and their sacred honor.  The words they use to describe the one they love more often than not include words and expressions like trust, honesty, loyalty, respects me, admires me, always there for me, never lets me down, truthful, and never lies to me.  Their trust for each other is about as complete as you can get.  And when we ask couples in love during our interviews to place, in an overall sense, where their relationship is on a 10-point scale with 10 being “Absolute Trust,” without exception, they say “10!”  Isn’t that wonderful?  Remarkable?  These are the couples that will celebrate their golden anniversaries together!

Trust is not something all loving relationships start with.  For some couples the trust becomes complete in a few years.  For others, it takes awhile.  But one thing is for sure; happy and successful marriages and relationships survive and thrive on the basis of this trust.  Trust is so pervasive in their relationship that they never give it a second thought.  They expect it.  It’s always there.  It is part of the fabric of their marriage.

There is one thing you can take to the bank – all people in love have faced temptations in their relationship.  The pretty girl in the restaurant captures your fancy.  The handsome man walking down the street draws your attention.  The flirt at work is tempting at times.  And, we will dare say, sometimes in every relationship you think about slipping in the sack with some of the beautiful people you meet.  But here’s where it stops – these are only fleeting moments of passing fancy.  These are the moments of momentary lust for another human being that are not acted on.  Why?  People in love who are happy in their relationships control their urges because they know that while a moment of sexual fantasy is healthy and normal, following through and enjoying sexual satisfaction with someone other than their mate – cheating on their mate – is destructive to the loving and trusting relationship between them.  It’s okay to have sexual urges and fantasies regarding another person, but to act on them ruins all that trust.  It destroys the ties that bind.

Couples who are truly in love in their relationship know that a few moments of sexual satisfaction can NEVER replace the loving, trusting, and caring relationship they have developed with their mate.  As someone once said to us, “I have a marriage license but I didn’t give up my looking license!”  Admiring others in intimate ways is normal and healthy.  But acting on those urges has ruined a many a marriage and many a loving relationship.

Those wonderful couples we have interviewed resist these normal urges and temptations of life because they know their relationship is so much more important to them.  Destroying the trust between them causes the foundation of their marriage to crumble.

Character in a successful marriage or relationship does matter, and character is about trust.  Being honest and trustworthy is at the heart of all the best loving relationships we have studied.  It really is a 10 on a 10-point scale.  In our estimation, character is the foundation of true love!  This is one of the most important lessons we have learned from studying 15,000 years of marriage over the past 25 years!

Simple Things Matter in Love and Marriage!

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