Many people think that everything will go smoothly in their life the moment they say their wedding vows.

They assume that all the problems they had in the relationship are behind them now, once they say, “I do.”

Well, the truth is actually somewhat different.

In fact, a healthy marriage is constant work and it requires setting marriage goals, which are crucial for a successful relationship between two people.

Happy couple holding hands while walking at the park

Marriage goals are basically some targets which you strive to accomplish in your relationship.

It is something you work toward with joint forces, a way to strengthen your marriage and something which inspires and motivates you to always go forward.

What are these goals we’re talking about? How do you set goals in marriage?

Read on and find the answers to these questions.

15 Realistic Goals For A Healthy Marriage

1. Effort

Husband cooking slicing colorful vegetables for wife

One of the first goals of marriage you should try to set, if you want a successful marriage, is deciding to put effort into building it.

You need to understand one thing—no healthy relationship can be built overnight and this especially goes for a romantic one.

Yes, this means that both you and your partner have to put the same amount of effort into making your marriage work.

Woman piggyback on man at the park

However, have in mind that some days, one of you will be investing more energy while there will be times when the other person will be pulling most of the weight.

Keep in mind that marriage is both about giving and receiving and this effort we’re talking about has to go both ways for everything to make sense.

You can’t be the only one trying, nor can your partner be the only one who cares about your future—otherwise you’ll never make the best out of your marriage.

2. Quality time

Couple on date night drinking from wineglasses

You probably assume that you’re done with dating the moment you say, “I do,” Well, think again because you’re wrong.

Even if you have kids, a family, everyday jobs, chores and other duties, you should still spend some quality time with your significant other.

I know that you probably live busy lives and that you feel like you don’t have a second of free time but trust me—this marriage goal is crucial for your survival.

Spare some time for just the two of you, without your children and without phones and pretend like you’re still in a relationship.

Couple having coffee with man hugging woman

At least once in a month, go out on a weekly date like in the old days; it doesn’t have to be a fancy, romantic, candlelit dinner if you’re out of money—it will be enough for the two of you to grab a cup of coffee on your own, without anyone disturbing you.

Sadly, many married couples fall into a rut and forget about this goal.

Therefore, before they know it, they stop being what they essentially are (romantic partners) and turn into nothing more than co-parents who are struggling to finance a household together.

3. Companionship

Couple holding hands while walking on grass

Don’t forget one crucial thing—you and your other half are a team now.

You’re companions and everything you do, you should do it with joint forces.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’re expected to lose your individuality altogether.

Nobody is telling you to ditch your friends, family, hobbies or interests or to stop being the person you have been your entire life and to become just a husband or a wife.

Close up of man woman's clasped hands wearing matching wristwatches

However, things will be much easier for you if you start seeing yourself as part of a power couple.

The good news is that you’re no longer alone in this world and that you have someone to back you up at all times.

This is another thing that you and your significant other have to cherish and work on.

Yes, it brings a lot of responsibility because from the day you say your wedding vows, your actions stop affecting just you but it is also a huge relief that from that moment on, you have a teammate.

4. Respect

Woman gazes at man while they're talking on the sofa

What most people forget is that there is not much point in loving each other if you don’t share mutual respect, which is something you can’t have a happy marriage without.

After all, you two are not kids and you know what it means to treat someone with respect, especially your spouse.

No, to set goals doesn’t include you nodding your head to everything they say or that you have to blindly follow their lead; naturally, you’re allowed to have an opinion of your own—you just have to take theirs into consideration at all times as well.

Even when you two have different attitudes about something, there is no insulting or putting one another down, especially not in front of others.

Woman comforts man with his head down

Instead, learn to agree that you disagree.

Also, it is crucial to respect each other’s friends and families, desires, personal time, space and individuality.

Another relationship goal you should strive for is respecting your wedding vows for as long as you’re married—not only having them in mind while you’re newlyweds.

It is remembering that you promised to be there for each other in both good and bad days, in sickness and health and that a break up is the last option you won’t even take into consideration.

Just don’t forget to have some self-respect along the way!

5. Healthy communication

Happy couple holding hands with arms propped on table

Another one of the keys to a happy marriage is without a doubt healthy communication, which is crucial for the health of your marriage.

This is the person you share your life with and if you can’t tell each other what you think and how you honestly feel, without holding anything back, what’s the point of your relationship?

When you’re bothered by something, there is no ignoring or silent treatment.

Remember that your significant other doesn’t have the ability to read minds, so there is no theoretical possibility for them to know what’s wrong unless you tell them.

Don’t worry—happy couples argue as well, so it doesn’t mean that your communication is poor if you have some issues.

Man pinches woman's nose while in bed

However, the difference is that they know how to fight. When you have good communication, you and your spouse will learn from your arguments.

You’ll perfect the skill of accepting the other person’s opinion, even if it differs from yours, you won’t insult each other during your fights and you won’t bring them down.

Don’t forget—it’s always you two on one side and the problem on the other; it should never be you against each other.

Also, healthy communication includes listening to what the other person is saying.

It means acknowledging their words and paying close attention to what they’re telling you.

6. Compromise

Man propped on his elbow staring at woman while she looks down

As it was already stated, you’re no longer alone in this world and as much benefit this brings, it also means that you can’t do whatever the hell you want.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying that your marriage should limit your freedom but as soon as you become a newlywed, you can’t go through life the way you feel like it, without taking the other person’s well-being into consideration.

That’s why compromise is one of the smart goals you should put an effort into achieving if you want to preserve the health of your marriage.

Remember that this is a two-way street and that you two have to meet each other halfway if you want to have a stronger marriage.

You and your significant other are equals; there are no submissive or dominant roles here and both of your opinions and desires count equally.

Since you both have the same amount of responsibilities, duties and rights, you should both have the same say when it comes to making crucial decisions regarding your relationship.

7. Forgiveness

Couple sitting down as man comforts upset woman

Another relationship goal you should work toward is without a doubt forgiveness.

No, this doesn’t mean that you should allow your partner to treat you the way they want, while you should keep on forgiving them and acting like everything is in perfect order.

Instead, tell them when something is wrong and when you’re not okay with the way they’ve been acting.

However, setting goals in marriage doesn’t include either of you holding grudges or being resentful for ages about something in the past.

If something happens between you two, talk things through and work toward forgiveness instead of allowing this issue to become a stepping stone toward the failure of your marriage.

Woman frustrated pinches her nose while man holds her from the back

Don’t mention a breakup after your first mistake and don’t even think about divorce.

Naturally, there are some things you can’t find an excuse for and nobody will blame you for respecting your deal-breakers but please, do your best to be as tolerant as possible.

Have in mind that both of you are human beings made of flesh and blood.

You both make mistakes which you regret and you’re both entitled to forgiveness.

Instead, have realistic but clear expectations from your partner.

Try walking a mile in their shoes and be full of understanding, even if they do something to hurt you.

8. Appreciation

Couple man behind woman hugging near stairs

You don’t have to be eternally grateful to your spouse when they’re acting the way a normal marital partner should act.

Nevertheless, one of the relationship goals you should be working toward is definitely appreciation.

Show your partner that you appreciate everything they’re doing for your marriage and be thankful for the effort they put into setting goals for your future together.

Show them that you appreciate their sacrifices and that you’re more than proud of having them around.

Don’t take their efforts for granted and put a smile on your face for every little thing they do for you.

Of course, expect the same treatment back. Don’t allow your spouse to behave like it’s okay for you to move mountains for them, while they don’t have to lift a finger.

9. Intimacy

Couple in bed eating pizza

Despite what many couples might think, intimacy is much more than sex and action in the bedroom and it is one of the most important goals for marriage.

Sometimes, it’s all about holding hands, having weekly date nights, looking each other deeply in the eyes while not saying a word, spending quality time together and knowing each other to the core.

Yes, having a high-quality sex life is a powerful goal and something you should work toward.

I won’t lie to you though—you won’t have a healthy relationship if it’s only based on the physical aspects.

Couple underneath bed sheets man kisses woman on her forehead

Nevertheless, if you want a stronger marriage, your sex life should be in order as well.

There is no room for selfishness in the bedroom and it is crucial for both of you to be satisfied.

Just like with everything in life, find a middle ground.

Don’t do anything you’re not comfortable doing but make sure you please your spouse’s well-being.

However, a smart goal is to increase your intimacy levels in other fields as well.

Connect in different ways and do your best to strengthen your bond in and out of the bedroom.

10. Faith

Couple praying while sitting on the dock by the lake

The most powerful goal in every marriage is faith.

Even if you don’t believe in God in traditional terms, I’m sure you do believe in something or someone to whom you pray and who you think can give you a hand when you’re going through rough times.

You and your spouse don’t have to respect the same God but it is important if you’re both united in praying for the success of your marriage with joint forces.

Even when things are going downhill, have faith that you will make it work, no matter what.

Besides, respect each other’s beliefs. Remember—God is all about love and it is insane to argue about religion, as long as you both want peace, understanding and compromise.

11. Friendship

Laughing couple huggin outdoors in autumn

One of the daily goals every couple has to work toward all the time is friendship.

Your partner is not only your lover—they should be your best friend as well.

You know how you treat your best friend? You do your best to understand them, to accept their imperfections, to be there for them at all times and never to judge them.

However, you also expect the same treatment in return.

Smiling couple hugging beside the poolon the roodeck

After all, this is your person—the first person you go to when you’re going through some trouble, the first one you tell all the bad and good news to and someone whose advice you always take into consideration and listen to.

This is your confidant, the person you’re not ashamed to show your darkest side, someone you’re not scared of exposing your vulnerabilities to and a person you consider to be your family.

Well, even though you should maintain a healthy social life and the friendships you had before your marriage, your spouse should become your number one friend.

Besides all of this, they should be someone you enjoy spending time with the most, the person you have fun with and someone you can be your true self next to.

12. Support

Close up of couple's clasped hands with woman smiling

Remember your wedding vows? How you both promised never to leave each other’s side, no matter what?

Well, that includes unconditional support.

Setting smart goals in marriage means counting on your spouse to back you up when everyone else abandons you, to be there for you in sickness and health and to believe in you even when you lose faith in yourself.

Your marital partner should be the person you can rely on, someone you can tell your deepest secrets, the person you can trust with your life and the one who will never leave you hanging.

They should be the wind beneath your wings, your biggest fan and ally, someone who pushes you forward and who doesn’t let you give up.

13. Acceptance

Man with hair in a bun holding woman by the chin

When you’re setting your own goals for a successful marriage, please don’t forget about accepting the other person for who they really are.

Of course, every relationship, and especially something as serious as marriage, demands adaptation to a certain level.

However, it doesn’t mean that either of you should change the essence of your personality just to please the other person.

Don’t fool yourself—your love can’t change someone and if you try modifying your partner or molding them to fit your standards, while deep down this is not what they want, you’ll sentence both of you to a life of misery.

Woman hugs man with eyes closed

You and your spouse are grown-ups. You’re individuals with already formed personalities so you have no other choice but to completely accept each other, together with all of your flaws.

It is important to have realistic but clear expectations and standards from day one.

See whether you’re compatible before getting married and see whether this is the person you can see yourself growing old next to.

If you realize otherwise, you can either accept their imperfections or walk away in time.

Remember—nobody likes being parented and told what to do or how to behave themselves for you to like them more.

14. Trust

Smiling couple touching foreheads with eyes closed

Another smart goal for your marriage is mutual trust.

This means that neither of you will doubt your partner’s words, that you’ll believe that they wouldn’t cheat on you or betray you in any way possible and that there won’t be some trust issues in your marriage.

Jealousy is also an important aspect of trust.

Yes, there is an amount of healthy jealousy in every romantic relationship but as soon as it turns into possessiveness, it’s time to make some changes between you two.

15. Love

Romantic couple relaxing on the riverdock during autumn

Finally, there is no point in achieving any of these realistic goals we’ve talked about unless there is love.

You and your spouse should love each other unconditionally and forever if you hope for your relationship to work out.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying that love is the only marriage goal you should strive for because sadly, there are times when it’s simply not enough.

However, it is definitely crucial and without it, everything else is in vain.

Marriage Goals 15 Main Things All Married Couples Should Focus On