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In our four decades of working with families and observing all kinds of marriage situations, we have become convinced that there are five elements that maximize the chances for a marriage to be nourishing, loving, enduring and, yes, endlessly romantic. They are Commitment, Compatibility, Courtship, Chastity, and Celebration.

If they were put into an equation, they would look like this: C+C+C+C+C=MM (Maximized Marriage).

What we like about each of these five qualities is that they can all be worked on and progressively strengthened and improved. They also provide a good checklist or an evaluation framework for your marriage. Ask yourself the five questions: How am I doing on C and how could I do better? It’s a question that can be asked about each of the C’s over and over because there is no ceiling, no limit!

For additional ideas on how to improve on each:

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