Successful romantic partners in healthy relationships have a sacred bond that ensures they will keep each other safe and loved. That bond is made up of mutually trusted agreements that both people commit to honoring at all times.

All couples have their own unique set of these mutual agreements or promises, but there are some that seem to be universal in most lasting, healthy relationships.

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Couples who make these promises prior to committing to marriage are more likely to have healthy relationships that last. These agreements are a true personification of the compassion and understanding that exist in these collaborative, quality partnerships.

So before you say “I do”, sit down as a couple and agree to these key points together.

Here are 12 crucial promises the happiest couples make before marriage that help them sustain healthy relationships for the long haul.

1. Promise to support each other’s goals and experiences.

“I want you to know and trust that I fully support you in your endeavors, even if they sometimes compete with mine. Your fulfillment in the experiences and things that mean the most to you is a high priority for me. I know that we won’t always agree on which of us should get what we want and which should sacrifice for the other. That is as it should be. But I always want you to feel that what you need is as important to me as it is for you.

Sometimes we’ll have to decide together which of our wants or needs take precedent and prioritize them at the time, but I know we can work them out. What counts is that you feel my support for the things that matter to you.”

2. Promise to accept each other’s faults.

“I believe that you want to be the best partner you can to me. That doesn’t mean that you don’t make mistakes, or do things sometimes that make me feel sad or disappointed, or even angry. I need to share my feelings with you when that happens, but I never want you to feel worse than you already do when you make mistakes.

I also know that I have my own issues to work on and sometimes they trigger the way you act towards me. I do want you to tell me when that happens, but to also try to change those behaviors that are hard on me. I want us to both be on the same side and work on forgiving the things that we have trouble changing, no matter how hard we try. I want to be on your side when you are making mistakes, and not make it worse by reacting critically or being impatient.”

3. Promise to welcome each other’s social circles.

“Some of your friends and family members can drive me crazy or make me feel erased when they’re around. But, if these people mean something to you and you want to keep them close, I will do everything I can to find things I like about them. I’ll also tell you how I feel and why I do and trust you will try to understand if I don’t always do it the way you’d like me to.

Many of your friends and family are great and I need to remember to tell you how I feel about them as well. That way you will know why I can more easily welcome some more than others. I know that the people you care about are important to you and you have the right to spend time with them. Even if they are sometimes not my choices, I want to support you in making them.”

4. Promise to honor each other’s past experiences.

“When you tell me about people who have hurt you in the past or those you’ve loved as well, I promise that I will try to listen without judgment. I want to help you work those issues out if they are still affecting you, especially if they are negatively affecting our relationship. I know that would be hard for you to do if you anticipate that I could be judgmental, but what is important to you is important to me and I will do everything I can to stay objective.

I also realize that some of the people who have caused you distress in the past are still in our lives and I know you have to work those relationships out. I will do everything I can to support you in those processes, and not take them personally.”

5. Promise to focus on the positive.

“I absolutely recognize that it is all too easy for both of us to sometimes focus on the negatives of our relationship, especially when we are going through hard times. I know that we wouldn’t still want to be together if the negatives outweighed the great connections we still have.

I pledge to you to keep reminding you and me of what is precious, sacred, and valuable in our relationship. I don’t mean just echoing superficial reassurances to make things more okay at the moment, but actually paying attention to how important you are to me and how sad my life would be without you.”

6. Promise to show each other unconditional support.

“When you are in trouble, I am here for you in whatever way you need me. Though we won’t always agree on your rationale for distress or your feelings about those who are upsetting or disappointing you, I will always listen and be there to help you through the hard times.

Though there may be times that I’m not immediately supportive, or have my own opinions about the situation, in the long haul, I have your back. That commitment holds even if the situation is conflicted for me.

I want to suffer your sadness, frustration, fear, hurt, anger, or disillusionment along with you, but still be your voice of reason when you’re asking for a different perspective. Even if I sometimes don’t immediately respond the way you need me to, please trust that I’ll come around.”

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