What makes a great relationship? What are the ingredients for creating a happy, healthy, forever kind of partnership in life? I believe there are four necessities, things you must both provide in order to have a relationship that is as close to perfect as humans can make them.

I call those four necessities Pillars of Perfection, and these four pillars are the basic cornerstones underpinning every great, lasting relationship the world has ever known. What are they?

The First C is Caring: Both parties in a thriving relationship has to care about themselves, yes, but most especially about each other and about the relationship as a third, separate entity.

Why? Because a person will tend to only work on things they truly care about. So the first pillar in a great relationship is caring.

The Second C is Commitment: You must be willing to commit to forever. This means, good or bad, heaven or hell, war and/or peace, you're willing to stand up and fight for what you care about, which is each other.

You must be dedicated to your relationship, to creating a life and lifestyle that suits you both and then doing whatever it takes to maintain it for the rest of your lives together. So commitment is the second pillar in a great relationship.

The Third C is Communication: Communication is our way of getting our own thoughts, hopes, fears, and ideas across to someone else. If we do not communicate, our partners have no way of knowing what we expect, what we want, need, desire, or crave from our relationships.

You must be willing and able to talk, to communicate openly and honestly about your expectations in order to maintain a happy, healthy, long-term relationship.

The Fourth C is Compromise: From the mouth of John Michael Montgomery, from the text of the Bible, and from the lips of just about every person in the world, in some form or the other, come these fateful words: You do have to give if you want to receive.

There is a give and take in any relationship. Problems start when one person does more giving than taking (or more taking than giving). To avoid this, you must be willing to compromise in order to create a harmonic balance in your relationship. That is why the fourth pillar of perfection in great relationships is compromise.

Think your relationship is lacking one or two of these pillars of perfection? There is no time better than now to begin work on constructing those pillars you feel your relationship lacks. Why now? Because tomorrow may be too late, and you would hate to miss out on being able to look back on 50, 60, 70 years or more of contented togetherness, wouldn't you?

I wouldn't be willing to trade that for anything in the world.

So forget about the work involved, and just be happy you are able to put in the time and effort now to ensure your relationship is one that will last, one that can stand the tests of time and endure forever.

Entering into a marriage is a huge commitment. For many people, it is a lifelong commitment. Marriage is a sacred union between two people. They are professing their love for each other and formalizing things with a ceremony. They will share this time with friends and family and they will have everyone that means a lot to them present at the wedding.

Entering into this new part of your life is often a very huge step for people. There can be a lot of anxiety and uncertainty that goes along with the decision to get married. However, there are some things that can help make things go smoothly and help you to make a conscious decision about whether you are ready to marry your partner or not. By answering these five questions, you will get a clear idea of exactly what your relationship is built on and where it has the potential to go in the future.

1. Children - Yes or No?

The first thing to discuss is whether you and your partner have the same thoughts and feelings on children. Do you both want children? Are you both planning on becoming parents at some point in the future? If there is a difference of opinion here, then you need to seriously rethink your relationship. A difference of opinion on children can wreak havoc on a marriage later on. It is not fair to your spouse or to the children that you may have in the future; if they are not wanted.

2. Family Finances:

Your next issue is money and spending habits. Are you and your partner able to have practical conversations regarding your finances and how money is spent? If you have a hard time talking about this prior to getting married, you are going to have a much harder time talking about it after you are married and are sharing all of the financial responsibilities. This can doom a marriage to failure before it ever starts. Plus, the majority of all divorces are caused by financial issues.

3. Marriage Bed:

can you talk openly about sex with your partner? If you are not completely satisfied or see some things that need to be worked on, are you able to tell your partner this? Are you both open to listening and working out any issues that either of you have? If you are not able to have an open sex life with each other and talk about it, there is no way that you are ready to enter into a marriage together. Chances are that if you are already having issues related to your sex life, they are only going to get worse over time.

4. Mother and Father In Law:

You need to know how much the in-laws are going to be in your life. They may be the most wonderful people in the world. Perhaps they are very loving and caring. They may have deep feelings for both you and your partner. However, they cannot run your life. They are not in control of your marriage or your relationship. If there are no boundaries and in-laws are allowed to do as they please, you are both setting yourselves up for disaster.

5. Household Chores:

The last thing that needs to be discussed is chores. Ask your partner if they will clean the toilet. Now, this may sound crazy, but think about it. Do you want to be responsible for doing all of the housework? Do you think it is fair that you be solely responsible for cleaning up messes that both of you make? If your partners answer to this question is, No or isnt that your job? you need to take a long hard look at whether or not you are ready to enter into a marriage with this person or not.