“The secrets to a long lasting relationship: two people working, standing, wanting, being together and seeing the future together.”
There are several key factors that will determine the longevity and quality of your relationship.
All to often we get into a relationship and after the newness has worn off, we get “comfortable” and the worst in us comes out. Then we make excuses for our bad behavior with our partners and families by stating, “I can’t help it”, “I was upset”, “I have a problem”.
But the truth is you are 100% in charge of our own behavior so while it may take a lot of effort, it can be helped.
For a relationship to work we must not allow ourselves to fall into disrespectful routines.
That doesn’t mean that we have to happy all the time.
It means we never give our selves permission to behave badly with our partner. Some of you may say “I am not giving myself permission” but in fact if you behave badly with your partner you are giving yourself permission at some level or you wouldn’t be doing it.
So the first step is to take away any permission that you have given yourself to behave badly.
By allowing yourself to behave badly, you have invited disrespect into the relationship front and center. Relationships do not thrive and survive with disrespect.
Second, develop other coping skills.
When angry, stressed, tempted to lie or cheat, think about how it will impact the fabric of the relationship.
Remember, that no matter what you say or do, you cannot un-ring the bell.
Every angry snap, name calling, yelling, lying, and cheating, rips and tears at the glue holding the relationship together.
Rather than taking your stress/hurt/anger out on your partner, go to the gym and work it out, call friends, go for a long drive, write, paint, or release the emotions but do it alone in a safe place.
Sensor what comes out of your mouth and as mom said, “if nothing good is coming out of your mouth, don’t open it”.
Treat your partner as if they are your best friend. If you don’t take your anger, stress, lie or cheat on your best friend, than why would you do that to your partner?
Great communication is a must for the longevity of any relationship.
By treating our partner well all the time it lets them know it is safe for them to open up to you. Good behavior leads to good communication. Good communication leads to intimacy and the deep partnering that is longed for.
Cynthia Pickett, LCSW, LADC – www.cynthiapickett.com
A relationship is work. Once the honeymoon is over, it is important to remember and appreciate what brought you together.
A relationship takes discipline and commitment to the relationship and to each other. You must nourish and nurture your relationship by taking time to be present for your partner.
Make time for intimacy by having date night and spending quality time together.
When you are on a date, put the phone away and turn off the television/computer. These distractions can create a huge wedge between you and your partner over time. Sit down and eat at least one meal a day together.
Check in with your partner and talk to each other.
Timing is critical when you are communicating something important to your partner, so again turn off the television/computer and put down the phone so you can be present for him as much as you want him to be present for you.
Do one kind thing for each other daily.
Send a text or an email expressing your affection and gratitude for something your partner might have done for you. Acknowledge your partner´s efforts to support you and take care of you.
Think about what you say before you say it.
- What is your intention when you speak to your partner?
- Do you want to express gratitude or are you angry about something?
What you say is as important as how you say it.
If something is bothering you, be honest and say what you mean in a way that your partner can hear it and respond to it.
Be mindful of letting problems fester and do not avoid addressing issues that could potentially derail the relationship.
Do not take things for granted and assume that your partner´s needs are the same as when the relationship started. Coming together in a relationship takes adjustment and often a great deal of patience.
Remember your boundaries and stay in your integrity even as the relationship progresses.
Communicate your needs and if something is not working, then address it. Communication is the key to maintaining the relationship long term.
Ileana Hinojosa, MLA, LMFT – www.themindfullife.net
Relationships are not always easy, and sometimes they take a lot of hard work, but it’s worth the effort.
Because a long-term committed relationship is fulfilling, satisfying, good for your health and just makes you feel happy.
When you finally meet someone you think may be The One, you want to make sure the relationship lasts.
Here are a few ways to get the momentum going:
1. As a couple, it can’t always be about your agenda.
So be aware of how flexible you are, how understanding you are and how willing you are to see your partner’s perspective on things.
After all, compromise, fair-fighting and win-win outcomes make a relationship last, since no one walks away feeling insignificant, unimportant or unheard.
So, keep the communication open and give more than you take, especially if you feel the issue is not worth an argument.
2. Be sure you keep the romance alive.
Surprise your partner with a special note, gift or gesture. Not only do you get “brownie points” for being thoughtful, the excitement and pleasure you bring to your honey will keep you connected on a deeper emotional, spiritual level.
3. Find common interests because sharing your life together is valuable for a healthy relationship.
- Isn’t it more fun to go to tennis matches, if you both enjoy them?
- Isn’t it wonderful to go kayaking with someone who shares your adventurous side?
This doesn’t mean you can’t do things and enjoy things separately. It just means you have enough interests to do things together because it is special for both of you.
In other words, your relationship is really good if you allow each other to be who you are and who you can be, but be flexible enough to step out of your box to explore and compromise.
What really matters in a good relationship is that you experience a secure, harmonious, give and take relationship with someone who understands this as well.
Cooperation, negotiation, adaptation and conciliation are all essential tools for keeping the relationship healthy and long lasting.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
I think a key component to maintaining a healthy relationship lies with the ability of each partner to stay committed to their own personal growth.
A relationship is comprised of two people. It stands to reason that if those two people aren’t taking good care of themselves, the relationship will suffer.
We all know that the romantic and sexually charged experience of a new relationship is not likely to be sustained over time.
The hope is that as the relationship matures other deeper qualities emerge.
The experience of being with somebody who really knows you and loves you for who you are is irreplaceable. That kind of a relationship takes time to build. It’s like a fine wine- it mellows and deepens with age.
However, if partners look to the relationship to supply meaning and purpose to their lives, it puts a big burden on the relationship.
On the other hand, people who take care of themselves and continue to actively pursue what life has to offer generally have a lot to contribute to the health of the relationship.
These kinds of people are always changing. If they stay connected to one another the relationship changes too. Life stays interesting, as does the relationship.
Of course there are ways people can nurture their relationships.
They can be considerate and not take their partner’s contributions for granted. They can make sure they remain a couple even after children are born. Looking for common interests is very helpful.
Learning how to communicate respectfully, and learning how to listen are important components to a healthy relationship.
But I think what really keeps a relationship alive is the continued growth of the partners.
We live a long time; it’s important to stay active and involved with life.
If you can bring that life-affirming energy to your partnership, chances are you will remain engaged and connected with your partner.
Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
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