Most people want some kind of happily ever after. However it’s not all riding off into the sunset and swinging from the chandeliers until you retire and walk directly into a Golden Homes advert. The reality is long term relationships are work.
Trying to get anything off the ground in 2018 can feel disposable and dysfunctional from the start. Society is making massive progress in realising there is more than one way to have a relationship, but then seems to increasingly lose touch with the simple strategies that make those relationships work in the long term. Gender wars, mind games and commitment phobia are not conducive to happy people and healthy relationships.
In order to try and get back to basics I asked a couple close to me how they’ve made their forty year marriage long lasting and happy. This is what they had to say.
. Don’t pick over every tiny fault. Everyone has irritating qualities like talking over the weather report or pumicing their feet in the lounge. It’s best to turn a blind eye to these kinds of things and let them go.
.Try to not to go to bed angry with each other. Talk the issue over. If you can’t, acknowledge that you will sort it out the next day.
. Be responsible with money. Nothing causes arguments like money issues do. Make joint decisions about big spends.
. Respect each other’s privacy. Don’t creep around on each other’s phones or emails. If you have a question ask, and be honest if you’re asked.
. Respect the jointly decided rules of your relationship. If you’ve set certain boundaries, don’t cross them. Trust is easily broken and insanely difficult to build back up.
. What they did and with whom before your relationship began is actually none of your business (unless it’s something insane like murder, espionage or supporting the Winnipeg Jets) Don’t worry about it.
. Compliment your partner everyday and tell them you love them.
. Don’t be negative about your partner. They’re supposed to be your best friend not an authority or an enemy.
. Constantly communicate clearly and honestly.
. Don’t chase ‘the spark. This is something you get when a relationship is new and everything is exciting. When you settle down that turns into a calmer and deeper love. It’s being there even when it gets difficult. It’s supporting each other, it’s showing gratitude for hanging the washing out or fixing the car. It’s being a team of two.