So what can we do to give ourselves our best chance of maintaining that loving feeling we have when we first realize we are falling for another person? Here are five resolutions I believe all couples would truly benefit from taking on.
Expressing yourself directly, non-attackingly, and non-defensively gives you the best chance of being heard, having a meaningful conversation, and ensuring that the same interactions don't keep recurring endlessly in the future. So let's learn the steps...
All living things can be nothing other than what they are. When we use coercion or try to control another's destiny, eventually, it'll backfire.
We met at 15, started dating seriously at 19, got married at 27 and have been married for over 15 years. We know each other. Well. Still, I'm starting to wonder if I'm okay with the fact that the majority of our time together is spent doing our own thing.
This week, my husband and I will celebrate our 36th anniversary. Some years we've gotten dressed-up and gone out to dinner. Other years we've simply marked the day with a kiss. That's what marriage is: richer, poorer, good times and bad. Each year with its surprises and challenges, its hard fought lessons, its moments of sweetness.
"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone." - Orson Welles That quote pretty much sums up the mainstream ideology that I see on a regular basis.
Yes, we love each other; that much we never questioned. But do we really want to be together? Like Lord Voldemort, it is a thing so dreadful that we had avoided asking it for years. In relationships consecrated with the phrase "until death do us part," this is no casual question.
For starters, the very essence of marriage is two becoming one in unity. That implies that you will give of yourself to make the sum of all parts greater. This leads to a push and pull as you negotiate how to make a union work.
If you truly want the best relationship possible, don't leave the fate of your "happily in love" connection to luck or chance.
It's not about jewelry, weekly flowers or other expensive gifts that make a relationship remain as loving and intimate as it was at the beginning. It's all about reconnecting to who you were when you met, how you behaved and communicated during those times.
Before we think we're done, let's remember: just like in real life, after the wedding comes the reception. What will happen now in states where marriage is legal but public support remains low?
Weddings are not the end, but a stop on your train. A significant, theatrical, moment during which you receive recognition for who and what you are. As you are, not as you should be.
I interview couples happily married more than a quarter century to figure out how they did it and how what they've done can be replicated. I then pull all that research together to determine the common denominators.
In the beginning, Mister Rogers was just a comforting distraction. A little background noise, some bright colors for eyes that could only make out large blobs. Soon, he became part of our day. My husband would leave before it was light outside, but inside I sat in the glow of the television for 30 minutes each morning.
I saw his lips moving, but all I could think about was my mother and how my father took advantage of her, left her with two wonderful kids to raise alone, and notoriously swindled many a women out of their hard-earned dollars.