My Mom and Dad have been married for 47 years. My sister married her high school sweetheart and they are in their 20th year of marriage. I married my middle school sweetheart, and we've been married for 23 years. I'm surrounded by other couples who have been together for a long time. These are my observations for sustaining a healthy partnership.
Understand the other person. Remember Stephen Covey's "Seek First to Understand" principle? Did your spouse have something upsetting happen recently? Is he/she tired for some reason? Is there something going on that is overwhelming? Ask these kind questions before getting into an argument.
Laugh everyday. You fell in love because you shared some common interests and enjoyed each other's company. Watch that funny video of you or your partner being silly and share your inside jokes daily to stay connected.
Give. So you don't particularly like action movies or sushi, but your spouse does! Be generous and sacrifice for your partner. Observe what is happening in your partner's life with work, the kids, life activities. If there is a way to release some of the responsibilities and stress for your partner, do it! Do the laundry so your spouse's work clothes are ready. Pack the lunches when your spouse has a grueling work week ahead. Allow your spouse some quiet alone time and have his/her favorite snack ready and waiting so he/she can decompress. Take care of your partner.
Don't argue in public or in front of the kids. Don't make your fight, EVERYONE's fight. Protect each other and keep things private. Let 24 hours pass to see if you still feel angry the next day before starting a conversation. Hurtful things are said in the heat of the moment.
Fix the problem. Share with your partner what you would like him/her to do to fix the problem and what you are also willing to do to fix the issue. Then follow through.
Never stop courting. Text your spouse a love note. Let him/her know that he/she is the most special person to you. Show your spouse that he's/she's on your mind. My husband picks my car up at work without me knowing and has it washed and filled up. I love when he does that! When he comes across a Mariah Carey or New Edition concert on TV, he records it for me. He buys me lotto scratchers too! This is how I know he thinks about me. My husband's known for his cooking, but I'll pick up his favorite food on the way home and let him know dinner is taken care of! I'll ask him if he wants to check out the latest event that he might be interested in and we'll calendar it! Do these type of things for each other to keep your love flowing.
Touch each other every day. A simple kiss, hug, hand on the back, shoulder or foot massage (yes!), is great! Physical contact is important for a couple to feel like a unit!
Plan your future! There's nothing more satisfying and fulfilling than making a plan to reach a goal and achieving it. It feels even better when you do it together! Planning your future is a conduit to staying together. Make your bucket list today!
When you keep your spouse in mind and on your mind, you keep your relationship rich and long-lasting. This is how I've stayed in love all these years. Like this blog? Please go to www.LoraSaysSo.com for more.