The best way to know how and why something works is to go directly to the source: people who have made it work. That's why I like this article, 25 Secrets To A Loving, Lasting Marriage, from YourTango.com. The author interviewed couples who've been married from ten to 50 years to find out how they've stayed happily together and out of divorce court. Although the piece is specifically about marriage, the principles apply to any romantic relationship.
I always read these kinds of articles because I've been married for a long time, too, and I want to see if other couples' secrets are the same as our secrets. Except my wife and i don't consider ours secrets, just survival strategies and basic rules of living with and loving another person.
I won't bore you with a summary of the entire article, which you can read for yourself by clicking the link above. Instead I've lifted a few of my favorite lines from the longer quotes for your enjoyment. Some you've heard before, some you haven't.
"Do good for the other person instead of fighting over 'what about me.'"
"We are about as different as a couple can get. But rather than be irritated by our differences, we revel in them."
"Separate bathrooms. It's not a luxury to have one place in the house that you don't share."
"You really have to like each other to last. When the sex becomes less important you better enjoy doing things together."
"Eat marshmallows to improve communication. What's the one thing you can't possibly do with a mouthful of marshmallows? Talk. Communication is more about listening than talking."
"We knew it was important to still be individuals. We each had things we wanted to get done personally."
"Love is like a boomerang, throw it at your spouse and you'll find it coming right back at you."
"Dump friends, family and situations which have a negative effect on your life and marriage."
"Share a common dream. When couples have that, every bump in the road is on the way to somewhere that matters."
"We tease each other a lot. It's never mean-spirited."
"Know yourself before you marry."
"Be passionate, supportive and accepting of what the other person is doing in their personal life."
"Whatever you did in the early days that made you laugh together, make time to do those same things after 10, 20 or 30 years."
"Keep a date night. Since we married we've maintained one night a month to go out as a couple."
"Sit next to each other on the couch each night. It makes it impossible not to physically touch each other!"
"Remember: women want to be loved and cherished. Men want to feel respected....even more than they want to feel loved."
"Look back only to the good times. Ignore the times when you failed."
How about you? What are your tips for making a relationship work?
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