Monday, August 9, 2010
Happy Anniversary to my Wife
I think it can be very hard to focus on the big picture when you are on the inside of a long term relationship. Many of my friends have just as long relationships with their spouses, some for 40 years, some longer. So I asked some of my friends how they haved managed to stay together. Here are some of their thoughts:
Communicate. A marriage is nothing without communication-and that doesn't mean arguing and snapping at each other all the time-that's not real communication. Communication means switching the TV off for once and sitting down and talking over your day, or letting your partner know in a direct way when there is a problem. A marriage is rarely harmed by some good direct communication.
Admit when things are wrong. During a serious relationship it can be very easy to let yourself gloss over things and make believe that everything will be okay. In truth though, if you do this you aren't being true to yourself, your partner, or your marriage. Problems in marriages are like snowballs rolling down a hill-it's easier to stop them early. Again, the easiest way to do this when a problem does arise is by simple communication between you both.
Know the difference between falling in love and maintaining a loving relationship. Falling in love can often be like being intoxicated, the subject of your love can do no wrong and all different areas of your brain are impaired due to your preoccupation with them. Unfortunately, this state rarely lasts past the first few years of marriage, so in many cases it's necessary to work together at maintaining a healthy and loving relationship.
You get what you give, so if you do everything you can to make your partner happy, the chances are they will step up their efforts to make you happy. The more effort you expend making your partner understand how much they mean to you, the more likely it is for them to reciprocate. This means keeping a little karmic theory into your marriage (What goes around, comes around)
Learn that mending a relationship doesn't mean mending your partner. A marriage includes you both, and so any issues or situations always include both of you. You can't fix things by modifying the behaviour of one person, it has to be a team effort. People aren't like animals, and you shouldn't have to “marriage train” your partner into making you happy. It's not fair on them, and it's not fair on you.