During the first month of the relationship, you can’t get enough of spending time with each other. You miss the other person even when they’re sitting right next to you. The thought of breaking up with them kills you. It’s a fairytale; a constant missing and longing. There is almost no end to the infatuation and love. Is that still the same three or seven years down the road? Couples who managed to last that long may not be as infatuated as when they were first going out, but they have a better understanding of how to make their relationship last.
Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses
You are great at managing the household, negotiating with pest control companies and calling the plumber when there’s a leak that needs to be fixed. Your partner hates that stuff. So why should you demand that your partner do the same thing you’re doing? Why can’t you take care of this thing on your own? Far too many times, couples tend to demand each other to pull their weight around the household.
Ask yourself this: what’s one thing that you can’t do but your partner does for you? Who cleans the bathroom because you hate it? Who handles the garbage when it’s time for the garbage collector to pick them up? You hate doing these things. Would you want your partner to demand you to do these things?
Recognizing Negative and Positive Emotions
You went home and there was a nice dinner waiting for you. Realizing that you forgot about your anniversary, you pretend to have left your gift in the office. Of course, your partner caught on. You forgot the date. While your partner tried to laugh it off, you know you’ve somehow hurt him/her. You could take this chance and not talk about it anymore. After all, your partner has already laughed it off. Why not take that as a cue that you’re both ready to move on from this non-issue?
Be cognizant of your partner’s feelings. If you know you’ve hurt them, apologize and explain your side. Even if the conversation can get awkward and difficult, promise to do better next time and do so.
Celebrating the Joy of the Other
Your partner bought something big and did not tell you. The latest game console arrived at your doorstep. You’re kind of in a bind financially because of some bad business decisions. Your partner knows this and still made the purchase. Before you break into a tirade, try to celebrate the joy of seeing him/her happy first. Share in the joy of something as simple as a game console. That won’t put you into debt.
Later, when all is settled, you can point your concerns to your partner. Tell him/her how disappointed you were that you were blindsided by this particular purchase. Explain to your partner why it’s important for both of you to be honest about your finances.
Going Back to the Beginning
When a trait or an attitude annoys you, try to look back at the beginning of your relationship. These quirks were already present back then. They didn’t try to hide these from you. Yet, you found these endearing and charming before. Why? How come you weren’t annoyed with your partner’s loud voice before? Suddenly, this is something that you want to talk about?
Try to remember the feeling you had before when you found these things even enjoyable. What changed? When you figured out what made you love these little quirks before, hold on to those thoughts. Remind yourself of them whenever annoyance creeps into your relationship.
Helping Each Other
No matter if it’s something personal or something about your partner’s career, always offer to help in any way you can. Maybe you won’t really be much of a help, but the thought of your offer will put a smile on your partner’s face. Knowing that you’ll always be there to offer a hand (even if you don’t know how) will make your partner feel valued and appreciated. Always try to help each other even if it means sacrificing your own convenience.
Communicating Your Feelings
When you feel hurt about something, don’t try to belittle your feelings. Talk to your partner about it. If your partner said something that had a negative impact on you, talk to him/her about it. Never try to hide your feelings, whether these are positive or negative feelings. Communication is everything in a relationship. If you try to bottle everything inside, you’ll explode the next time a little quirk annoys you.
Succeeding in relationships is all about compromising, listening, and sacrificing. Once you are ready to do these things, then you can be a life-long partner. It takes logic, practice, love, and commitment to do these things for someone else.