Longevity In Relationships


How does a couple in today's busy, high-paced world keep our relationships from fizzling? What does it take to keep us out of divorce court? I learned a long time ago that it takes a lot of effort and will power on the part of both parties involved in the marriage.

I chose to emulate my parents as well as my in-laws. Their loyalty to each other taught me what true commitment really is. They also taught me through their actions and experiences that while it is true it does take the two of you to work together, at some point in a relationship one of you will have to be the first to "give". Both will have to be willing to release, let go of or give up something in order to save the marriage and somewhere along the way, this question will have to be answered, Is this relationship important enough to me to sacrifice something in order to salvage It? Something else I learned, but is not popular in today's world is old fashion ways does not always mean something dreadful. We can learn from our past.

The following are ideas I've gleaned from the my parents and in-laws over the years. Old fashioned or not, these are what worked for them and has worked for me too.

O Communication. Talk to him. Write notes. Let him know how you feel. When we had only been married for fifteen years, my husband and I were at a place in our marriage where we were not talking. Each had issues with the other. I even considered leaving him. One night after I returned home from a conference, he picked up a note pad and pencil and began writing. He asked in his note if I was going to leave him. That note lead to several pages of annotations written back and forward to each other. We poured our hearts out on paper. This written communication led to the healing in our marriage.

O Love Notes Leave short notes in his car, lunch box, bathroom or other areas. Surprise him with the declaration of your love to him. Often when my husband returned home from work he would tell me where he was when he read my note and who was there. His lopsided grin melted my heart.

O Just say it Notes are nice; However, the spoken words I LOVE YOU are necessary. Voicing your ad lets lets him know how you feel. Beside, it's just nice to hear those words sometimes.

O Just show it No amount of words can convince someone you love them. Your actions and response to them can. This is especially true in a marriage.

O Think of him Plan activities he enjoys, better yet, activities you both enjoy. Some of the sweetest times together for my husband and I are when we are spending recreation time together.

O Lower your expectations No one is perfect. Do not expect him to be.

O Take a "Q" from old sitcoms Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best may seem silly to us now, but notice how nicely the wife dressed. I am not suggesting you dress up to vacuum, but your appearance is important in other areas of your relationship. Throw out those sloppy, stretchy, sweatpants and sweatshirts. Look nice for your man.

O Learn to forgive Holding onto grudges and grievances has no place in a marriage. You must be willing to accept apologies.


O Asking for forgiveness Not only is it important to forgive, you must also be willing to accept responsibility for your shortcomings, to say the words, I'm sorry, and to seek forgiveness when necessary.

O Be there for him Do not get so wrapped up in your work, children etc that you miss opportunities to have a strength and support for your husband when he needs it.

O Love his family even if it is difficult at times. For some, this one may seem impossible. I've seen many relationships go under because one of the parties did not like, could not tolerate, or continuously deserved with the family of the other. I never had to deal with this. I loved and still love my spouse's family. You must be careful and considerate his feelings for his family. While you may not like them, most likely, he does.

O Lighten your load If you belong to clubs, organizations or are active in sports, meetings, school, or anything, which interferees with your relationship, leaving you, tired and irritable, it is time to give something up.

O Gifting Is this necessary? Sure, it is fun to receive gifts, but I do not believe it is the end of the world if he forgives or fails to give a gift on certain occasions. It is certainly not something large enough to break up a marriage over. Many lonely women would be happy just to have the companionship of your husband.

O Take care of yourself Your health is important. Do not miss mammogram or gynecologic appointments. Have annual physical exams and do self-breast exams. Do not ignore warning signs for possible health issues.

O Enjoy family mealtime together This is a good time to talk about your day, listen to your family and enjoy one another's company. A quick meal in front of the TV is all right on occasion as long as you take time to sit down together as a family.

O Laugh Learn to laugh at yourself. Do not take yourself so seriously. Laughing is a release and can lighten your mood. It can break the tension in a stressful situation. Be careful not to laugh at your partner-laugh with him.

O Do not wear your feelings on your shoulder Suck in that lip and quit pouting. Stop whining. No one wants to spend time with a complainer.

O Spend one on one time with each other It is important to spend time alone with one another. Break out the candles, dance, walk hand in hand down a sandy beach, or along a country lane. I remember a time when my husband and I danced every night. We wished to exercise for our health so we decided to take on dancing. We put on ZZ Top and danced for an hour each night. We loved it!

O Share in decision making Neither party should purchase large or high priced items without first consulting the other. You need to be united in decisions regarding your children, money and things you plan to do.

O Be tolerant of each other's shortcomings. Do not pick at everything your spouse does or says. Stop nagging.

O Encourage each other Do not put each other down. Lift each other up. Use encouraging words in your conversations.

O Respect each other respect his job, his family, his likes and dislikes. Respect his sports equipment or anything that is sacred to him. My husband loves music. He has guitars, mandolins, a harmonica, a banjo and all kinds of equipment to go with it. I used to quip, "You can put down his wife, just do not put down his music." He is very particular about his music instruments.
I am quite sure you could think of other steps or thoughts on making a marriage work. I also realize these suggestions may not work for everyone. It is important to realize not all marriages are cookie-cutter; Some different because of circumstances and surroundings.

Marriage is not a mystery. It is a relationship, which requires nurturing. Now, go nurture yours.

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Darlene Snyder


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