Relationship guide: The secret to long-term happiness
After many years together, some couples break up pretty amicably, while others get bogged down in daily strife or long running arguments. There is no miracle cure, but here are a few little basic rules which can help bring happiness and serenity to a long lasting relationship.
In order to live with another person long-term, you have to be sure that you are both “headed in the same direction.” If you want to have a baby, don’t settle down with a partner who has no desire to have children as you will be jumping head first into a serious obstacle in your relationship. Bring up subjects like fidelity, freedom and independence with your partner as well. It is much better to be on the same wavelength right from the start.
From time to time, you will need to look at these issues again. You will change and your relationship will too. Make sure you know how to adapt to new developments in your life together, understanding fully what lies behind these changes.
The discovery and rediscovery of the other
To love someone, you need to get to know them. Pay attention to his little pleasures, what he prefers, what he hopes for, and also his fears and preoccupations. This awareness of little details will help you establish a relationship based on mutual trust and understanding.
Learn how to be reassuring. In a couple, the idea of insecurity leads to feelings of fear. In building up trust, your relationship will become a haven of peace for you both, a real partnership. In this way, you will be able to open yourself up to love and to the other person, letting your emotions run free.
Getting your own space
Your life and activities outside the couple (social life, chat, culture and sports, etc.) is essential. These enable you to live your own individual life, at times, away from your partner. This is actually a way of building the relationship rather than of running away from your responsibilities, and having your own space will allow you to communicate your feelings, emotions and experiences to your partner and to discuss them together, enriching your relationship.
Your partner chose you for who you are. He will be delighted to see you blossoming if you know how to tell him about your triumphs. But don’t go too far away at the same time. Cultivate your common centres of interest, take pleasure in going out together, discovering, learning and sharing different things which will bring you closer together.
Accepting your differences
Be indulgent of your partner’s faults and weaknesses. These don’t take away from his qualities, and what made you fall in love with him in the first place. In daily life, learn to put any little disputes into context, and in order of importance. Raising your voices is not what threatens a relationship. On the contrary, expressing resentment or disagreements, or showing anger, is a way of getting over any bad feeling which can, if left buried, take on catastrophic proportions later on.
Listen to what your partner says, without being upset by every remark that is a bit cutting or critical. Don’t confuse refusal with rejection as well.
When bigger problems strike...
Don’t wait for the situation to escalate. Talk about your concerns, the questions troubling your mind and your anxieties. Assess the situation together and try to find solutions which work for both of you.
Have you stuck to the ground rules you laid out at the beginning of your relationship? Have a think together about the key reasons why you got together initially. Are they at stake now? Don’t point the finger; some conflicts (how regularly you have sex, sharing the household chores, the children’s education...) will not be resolved unless you find arrangements you can live with through compromise and tolerance.
Being in a couple is like placing a bet
The diversity of different individuals, backgrounds and baggage, means you can’t just wave a magic wand for a lasting relationship. Without living with the permanent fear of being disappointed tomorrow, a couple’s relationship must never be considered as ‘perfect’. You need to constantly feed it, respect it and pamper it as much as it needs and deserves. These are the rules for a lasting relationship.
- Accept your partner for who they are
- Are they still into me?
- Out of sight, out of mind?
- Top 10 relationship enemies
- The 5 commandments of a passionate relationship
- Love letters from the heart
- Rekindling desire
- St Valentine’s Day: a pleasure or a pain?
- Long distance relationships: Do they work?
- Being independent in a relationship
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