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Through The Years: The Road To Everlasting Love

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Most married couples fall into two categories: 1) Those that expect NOTHING to change after the “I Dos” and those that expect (virtually) EVERYTHING to change after the “I Dos) and both force couples to look at their marriage. Unfortunately many of us have been conditioned to believe that unless we both fit neatly into one of these two categories, and unless our union is stress and fault free, we are doing something wrong, perhaps dooming our liaison and sending ourselves spiraling into a negatively self-fulfilling prophecy, one that draws us further away from our mate than closer to him or her.

But, staying connected and close, even through the rough spots, note experts is what the commitment is all about and the key to a happy, abuse free union that lasts a lifetime. And, they add that while “falling in love” may seem “easy” (at least at the time), staying in love, more often than not requires lots of patience, determination, skill, and hard work.

1. Stay true to you: Getting married and/or starting a family doesn’t mean giving up WHO you are or where before the big change, at least not entirely. Experts suggest that the biggest mistake partners and parents make is putting and end to their friendship, independence and individuality. And, while no one is saying that both partners or parents shouldn’t compromise, because they (each) should, what professionals ARE saying, is that you need to compromise carefully and comfortably. After all each of you joins each others lives and your children JOIN the life you have built for the two of you and each member should be a welcome addition not an “unwelcome” imposition.

2. Take five: Make sure you get your day and evening off to a good start by taking some time out, five minutes is good, to connect with your partner. Unless it’s a DIRE emergency that CAN’T wait, put all other “pressing” matters to say “good-morning”, or “welcome home” and find out about your mate’s day, brining you closer on a personal level. And, don’t forget to greet each other with a kiss. And, if connecting means simply holding hands but giving your partner 5 minutes of silence, try to honor that rule.

3. b>Accentuate the positive: Come to terms, early on, that your partner is NOT perfect and you WON’T agree on everything. But, rather than focus on the negatives and all the things you can find fault with, try to maintain an accepting spirit and tune in to all the things your mate gets right, even if you wouldn’t do it that way yourself or can’t completely understand it. And, they add, it wouldn’t hurt to keep an open mind, especially if what your partner does has its benefits.

4. Put up a good fight: Despite what you may think or may have heard, “fighting”, if done without anger, vulgarity, negativity, or hurling accusations can be good for you and your relationship. In fact, experts suggest it may help each of you express yourselves and clear the air. It can be especially beneficial for those who don’t have the dynamic of dealing with issues as they come up or come along. And, they add don’t dismiss the importance of saying “I’m sorry” when you have to, and never underestimate the power of makeup sex.

5. Delete the “D”-word from your vocabulary: Regardless of how many time you roll your eyes, shake your head, or need to go for a walk, never threaten or even think divorce if your aim is really happily ever after. Remember, the key to any happy relationship is sticking it out and working it out, and realizing the nothing and no one is perfect. Try your best to be each other’s support and even when you can’t vow never to hurt the other person or walk away.

6. Take a friendship first approach: Consider how you treat your friends, even the ones you have the least in common with. Chances are you rarely tell them off, expect them to meet YOUR standards and let them know every time they “disappoint” you. In fact, it’s more likely that you get together mainly to have fun, even if that means each of you compromising what you “really” want to do for something you can both agree on. And, chances are that the time you spend with friends, you try to make the most of without letting “faults” stand or get in the way.

7. Aim to please: Remember, like a business partnership, in marriage, success means acting within your partner’s needs. Find out what makes your mate tick and try as best as you can to respect his or her needs. For instance, if clutter is an issue, try to be “neater” and remember to put things where they belong. If you mate needs emotional support, take on the role of the “rock” and let him or her lean on you until he or she is strong enough to stand on his or her own. And, make sure to always gently encourage and push toward self-improvement. The worst thing you can do is hold your partner back or discourage him or her from being their own person or doing life without your support.

8. Put togetherness into play: Sure there are times when you’re scrubbing the toilet and he’s doing the gardening or vice versa, but when you’re home together try to set some time aside to be together. Don’t leave him in the office parusing computer, while you’re in bed reading. Consider staying in the same room just doing something different. And when you do share an activity sit next to each other and make some physical contact.

9. Reach out: Literally and stay in close contact with your mate. Experts suggest that besides a kiss “good-morning”, “good-bye”, “hello”, etc, you hold hands when you walk, are watching TV on the couch or making some kind of simply physical gesture whenever you walk by each other. Believe it or not this helps keep you close and connected.

10. Keep your private life private: It’s always good to have someone to talk/vent to and to whom you can go to for advice. But, experts suggest NOT making it a habit, nor letting others “pry”….after all no one knows, you, your mate or your dynamic better than you. And, they suggest keeping confidants to a small minimum and exerting caution when speaking about your mate, since people create images by what YOU say, so make sure to keep what you do say positive and most of it private.

11. Continue the courtship: You wouldn’t let yourself go (even in front of your mate) if you lived apart or were still dating…at least not for the most part. And, it’s also likely you wouldn’t drop the ball on being sweet, charming, interesting and complimentary. Keep up the good work, even in marriage. Flirt and find ways to entice and “seduce” (not necessarily only sexually) your mate and make your time together interesting, exciting, and something to look forward to. And, don’t forget to compliment each other frequently. It keep the flames of romance burning.

12. Dare to be different: Yes, you married him or her because you had lots of similarities, but chances are you were and in certain instances, still are attracted to your partner because of or in spite of your differences. In fact, your differences should complement you and bring each of you closer, lifting each of you up higher rather than dragging each of you down. If your mate has interests that don’t appeal to you, sacrifice and compromise when you can, but also allow him or her the right (as long as it’s not offensive or harmful) to have some time alone, or with the gals or guys to do his or her own thing.

13. Emphasize the important stuff: Remember all those little things you each use to do just to please each other. Why stop now? In fact, experts assert you make an added effort to meet your mate’s preferences and needs and let him or her know they are still on top of the priority list and that who they are and what they are all about is still sexy, important, and still matters.

14. Rekindle the romance: Don’t forget to keep the love alive by making time to date, each other that is. Even if you are homebodies or prefer home-cooked meals and a movie, you NEED, say experts to spice things up. So, have your meal at home then take in a movie at the theatre. And, make sure to NOT go as your are. Make it something special. Put on something casual and comfy but different from what you’d lounge out in while lounging out at home. You can even indulge yourselves and your romantic side by sharing a tub of popcorn and a soda. Also when you’re home, set the mood with some romantic music and an enhanced ambiance, if nothing else it will break the monotony

15. Remember, it’s all about give and take: Yes, experts suggest that you each give 110%, 100% of the time, but on occasion, one of you will be giving more than the other, because 20%, 30% 40% percent may be ALL you partner has to give. Also realize that while you each may have your designated “duties” no one can do it all on their own and that we all need a little help. Still, don’t try to step on your partner’s toes. Keep in mind that you are partners and that means sharing life and its responsibilities, so try not to micromanage what you’ve entrusted your mate to do, it takes away his or her confidence and trust in their own abilities. If and when he or she needs help, agree that he or she will ask.

Long Island Relationship Articles > Through The Years: The Road To Everlasting Love

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