It is possible to have a successful relationship and to remain special to each other even after many years of being together. However you must be willing to cultivate and build your relationship. The couple relationship itself has it’s own needs and when these are met, the relationship will creatively evolve over time. Here are seven suggestions for the creation and cultivation of a lasting relationship.
- There will be many times in a relationship when individual concerns will need to be set aside for the best interests of the relationship. Be willing to allow this to happen and the relationship will blossom. An example might be to give up working late in order to meet your spouse/partner for a special dinner.
- Feelings are the “language of the soul” and daily personal communication is the essence of a lasting relationship. By expressing feelings and mutually sharing everyday experiences and problems, you develop emotional closeness.
- Keep the friendship alive! Work, family, and friends present many pressing demands, but there is no replacement for alone time together when you can be playmates, and a romantic couple, at any age. I know someone who has been married for 35 years. Recently, her husband surreptitiously planned and arranged for them to take a “mystery” trip for her birthday. They had a wonderful adventure together.
- Try to see conflict as a positive force that helps the relationship grow. Disagreements do not damage a relationship, harsh words do. When we express ourselves honestly in a relationship and feel supported for doing so, we not only enhance the closeness but we also move more quickly towards compromise.
- Avoid blaming your partner for personal unhappiness. You need to know, apart from the relationship, if you are unhappy and whether or not your life is working well for you.
- Practice “change by invitation.” Invite your partner to change rather than demanding it. Loving, honest statements about problems and concerns are much more effective than angry demands. “It would really help me if you would…”.
- Seek professional help for the relationship as you would for any important matter in your life.