2 years ago
WordDoctor
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How To Make Your Marriage Last, With Joy: Tips 1-5
We've all heard it before - the fact that marriage and long-term relationships are not easy. "You're in it for the long haul." "It takes compromise." "You have to stick together through thick and thin." That doesn't make it sound too appealing, does it? I totally agree that long-term commitment relationships like marriage have challenges, involve compromises, and are not filled with fun all the time the way short-term passionate encounters can be. I even think that there are some few times that marriages shouldn't last because of irreparable or abusive situations. But I definitely haven't experienced marriage myself as primarily a tedious chore - and I know many others who have been together for decades and have done so joyfully. That's why I'm compiling some tips for making marriages and long-term relationships last as healthy, happy adventures throughout our lives. The start of a new year is a perfect time to think about how to bring joy to our love lives! 1. Do something unexpected. A big part of long-term relationships is routine - especially if you also have children. Routines are not bad. They help keep us balanced, organized and calm. But they don't do a lot to add excitement and zest to our lives. Once in a while, do something that goes against your regular routine. It doesn't have to be huge. Have a movie night in your living room on a work night, complete with popcorn. Check out a restaurant you've never been to. Take a spontaneous weekend vacation. 2. Take a class together. Whether it's dancing, painting, cooking or something else - learning something new and fun together gives you a fulfilling experience to share, an opportunity to spend time together - and that very elusive relationship must: new topics for conversation. Make sure it's something you can both enjoy, but do try to push out of your comfort zone. 3. Be honest about your frustration. You shouldn't keep your anger and frustration bottled up when you have a conflict. It just makes your feelings and the problem bigger and harder to get over. Take some breaths and find a way to tell your partner that something is upsetting you and why. Are you even more upset because you think they should just know you're upset and apologize? Well, try to get over it. It's amazing how many times we think the cause of our anger or frustration is obvious, but our partners are oblivious. It's impossible to get over a conflict that we don't bring out in the open. 4. Save the insults. While being honest about frustrations is crucial to keeping problems contained, expressing that frustration through insults and name-calling is never constructive. This is your closest loved one we're talking about. The person to whom you're most vulnerable, and who is most vulnerable to you. You are both in the unique position of knowing each others' worst points and weaknesses. It is not fair to use that to inflict pain or make yourself feel better momentarily. Insults and name-calling may roll off the tongue easily, but they are a big violation of trust and the damage takes a long time to repair. It's just not worth it. 5. Remember the power of the mix tape! It may seem juvenile once we get farther into adulthood, but making a CD or playlist for each other can still surprise and delight no matter how old you are or how long you've been together. Get creative and go for it - pick a great theme, share songs your partner hasn't heard, create a mood, make album art. So much can be said with music! I still feel silly with happiness and excitement when someone gives me a new mix to listen to. Tips 6-10: http://www.vingle.net/posts/643019 Tips 11-15: http://www.vingle.net/posts/650978
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4 comments
I really like the idea of taking a class together! #4 is a great reminder and I couldn't agree more. :)
2 years ago·Reply
10
@kinna I'm excited about finding one to take this year! I agree about #4... I think we'd like to say it's something we wouldn't do, but it can happen surprisingly easily in moments of anger and frustration. The people we love most unfortunately are most able to push our buttons!
2 years ago·Reply
10
love the idea of a mix tape! Our tastes of music are very different, but that can make it all the more surprising. thanks
2 years ago·Reply
I agree, @geocheryl - the differences can definitely make the mix more varied and appealing. It's kind of how you have more to talk about when you do different things during the day!
2 years ago·Reply