When most couples say “I do”, they plan to stay together forever. After the honeymoon is over, many couples realize that marriage takes more work than they thought.
Whether you’ve been married for many years, are recently engaged, or still searching for the right person, it’s helpful to know what it really takes to make your relationship last as long as you both shall live.
Here are 13 secrets of couples who stay together forever.
Fighting is actually good for your relationship. You don’t want to keep your disagreements bottled up. According to Dr. Steven Craig, a clinical psychologist and author of “The 6 Husbands Every Wife Should Have,” fighting with your spouse is healthy, but it’s important not to bring up things from your past. Use “I” statements when you fight so you’re talking about how you feel instead of blaming and accusing. Also, definitely no name calling, and be sure to let your partner have a turn to talk. When he or she is talking really listen. Don’t just jump in with a defensive response. In the end, agree to disagree if you have to, or find a compromise, but know that most fights are just fights. It doesn’t mean the end.
But Don’t Fight When You’re TravelingDPC
Traveling can be stressful enough without adding relationship drama. Whether your hotel room isn’t as great as you hoped it would be or if your spouse forgot to pack something, just decide that you’re going to laugh it off. One day, it really will be a funny story you can tell.
You Don’t Have to Do Everything Together
A little space is good. Plan a night with your girlfriends or a spa day just for you, but be sure to let your spouse know. That will give him the opportunity to make his own plans, and he won’t panic, wondering where you are.
However, It Is Important to Spend Time Together
Be honest about which activities and events you want your partner to attend with you. Also, make sure you have at least a couple hobbies that you both enjoy. Make everyday activities, including boring ones like running errands, more like a date. Hold hands. Stop for coffee on your trip to the grocery store. Just enjoy time being together.
Kiss Hello and Goodbye
First thing in the morning, before you go your separate ways, a quick kiss is a great way to start your day. As soon as you see each other again, kiss hello. This shows that you are each other’s number one priority.
Forgive Each Other
Nobody’s perfect including you. If you want your spouse to forgive you when you mess up (trust us, you do), grant him or her the same respect.
Be Best FriendsTipHero
Barbara Adoff, who has been married for 45 years, says, “Best friends are there for each other, support each other, and like to have fun together. I often tell my hubby I feel like we’re having one very long sleep over.”
Pick up the Slack
Whether your spouse is sick or swamped at work, be willing to go the extra mile. This could mean picking up soup or cold medicine when he or she isn’t feeling well, or it could mean doing extra household chores so he or she doesn’t have to do the dishes and laundry after a long day at the office.
Stand up for Each Other
First of all, this means, don’t make jokes at his or her expense. Secondly, if someone else says something negative about your spouse, come to his or her defense.
Say “I Love You”
You really never can say “I love you” too much. Say it frequently.
Learn to Love the In-Laws
Treat your in-laws like you would your own family. Text them. Call them. Occasionally, spend time with them without your spouse. He or she will love that you love his or her family.
A surprise trip, even if it’s just out to dinner, can be a real relationship booster.
If you’re at the grocery store, maybe pick up something not on the list that you know your spouse loves, like his favorite ice-cream or the fancy creamer for his coffee. This shows your spouse that you’re thinking of him and know what he likes. These little thoughtful gestures really do mean a lot.