Here I am…21 years in and divulging my secrets. Throughout the 21 years I’ve been with my wife, I’ve heard it all on how to have a successful long-term relationship or marriage, but nothing I’ve heard really hits home. I’ve got to be honest it’s not easy. Especially as a guy… there have been all kinds of core ingredients mentioned from a female perspective but here’s the real deal, from my experience.
Before I begin, however, it’s important to address a common relationship myth, once you’re in love, relationships are easy. Not true. Today, social media has given us a false sense of reality and leads us to believe the grass always looks greener in other people’s lives. Few people share the truth of the amount of work that goes into relationships. Relationships/marriages, even the best in the world, require constant nurturing and work. With that being said, here are my three secrets to a long-term relationship/marriage.
- Trust and Honesty
I’ve always felt that the foundation of any relationship is trust and honesty. Why? Because without it, you’re basically destined for failure. Your partner is the one person you want to be able to depend upon when you’re in the trenches. Personally, I’ve always struggled with giving a significant other my complete trust but I’ve learned that in order to get a little, you must give a LOT. Developing the trust and honesty in the beginning stages will only strengthen your relationship and prepare you for the long haul that lies ahead.
Relationships live and die by the amount of discussion that occurs. If two people can’t find a way to openly and honestly communicate, the relationship doesn’t stand a chance. In order to develop a long-term relationship, couples must find a way to communicate regularly, openly, and directly. This means telling your significant other how you feel in a manner that is respectful but assertive.
- Choose Your Battles Carefully
This one is the toughest lesson I’ve ever had to learn. When my wife and I first moved in together, we discovered that you must learn to let things roll off your back and choose to battle for the things that really count. Even today, this is something I still tend to struggle with from time to time. I prepare myself for this challenge by choosing what arguments are really important. And even then, does it have to be an argument? For instance, do you really want to start a fight over who left the lights on? Or would you rather reserve your energy for the discussions over finances or career paths. I’ve learned that bickering over the dumbest things will only lead to the implosion of your relationship.
So, are you up for the challenge; the world series of love? If you’re up for it, share these three tips with your significant other or spouse and use it as an opportunity to begin the conversation on building a better live together.