Most of us love the notion of being in a relationship that lasts forever; a relationship that is strong and withstands the test of time. But the reality can be a hard pill to swallow, with many marriages ending in divorce. Here are seven secrets of couples who stick together forever:
1. Learn to forgive, forget and move on
This is one of the most important factors that determine the longevity of a relationship. Unless both partners are forgiving, a relationship cannot last long. The thing to remember is that all of us make mistakes; it is our ability to forgive and move past it that shows our strength and love. And when you forgive, you need to let go and move on. Never bring up the incident in future arguments. Rehashing the past will only keep hurting you and your partner over and over again. Also, being able to forgive is a way to keep yourself healthy both emotionally and physically. So learn to forgive, forget and move on.
2. Have healthy fights
When two adults live together, fights are inevitable. It is how we fight and resolve issues that matters. Having healthy fights can be a sign of a healthy relationship. Just ensure that the purpose of your fight is to resolve issues, rather than to throw accusations and/or blame each other. Conflict is not only about facts but feelings. Take a minute to put yourself in your partner's shoes and think about the situation from their point of view. Doing this simple thing can do wonders for your relationship.
3. Discuss finances
As much as you would like it to be otherwise, life is not a fairytale. You need to face practical issues such as each other's finances and savings, and your future money-oriented goals. A lot of couples live a perfect life, that is until some money-related issue comes out in the open. Things can get ugly if your partner/spouse feels like you've hidden things from them, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Finances are the number one source of conflict in marriage. But not discussing them is not an option as that would only lead to bigger problems in the future. So be open about discussing money. You both need to be transparent with each other about your finances if you want a lasting, loving, relationship.
4. Keep boredom at bay
Nothing can kill a relationship faster than boredom. We, as humans, are programmed to gravitate to new experiences. So when a relationship gets stale and boring, our need for something new and exciting arises. How do you keep boredom at bay? Talk to your partner, find out hobbies and interests that you both share and nurture that. Be creative in the bedroom. After all, sex is a crucial part of a healthy relationship.
Go to some place new for your vacation, try a new form of exercise such as with a trampoline, or learn a new language together. Keep yourself happy and lively by being a fun, spontaneous couple.
5. Hold each other's hands whenever you can
This is not just a romantic notion thought up by sentimental poets. There is actual scientific evidence to back up the theory that holding hands can make your relationship stronger. According to a study published in Psychological Science, holding hands with their husbands helped women deal with stressful/threatening situations better.
6. Show appreciation
Never take your partner/spouse for granted. Showing appreciation and gratitude for both the little and big things that they do is a great way to let them know that you notice and are grateful for their efforts. Most couples, overtime, assume that their partners know how they feel and that they don't have to explicitly do or say anything to show their appreciation. But think about it this way: how happy would you be to receive a random text from your partner, saying that they love you and are glad to have you in their life? Chances are that such a text would put a big smile on your face and make your day so much better. So why not do that for your better half? Why not constantly show them how much they mean to you? Compliment each other and do it often, after all, who doesn't love receiving compliments?
7. Share a kiss in bed before falling asleep
With work and life taking its toll, spending quality time with your partner is becoming more difficult. Most couples have scheduled sex, preferably on the weekends when they don't have to worry about work. So what about the rest of the nights? Just because you don't have the time or energy for sex does not mean you cannot have a special, intimate moment. It can be something as simple as kissing your partner good night, every night, that can strengthen your bond and bring you closer together. Also, make sure that your sleep environment is conducive for sleep (get an air purifier if necessary), so both of you can be well-rested every day.
A study of 2,000 couples, conducted by hotel chain Travelodge, found that eight in ten couples no longer kiss before nodding off. And Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman said that it's time we start puckering up and bring back the traditional bedtime kiss before nodding off. We couldn't agree more.
Couples who stick together forever realize that a long-lasting relationship is a work in progress. It needs a lot of attention, care and needs to be nurtured to thrive and flourish in this cynical world. Adapting to change and supporting each other's goals and aspirations forms the basis of any strong relationship. All these ingredients come together to ensure that a couple stays together, no matter what hurdles life throws at them.