- 4 years ago
- Wedding: November 2007
The title may be a little misleading: I don’t intend to tell you how to have a healthy, lasting relationship, because that is different for everybody. I would like to hear your personal experience with your relationship now.
What things are most important to you and your partner? What are the key points for your healthy, happy relationship?
Communication is the most important detail in my relationship. Though that sounds like common sense, so many people do not know how to communicate effectively with their SO. My husband and I hide nothing from one another; we know every secret, every tidbit of information, every emotion. Does this mean we tell each other everything as soon as it happens? No, but we are not deceitful of one another- though we don’t go through every single second of our lives with each other, we do not omit anything that is important to the relationship. We never raise our voices. We speak calmly, rationally, and listen to one another. Even though we don’t and won’t always agree, we do agree to understand the other’s point of view. This has saved us a lot of heartache and bickering.
Independence is also incredibly important for us. We love spending time together and having ‘us time’, but we also know that we are two seperate people. We have our own lives, and though ours intertwine quite often, we enjoy spending time with our own friends sometimes. We have our own interests and hobbies, and love being able to be alone with them for a bit while the other is focused on their own hobby.
Time is very important for us. Time spent learning about the other person: who they are, what interests them, what makes them ‘tick’, so to speak. Time spent enjoying the company of the other, without worrying about minute things for a little while. There is never enough time, no matter how long one lives- time is short, and goes by so quickly. What I would tell anyone is to try to not stress out so much about right now, and instead focus on how wonderful you feel with your other half. I know it’s hard to wait for marriage when you want to begin your journey as soon as possible, but there is beauty in the waiting- find other things to preoccupy you as you wait. Pick up a new hobby and invest time in that instead of in being anxious about tomorrow.
Encouragement & Support is also incredibly important in our relationship. We lift each other up. We are each other’s biggest fans. We DO NOT put the other down, no matter how crazy the dream may be- no matter how far-fetched, nothing is impossible with enough effort and work, and someone acheiving something great needs a support system cheering them on. If your other half cannot rely on you to be your shoulder, and you cannot rely on the other to be there when needed, who can you rely on?
Counseling is something I would recommend to every couple, no matter how happy or satisfied both of you are. There are always things you can work on, and always new things to learn about each other. Having a counselor can allow you to more freely communicate any issues with the other, while also building the relationship so it will grow. A counselor is similar to a gardener, in my mind. Yes, the plants could grow on their own without the help of a gardener, but too many weeds could starve them and cut off their life supply. The gardener is not the one who created the plants, but he can help tend to them- removing the weeds that would ruin them, watering them so they will grow and flourish, and giving them supplements that will help them remain strong through bad storms.
Intolerence for abuse or neglect. This is not to say ‘throw in the towel’ when things get hard- this is completely seperate. This is knowing and committing to yourself that you will pack your bags and run if the other ever, EVER physically, mentally, sexually, or emotionally abuses you. This is the committment to leave as soon as it happens, to be intolerent of the abuse immediately. I fully believe (this is 100% my opinion) that once someone is abusive, they never, ever, ever change. They will never be the same person they were- or the person you believed them to be. The first time your SO hits you, leave. The first time you feel scared for your life, leave. Do not wait. Do not try to work it out. There is someone out there who would never lay a finger on you, never berate you, never talk down to you, never make you afraid- and you are wasting your time by staying with someone who says “I will change.” That is something I feel very passionate about.
Effort would be my last point, but definitely far from least. Each person in a committed relationship has to work on that relationship, every day, every hour, every minute. When it is not an even give-and-take, resentment builds and leads to problems that cannot be easily or quickly solved. Both people must give 100% to their relationship, or it could become rocky. Without effort, it will not become rocky instantly, but will build and resentment will simmer until one or both partners explode- and then the happy, lasting, health relationship will be almost irreparable.
-Feel free to add your own points, expand upon mine, or even refute what I’ve said if it is different for your own relationship.