It’s 24 years ago today that I said, “I do.”
“Shit. We have been through a lot in 24 years.”
At 18, and pregnant, I’m not sure folks held out for a very ‘successful’ outcome to our nuptials on that frigid December day.
Let’s talk about successful relationships briefly. I think that we need to scrap the phrase ‘successful relationship’ altogether. Especially when using it to describe the one thing that it seems to define- staying together. I know plenty of couples staying together in relationships that are complete bullshit simply because they are worried about having a failed relationship. In fact, I think we need to forget about using the terms success or failure when we speak about our partnerships at all. I don’t believe in failed relationships. I believe in personal growth, I believe in personal change, and I believe that your relationship either follows suit, or it doesn’t. A relationship, just like it’s participants is a dynamic force. When it isn’t viewed as such, that’s when it doesn’t keep up with the changes that the partners are exhibiting. Sometimes, the relationship has simply run it’s course. Things begin and end all the time. Lose your attachment to labels about the ending of things.
In the meantime, here are just a few of the tips I can think of that have helped my marriage grow and continue to grow with me.
- Stop Keeping Score. If there was ever a place where relationships go to die? It’s here on the score board. Being so concerned with who does what in your relationship, who does more, who does less, it shows so much narcissistic behavior, it makes me cringe. Partnership. Team mate. If this isn’t someone who you want to pass balls, score goals with, then you need to look for a team trade.
- Move from Need to Want. I need you. Translated- I need you to fill all the voids in my life. If you NEED your partner, you NEED to get some self awareness. This may be the only time I tell you that wants are more important than needs. I want more than anything to be with this man. But I don’t need him.
- Make time for each other. At the end of the day if all you’ve shared is a smooch hello and goodbye, sit back and watch the marriage shrivel up. If there are children in the mix, you are not being a good parent if you are your child’s personal assistant. Running them to crazy making schedules while your intimate relationship lays neglected. No. You don’t love watching them play their sport more than anything. If, given the opportunity between that and a hot night out you choose the child, then there’s something wrong. Unless of course, your goal is to look across the suddenly very long table at your partner in an empty house and wonder who the heck they are and how you got here.
- Can we talk? Conversation can be hard! Especially when you want to avoid the scab picking that inevitably leads to big wars. The key here is to not let the little things build resentment momentum and become little things in big things clothing. There is an art to effective communication with your partner. Learn it.
- Take care of yourself. Physically, emotionally, mentally. The relationship you have with yourself is reflective of every other relationship you have. When you show yourself how you deserve to be treated, by yourself, you show the world how you want to be treated. Including your partner.
In the course of 24 years, we HAVE been through a lot. We’ve done shot gun wedding. We’ve done 2 kids in the first 3 years of marriage. We’ve done illness. We’ve done death. We’ve done career changes. We’ve done graduations. We’ve done teenagers. We’ve done infidelity. We’ve done money shit. We’ve done anger, jealousy, love and kindness. We’ve decided in the face of the good and the bad, to not be a-holes to each other.
That could quite possible be the most important tip of it all.
*Relationships are hard! There is no denying that. But they’re also really, really fulfilling when done right. Are you doing relationship right? If not, we can help! >>>>>Head here to download your tip sheet: The Pleasured Life Making of a Hot Marriage