To love someone is intuitive. To be married to someone involves a lot more than that. Marriage requires skills. And these marriage skills can absolutely be learned. And who better to teach us than “marriage masters” — people who have been making it work for decades?
So, I’m turning the teaching over to them this week…. Click through this gallery for tips from couples that have been married 25+ years.
Even though your partner will never be perfect (like you...), your unconditional love should never be in question — and always be expressed.Photo:Troels Graugaard/iStockphoto
Be as specific as possible about what you want or need. Don't just say, "You need to pay more attention to me!" Instead, say something like, "When you come home from work, I want you to act happy to see me, greet me with a kiss and a smile, and say something pleasant."
Together you work out the script so that it answers both of your needs. This is a blueprint that has worked for us (and been refined) over the years to deal with all sorts of issues, both big and small. We try to deal with stuff before it becomes big and full of emotion.
It's about respect. Sometimes it's cheap and easy to use sarcasm, put-downs or ego-shredding comments in the heat of an angry or hurt moment (especially in front of others). Don't. The hurt you can inflict can eat away at the fabric of any relationship.
Your mate should be secure in the knowledge that you have his/her back; unconditional love and respect strengthen your “usness.”
Take the following ingredients and mix well: sense of humour, enjoyment of physical and emotional intimacy, mutual respect, and shared values about the essentials in life. Bake for life. Serves two to perfection.Photo: Juhász Péter/iStockphoto
Communication is key. However painful it is to talk about certain subjects or feelings, it is better to get things out on the table than to let things simmer away. It simply isn't fair to the partner in the dark, and can cause all sorts of misunderstandings and problems.Photo: Marcus Clackson/iStockphoto
Couples need to understand that people change over time. Interests and personalities evolve, and we need to understand that and be able to adapt to it. Don’t make your marriage a prison and change an indictment.Photo: Rosemarie Gearhart/iStockphoto
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