Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings. Anais Nin
Today, my husband and I celebrate fourteen years of marriage. We are just in love now as we were those many years ago, even if we do have problems. With so many relationships failing (much of my family's have fallen apart), I'm going to write what I think is important to keep a relationship alive.
Love is just like any other part of our life. We can't skip work all the time and expect to keep our job. We can't not exercise and expect to stay fit. We can't abandon our friendships and expect to stay friends. Why should marriages be any different? Yet so many people treat them as if they are different. As if they're supposed to last without any work. So many people don't put the work involved to keep a marriage alive, yet after a divorce you have to work even harder. It doesn't make sense.
Why do people fall out of love with the person they once cherished? Why do they feel the grass is greener elsewhere? Those cute habits become annoying, those moments become something you have to do.
Personally, I think it's because they let it. They stop trying. They feel unloved themselves because maybe their spouse isn't putting even 100%, much less 50%. Here are just few tips that I feel will help:
1. RESPECT. Without respect, you can't stay in love. Or at least you won't feel like you're in love half the time. What did you once respect about your spouse? Can you find it again? Also, you have to be respectful. Bringing up a fault of your spouse in front of people is disrespectful. Arguing with him in front of others is disrespectful. You don't have to make it everyone else's business. Argue in private. You don't always have to be right.
2. TRUST. You can only trust by being truthful, yet sometimes it doesn't matter how truthful you are if others aren't. Even little white lies are hurtful. Honesty with yourself and others is always the best policy.
3. FUN. Have fun. Be silly. Laugh and play. You don't have a act like a grown up all the time. Laugh at your spouse's jokes even if they aren't funny. Eventually, you'll probably find them funny. Show your spouse you still find him/her charming.
4. TIME. Spend quality time together, but also allow your spouse his/her time. My husband has his hobbies and I have mine, and we both respect each others. We also have hobbies we enjoy together. He'll do things for me he doesn't necessarily want to do because he loves me, and vice versa. This is also respect.
5. TALK. Tell him/her how much you appreciate him. Tell him/her when you are proud. Praise him/her in front of others (though not all the time, that gets old, too).
6. CHERISH your partner.
7. CHANGE. Don't expect your partner to change. You be the one to make the changes. Most of the time, he/she will follow and be willing to make changes in order for things to work out.
8. SURPRISE each other! Your man likes them just as much as you do!
And here are a couple of things NOT to do:
9. DON'T EXPECT. High expectations will always disappoint. Your partner can't read your mind. You have to tell him without throwing out accusations.
10. DON'T TAKE without giving and don't take each other for granted.
"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.- Captain Corelli's Mandolin. "Love is the beauty of the soul."--St. Augustine
Being in love is wonderful. You can be together forever and still have that "in love" feeling. Happy Anniversary, honey!!!