How To Make Your Love Last
Common Sense Tips for All Ages
We think of love as magical. It's wonderful to have
moments of romance throughout a marriage. Communication skills combined
with a caring commitment are the main ingredients that help love to
Tip 1: Ask for what you want, but don't demand it.
At times, you might feel like you are doing all the giving and receive
little back from your spouse. Your spouse will be more responsive to
your needs when you express your desires gently.
Often individuals have different needs for intimacy.
Discuss the specifics of your needs. Don't expect your partner to be a
mind reader. Respect emotional differences as a part of healthy
intimacy rather than use differences as a point of contention.
Celebrate differences. Be willing to give up the need to be right.
Women ask that their spouses listen more but not try to
resolve her problem. Men silently desire approval and encouragement and
moments when he can withdraw without his partner thinking that
something is wrong with the relationship. Men need to be supported in
their areas of competence and forgiven in a non punishing non
withholding manner when he makes a mistake.
Tip 2: Include conflict as part of healthy intimacy,
but don't argue just to argue.
Argue when you want to clarify your point of view or
clear up a misunderstanding. If you've been married over a year, you
know that learning how to disagree in an honest way can bring you
closer to each other. Leave out hurtful comments. State your gripe and
give your spouse time to respond without interruption.
Love each other unconditionally while reserving the
right to set limits on each other's behaviors.
Stop destructive behaviors, like withholding affection or attacking a
person's character. Being critical or condescending is draining to any
Never go to bed angry. Put the fires out before bedtime
or agree to pick up an issue again at another time.
Tip 3: Develop relationships outside of the marriage so
that you are not dependent on you spouse to meet all of your needs. Ask
for support when you need it.
No one person can meet all of your needs all of the
time. We do hurt and disappoint each other from time to time. This need
not be a reason to end an otherwise good relationship.
Tip 4: Treat your spouse as an honored guest in your
Always be willing to up your level of love and
thoughtfulness. Time may be sparse but time for loving interactions
should be generous. A hug, a 10 minute head and foot massage, a
comforting touch can go a long way on a bad day.
Love has its cycles. Some years you might be more
focussed on your career, others on your family. Allow the relationship
the flexibility it needs to grow over time.
Tip 5: Caring is committed love.
Love lasts when we keep our promises, to continue to
work on our relationship, and keep our marital vows. We honor each
other and our marriage by standing by one another even though we might
disagree about how to handle some problems.