Many of us have grown up and seen relationships like our grandparents and thought “that’s what I want.” When we look at a couple that has lasted through time—and they still seem happy and in love—we see “a perfect love.” For centuries people have searched for “the one.” Some of us have been fortunate to find that person, but how do we make our love last a lifetime?
As time passed, we knew that we wanted to share your lives forever, so we decided to get married. And what an exciting time in our relationships, because we were now planning our future together! Finally the big day came and we were off to the next stage in life, everything was sunshine and roses!
A few years went by in our married life, we had our son and our careers, all of the things that life brings and we were both busy, busy, busy! Suddenly I realized the butterflies were gone, we hardly spent “alone” time together, bills were piling up and life had become “routine.” This is when some people think “this is not what I expected.
The fact is, our grandparent’s relationships weren’t always perfect and things were not any easier then than they are now. Life happened for them like it happens for us—they had kids, jobs, and bills. Take the time to realize the people that have lasted all of those years together had problems in their lives just as we do now! The only difference is that they took the time to look into their loved ones eyes and remember WHY they fell in love! They talked through their problems and decided to make it work.
I have found in my own life that marriage is a constant growing process, you learn from your ups and downs and that is what creates a foundation for a lasting marriage.
For my husband and me, one important element of this foundation is making sure we have family time with our son as well as time for just the two of us. So, for instance, when we have family movie night, after our son goes to bed he and I watch a movie together. Or when our son spends the night with his grandparents, we make sure to go to dinner, go on a hike or fishing. These things are small things to do to keep us connected and sharing our time. I suggest doing things alone together in an atmosphere that conversation is open and you can share things with one another.
We also try to talk about things other than work or our everyday lives. This keeps us in touch with what we both want and what our dreams are and helps to maintain a deeper connection. Be sure not to underestimate the power of a simple note or text saying I love you or I miss you, just letting each other know they are on your mind every day, even after all of this time, has a powerful effect in our relationship.
Making your marriage last is no different now than it was 100 years ago, it takes compassion, communication, patience, and understanding from both partners. It will always be work, but it will be the most rewarding work you can do for yourself and your family!
As my grandmother once told me,” Fall in love, stay in love, and you will love the life you lived in the end.”