In the last few months we’ve heard of major celebrities once seemingly happy then took a sharp turn into splitsville. Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney after 5 years and an engagement. Our favorite guy from the creek, Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger have opted out after 10 years together. Now Drew Barrymore has filed for divorce from husband Will Kopelman- even Mary J. Blige! What’s in the water? There are many reasons why long term relationships and marriages don’t last, so how do you make it last? Here are some suggestions to ensure you and your partner make it through those tough times and come out stronger than ever!
It goes a long way and is not one-sided. Respect is the foundation of any relationship, be it family, friends or a marriage. If there is a lack of respect, one person or both will start to shut down. Respect or lack of it is reflected in actions and speech. Condescending remarks, silent treatment, withholding “the cookie”, invalidating feelings are all areas you want to avoid if you expect to be respected in return. Be sure to keep your ego in check and remember that it’s not just about you, the world revolving around planet you stopped spinning the moment you chose to marry someone. They matter too, compromise is important.
This is one of the leading causes of failed relationships and marriages. Either is a miscommunication or a lack of it. Don’t hold back your feelings of happiness, disappointment or concern to your partner- you are essentially shutting them out. Likewise, if your partner is sharing these feelings with you- listen! If you feel like they invalidate your feelings or don’t consider what you think then tell them- in a tactful way. Here is what I do…if I need to get a point across I think about what it would take to convince me or help me understand if someone else was coming to me with the issue. What would someone have to say to you for you listen? Side note: Ladies, calling your man out in public or among a group of friends is not only a huge violation of #1 (see above) but will emasculate your man- reverse the roles, how would you feel? I thought so.
- Don’t Stop Dating
Yes life gets hectic, we are preoccupied with lesser but seemingly important things like making money and people pleasing. However, your partner should be your most important priority. You may think this is unrealistic but think of it this way… who is going to be there when you lose your job? If you don’t invest in your relationship and take time to laugh and spend some quality time together you will end up being nothing more than two roommates who live together. Husbands and boyfriends: plan surprises, go see a movie, make dinner reservations, dance, snuggle and read- anything! Women don’t want to be the creative, spontaneous ones all the time!
- Focus on the positive
If you can’t get over the songs he sings off key in the shower or that her coffee mugs are literally everywhere- you aren’t going to enjoy much of one another. These are small insignificant things that aren’t worth dwelling on. Consider the fact that no one makes a latte better than her or that you never have to worry about him not fixing something that malfunctioned. It’s the little things you do for one another, like having his drink ready when he comes home or doing the dishes because she made a great dinner. These are the important things and the more you focus on them the more your bond will grow and strengthen.
Marriage isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, it takes work daily. Working on yourself and working together is the only way to ensure that you both grow together. Those vows “through better or worse” are real, so if and when worse comes, if you’ve used these tools you can both rest assured that hard work will pay off.