What Makes Long Term Relationships Work? Really!

Fulfilling, loving, mutually satisfying, meaningful, and long lasting relationships boils down to one thing:

  • both partners in the relationship, without pre-conditions and with 100% sincerity commit themselves to make the other person feel
    • safe, loved, happy, accepted,  appreciated, understood, and
    • cared for.

Be “…like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”  [Apostle Paul]

To do this requires

beach-children-family-39691.jpg

  • maturity,

    • (from both sides),
    • (psychological, social, and emotional);
    • children are innocent and beautiful to behold
      • but they can also be incredibly selfish, foolish, insensitive and unstable;
    • ‘man-child’ partners, and ‘baby-girl’ ‘diva’ personalities
      • find it hard to focus selflessly on others, and
      • often ruin the chances for long term happy relationships;
  • trust, and vulnerability, because

    • to love without pre-conditions is risky, and
    • to open up to real love means to open up to deep hurt;
      • those who hurt us the most and
      • those we hurt the most,
        • are the ones that are closest to us;
          • they give the most happiness and/or cause
            • the deepest pain;
  • open and effective communication meaning

    • willingness to speak
      • about your fears, wants, and feelings
      • in a way that your partner can understand
        • without being pushed away(!), and
    • willingness to ‘listen’, and
    • willingness to learn(!)
      • from the other person;
  • the ability to forgive and overlook your partner’s fault(s):

    • (a generous spirit/heart);
    • ‘The teeth and tongue will get in each other’s way sometimes,’ and
      • it’s not pleasant when they do, but
      • they must find a way to work together
        • for the greater good of the body(!)
          • (in this case the relationship);
    • An ever growing record of hurts in a relationship
      • will crush it.
      • Let your relationship be like a room,
        • a pleasant place  where you both like to relax
          • and savor each other’s company; one
        • that is swept clean daily,
          • of the dust/dirt
            • (hurts of past days, weeks, and months),
        • whose windows and doors are constantly open
          • to allow sunlight and
            • fresh breeze through.

“When Somebody Loves You Back”
(Teddy Pendergrass [1979])

It’s so good lovin’ somebody;
When somebody loves you back

To be loved and be loved in return
It’s the only thing that my heart desires
Just appreciate the little things I do
Oh, you’re the one who’s got me inspired
Keep on liftin’, liftin’ me higher

We can build a world of love, a life of joy
Make our goal each other’s happiness
I will do for you anything that I can
Oh, everyday I wanna do a little more
Do a little more, just a little bit more

Said now 70-30
Now 60-40
Talkin’ ’bout a 50-50 love, yeah

More tomorrow!  You Can Do This, Let’s Do This!

Note:  I have been married 36 years, with 4 grown children, and have spent 30 years in ministry including counselling many couples, at all stages of their relationships. You can say I have been ‘around the block’ a few times. 

Email me your questions on relationships and I will answer them as best as I can.

 

 

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