It seems that Hollywood is completely infatuated with the wrong type of love. Every romantic comedy or drama that hits the screen tends to focus its narrative on new lovers who are just starting to get to know each other. We watch as they go through ups and downs hoping vicariously that they will eventually end up together, and when they do, we’re treated to a song and some credits and the knowledge that the two characters will stay in love with each other for ever and ever.
But how difficult is it really for new relationships to thrive at the beginning? After all, those heady days of infatuation and first kisses aren’t usually very difficult at all. It’s during those stages that we’re more likely to overlook our partner’s faults rather than dwell on them, and the sheer euphoric rush of simply being around a new lover is often enough to keep us happy for days on end. Unfortunately, no matter what the movies may claim, this kind of love is not something that can be maintained indefinitely. Eventually, the pedestal that you’ve placed under your lover will crumble, and you’ll be left with just another imperfect human being whose flaws have become all too obvious.
This end of infatuation hits many couples very hard. Once they no longer feel their hearts skip at the sound of the other’s voice, they just assume that the love is gone and there’s nothing that they can do about it, but in reality, true, deep, intimate love cannot develop until the childish obsession and intoxication has subsided. Real love takes time and is built upon respect rather than lust.
Still, the couples that stay together and stand the test of time are often plagued by problems that newer couples couldn’t even imagine. Here are five issues that most long-term couples eventually face and how you can overcome them to make your relationship last forever.
1. Lack of communication
There are many issues in long-term relationships that are unavoidable, but a lack of communication isn’t one of them. Communication is a conscious choice. However, it’s also more than that. It’s a skill that must continually be practiced between partners, or it will grow dull from disuse. Keep communication alive by regularly calling your partner when you are away from each other and by sitting down together for dinner in the evening and discussing your day. When speaking to each other, be generous and involved listeners. Give your partner your full attention when they speak, and be willing to make sacrifices for the sake of your communication.
Many of us think that they best way to keep problems from destroying a relationship is by simply ignoring them. However, unaddressed issues can fester and grow into resentment, which can absolutely destroy a relationship. If there are things that are bothering you, lovingly and patiently discuss them as a couple. Use language that is unconfrontational, and be sure not to allow the discussion to turn into a shouting match or a battle of accusation. Remind yourself that you value your relationship and that you want to help keep it strong (even at the cost of your own pride). Be willing to make small changes for your partner.
Certainly one of the most exciting aspects of a new relationship is the prospect of becoming physically intimate for the first time. However, after many years of being together, what was once stimulating and amazing has a tendency to become dull and routine. Keep your sexual relationship alive by always striving to be a generous and enthusiastic lover. Tell your partner regularly and honestly how much you care for them, and let them know how attractive they are to you. You also may consider using sexual aides to spice things up in the bedroom. If physical issues such as obesity, erectile dysfunction or surprisingly common premature ejaculation are getting in the way of your intimacy, consider seeing a doctor or seeking other treatment.
4. Misplaced priorities
There are those who claim that familiarity breeds contempt. We would amend that saying slightly and state that familiarity breeds indifference. When we see the same person everyday for years on end, we tend to unconsciously decrease the level of importance that they occupy in our minds. If asked directly, we still claim that our partner is the most important person in the world, but our actions speak differently. We move around relationship commitments in order to free up time for things like sporting events or time with friends. However, we can remind ourselves of how important our partner is by always making sure to put them first. Continue to treat your relationship as though it were something special, and it always will be.
For the longest-term relationships, health will often become an issue. Whether it results in expensive doctor and hospital visits, time consuming care practices, or decreased physical ability, many couples find that as they age, their declining health begins to have a negative effect on their relationship. The best things you can do are to first and foremost, maintain your health. Exercise regularly, adopt a nutritious diet, and be sure to have regular checkups with your doctor. This will help stave off many of the health problems that make relationships difficult. Secondly, if your partner is afflicted with health problems, put yourself in their shoes and show empathy and compassion for them. Never blame a partner for failing health, and let them know that you love them as much as you did when the two of you first met. The funny thing about love is that if you’re diligent in expressing it, you’ll never have any trouble feeling it.
Long Term Relationships Experience