Each and every marriage and relationship is different; we all know that. Good communication, forebearance and respect for one another are pillars of making a relationship work, and if you don’t exercise those things with your partner, you could well find yourselves in difficulty. Here’s our light-hearted take on do’s and don’t do’s for your marriage or long term relationship.
Do things together
Easier said than done. Unless you have so much money you don’t need to think about going out to work in order to pay the bills or put food in your children’s mouths, the majority of us are fairly time poor on account of the jobs we do. By the time the weekend rolls around there are any number of things to get done; washing, taking the kids swimming, hoovering up fur balls and the weekly shop to name a few. Spending time together doesn’t mean going away to Prague for a mini break; it’s enough to eat breakfast together, walk the dog with one another or even wander the shops in each other’s company, allowing time to engage and chat. Watching TV together doesn’t count, though, so forget that one.
But don’t gush. Gushing sounds insincere, and usually is. If your partner asks you something like “How do I look in this?” or “Do you like my new haircut?” it’s important that you give them something that sounds like an honest answer. This is not necessarily the same thing as the honest answer.
Don’t hold grudges
There is nothing that will rot your soul from the inside out more thoroughly than a grudge. Grudges, even when they’re justified, are to relationships as salt is to slugs – it will make them foam, squirm and then die horribly. You’re much better off being the first to apologise, even if you’re the one in the right and both of you know it. The alternative is to nurture the hurt feelings or anger, which is about as useful as nurturing a rock. What would you rather do, spend a day, a week a month, festering about something fairly unimportant, like your partner forgetting to put out the bins, in order to teach them a lesson, or do other more important stuff? Obviously, if you’re angry about your partner cheating on you or abusing you, not only should you hold that grudge, you should also get out of that relationship. Pronto.
Remember who you are
While the old adage that ‘two become one’ when they marry isn’t far from being true, losing who you are is not a pre-requisite to being happily and blissfully married. OK, if part of who you are means playing Death Metal music at 4am, that may need to be curbed a little, but remember that losing the sense of who you are may hurt your relationship. Practice your hobbies and keep up your interests. Remember, your partner fell in love with that person to begin with, Death Metal notwithstanding.