My wife and I have the kind of marriage every couple strives for.
We love each other madly. While we don’t see eye-to-eye all the time, we rarely fight and when disagreements happen we actually discuss them rather than yell at each other. We joke, play and have a great time together. She is my best friend as well as my wife.
All the time people ask us how we have achieved this. After twenty four years together (we started dating in high school) how do we make it work and still love being together.
Whenever I get asked this question (and boy does it get asked a lot) I reply that there are three key ingredients to making a loving relationship work: honesty, humor and intimacy.
This is the hardest one to develop because first you have to completely trust the person you are with. Once that is established, you need to learn to be able to speak your mind to the other person without fear of what may come.
When my wife asks me, “how do I look in this outfit?” I tell her the truth. Sure, the first few times I told her I hated the dress or that the jeans didn’t look quite right it didn’t go so good. But, as the years and weeks passed we realized that sugar-coating the truth or simply not stating it never works and always comes back to bite you.
We talk about everything and you’ll often hear us joking with each other like best friends do. I don’t think enough couples can do this.
The longer a relationship goes, the more you have to learn to laugh at life.
We all know that there will be days (many of them) when things go wrong, the stress level will be in the red and things can explode. Letting each other laugh at the situation is a powerful way to deflate these moments.
More importantly though, you need to learn to laugh with each other. This helps whenever being honest with each other. Plus, the sooner you learn that a giggle can help deflate even the most ugly of situations, the happier you will be.
I firmly believe that it is impossible to have a happy relationship without a fulfilling sex life. A couple that is not compatible in the bedroom is going to have a hard time making the relationship last.
But, when I say intimacy I’m not only talking about the bedroom (or the kitchen counter, closet or other place you get your freak on) but about the little ways you show your love towards each other.
Sitting on the couch cuddling instead of separated by your devices. Walking down the street and holding hands. Saying I love you every time you leave each other. Each of these adds to the intimacy.
Relationships don’t survive if the only place intimacy shows up is between the sheets. Make sure you touch and show affection to each other, every single day.
There are my key ingredients to a happy marriage. I stand behind them and know they work.
Did I forget anything?
What makes your relationship work?