Summer is wedding season. This year several couples I know have tied the knot. This prompted me to reflect on the words of wisdom offered to myself and my husband when we were engaged. It also spured me to ask others about the best piece of advice they received or had to offer about creating a lasting and healthy in intimate relationship.
Here are 10 “pearls of wisdom” about creating a lasting and healthy in intimate relationship. These three reflect the most common themes in all the advice offered then and now: the choice to love, respect each other as individuals, and continue to communicate purposefully. They are listed in no particular order each is important.
- “Let there be space in your togetherness.”
- “Love is a choice that you make from moment to moment.”
- “Laugh together, listen to each other, be spontaneous, support each other in all things, compromise and continue to be genuinely curious about each other.”
- “Michael and I have a rule that only one of us can freak out over something. The other must remain calm and rational. “
- “Spend an hour each night just the two of you to talk about good and bad. Make it your time just like when you were dating. Perhaps a glass of wine, or mug of tea, some good music, but not the TV. My husband & I have been doing this for 34 years and it works.”
- “Gramma Wanda always said, ‘Fight Nice’. I remember this when I get mad; it makes me think; and maybe I just let things go by or decide the issue is worth the fight.”
- “Ask for what you want and be willing to open your heart up and be vulnerable.”
- “Respect each other at all times… it’s not always about you and your needs. While it is important to have your own interests it’s just as important that you share common goals and dreams.”
- “We all grow and change in unpredictable ways. People in a relationship rarely grow and change in exactly the way manner or pace. Do your best to be responsive to the ideas and goals of your partner as if they are an extension of yourself.”
- “Keep talking. Keep communications open, even if you only agree to disagree. Be respectful of your partner and don’t put them down.”