Sustaining Long-Term Relationships Requires Hard Work
For my generation, who grew up in joint families or variants of it, we learnt it from our parents that to sustain family ties you have to work hard and sometimes make compromises. We have often seen them put other people first and the flip side of that learning is a lot of us also decided pretty early in life that we will not subject ourselves to the same fate as that of our mothers. This, I believe is what stops us from putting more effort into our personal relationships the moment we feel we are being handed the short end of the stick.
But life is not just candlelight dinners. Things don’t always fall in place in a long-term relationship. They cannot because no one stays static – people or circumstances. It is an old adage, “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times – always with the same person.” Let’s change the word marriage to relationship, and the saying still holds true. The crux of the matter is that to sustain relationship long term needs hard work.
A long-term partner has seen you on your worst days and vice-versa. They are aware of your vulnerabilities and you both accept each other for who you are. I remember when I was pregnant and throwing up because of morning sickness and he would run after me to the loo every time. It is not romantic in the conventional sense but it is when you have been through this journey together. I am sure we all can find such a moment which made us fall in love with your partner all over again.
A long-term partner has seen you on your worst days and vice-versa. They are aware of your vulnerabilities and you both accept each other for who you are.
When you start dating someone, it’s normal to feel the need to impress them, as the time you spend with them is limited. And over time when you have settled into a relationship, things become predictable. When you are newly in love there are a lot of things that need to be said and heard, but after a while, you both run out of patience to listen. If you want your relationship to stand the test of time, all it takes is a little effort even if you are the one making it. Being predictable or boring is not always bad. That person can then be your anchor in the storm. You trust them in a way you don’t trust anyone else in life. A pat, a hug a kiss from that person is way more reassuring than a long 3 am call with someone else.
If you want your relationship to stand the test of time, all it takes is a little effort even if you are the one making it.
All relationships go through good times and bad. It takes a lot to hang in there when times are bad. Remember you and your partner are on the same side. Arguments are part of any healthy relationship. And most disagreements can be sorted with a conversation. Say what you mean but don’t say it in a mean way. What is important is to not hold a grudge. Put that argument behind and never bring it up again. There is no way you can move on if you keep bringing in a bit of yesterday into today.
There are many things in your partner which you may not like. Some quirks that you fell in love with can get irritating over time, but that is life. It is not just about the toilet seat or the wet towel, living together has its own challenges. You have probably already told them all the things you don’t like about them so focus on the good. Be generous in giving compliments. Put an effort is in making them feel loved and valued not in material things.
And if he still agrees to turn off the light every night, I think you are sorted.
The views expressed are the author’s own.