Sometimes we convince ourselves that relationships are easy. We assume that love will fix every problem in ourselves and our partners. From 12 years of marriage, I argue that lasting relationships require humility, love, and work.
The next sentence may be obvious, but keep reading anyway because I am setting you up for a sweet life beyond Valentine’s Day.
To maintain a successful union, you must commit to consistent communication. For a brief moment, stonewalling or refusing to talk to your partner may help you clear your head. But, when you return, you must be willing to sit down, discuss, and listen to whatever difficulties pushed you away.
Be open to admitting when you are wrong. And, don't shove it in the other person's face when you are right. This humble approach to disagreements is critical to supporting intimacy in your home.
Are you avoiding commitment?
Marriages and other forms of long-term romantic relationships can help you extend your heart toward the best version of yourself. They teach you compassion for yourself and another human being throughout the unavoidable journey to discover meaning in life.
Yes, conflicts will happen. One minute, you will cuddle on the couch, and soon after, an argument over the remote or which show to watch on Netflix will get someone upset. However, the ups, downs, twists, and turns of roller coaster relationships can be meaningful or make you sick. You always have a choice in how to respond to a love quarrel.
Love is not something you only say. It is an action that requires accepting differences.
When you bring two people together from two different backgrounds to form a singular identity, expect a beautiful struggle. Prepare for the tension by using professional counseling services, scheduling date nights, and working hard to understand each other’s needs, wants, and desires.
Yes, problems related to money, sex, and raising children have solutions. But, no, I will not pretend to have the answers to issues with your budget, bedroom, or bad kids, because I don’t know your household. You may not have "bad kids,” but I needed something that began with a "b" for the alliteration to work!
The previous three sentences bring me to the crucial component of relationships. WORK.
The compromises, lengthy discussions, and physical labor components of romance with children are not always fun but necessary to keep things enjoyable after the honeymoon.
If you're going through a difficult season this Valentine's Day weekend, sit down with your partner and talk about your concerns. From your conversation, identify possible solutions or compromises before calling it quits. Under abusive circumstances, counseling, separation, divorce, and police protection orders are viable options for your consideration.
What inspired this blog post? The pending Valentine’s Day holiday and ending a dessert fast put me in this frame of mind.
Do you plan to go out with your honey drop, cupcake, boo, or insert your valentine’s name here this weekend? Will you hit up the local Walgreens, shopping mall, or specialty store for a gift? I wrote this piece to support the longevity of your relationship after the presents and romantic dinner.
When you open your arms to hug your love-muffin tonight, also embrace the humble, loving, and dedicated attitude to the work required for your relationship to last.
My wife and I are staying home this weekend. Tonight, she is baking the family a three-layer chocolate cake. Cooking brings my wife joy, and I enjoy eating. In addition to humility, love, and work, supporting each other's hobbies is one of the secrets to our happy marriage.
Today marks 40 days without desserts. I started this fast on January 2 to help with supporting an intense focus on my personal and professional goals.
Reading seven books by women is also among my plans for this year. So this week, I reread a chapter in Toni Morrison's book, The Source of Self Regard, and started IIyasah Shabazz’s book, Growing Up X.
I aim to keep weekly date nights with my wife on the personal side of my goals. I'm off to a good start on this goal as well. In addition to enjoying the cake, she will bake this evening, we will watch a movie together tomorrow.
What will you commit to doing with your partner during this weekend of romance to support the longevity of your relationship after Valentine's Day? Please drop a comment below and tell me one of your tips for maintaining healthy romantic partnerships.