by Gladys Diaz
As you know, this week is “Anniversary Week,” and in celebration of Ric’s and my 14 years of marriage, I’m sharing 14 of the secrets for making love last!
In the previous blog post, I shared with you the first 7 secrets.
Below I’m sharing 7 more of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on how to make the love in a relationship last and grow stronger over time!
7. Being vulnerable is a sign of strength, not weakness: For so many years I was in “survival mode,” just trying to get through this life. Inside of that view of myself and the world, I felt like I had to take care of myself, do things myself, and give off the impression that I had it all — meaning everything in and outside of my control – handled. When I started practicing being more vulnerable – asking for help, sharing my heart, allowing my husband to see all of who I really am (warts and all) – I learned just how much courage is involved in being vulnerable and trusting him to take care of me and my heart.
8. Your past is not a predictor of your future: I didn’t have very good role models for a loving, happy, intimate relationship. I saw, heard, and went through things as child that I wish no child would have to witness or experience. And, yet, I have created an amazingly beautiful relationship with my husband and my kids get to see what love and partnership look like every day (to the point where they beg us to stop being so mushy!). No matter what your past is, if can accept it and leave it in the past, where it belongs, you get to create the type of love and life your heart desires! You really can!
9. I’m 100% responsible for my relationship: Another myth out there is that a relationship is a 50/50 deal. Not true. I’ve come to learn that I am 100% responsible for my side of this marriage – regardless of what my husband chooses to do or not do. I can’t control him or what he chooses to do or say. I can, however, control my own thoughts, words, and the ways in which I choose to respond and react to him. Being 100% responsible is great, because if you can be 100% responsible for your part in the relationship when things aren’t going very well, you also get to take 100% of the credit when it’s going great!
10. Taking care of myself is not selfish: For too many years, especially after I became a mom, I saw my role as the giver and nurturer in my marriage and family. I felt “guilty” putting myself first, taking care of my needs, pampering myself, or doing things that didn’t involve my husband and/or kids. I’ve grown to learn that the most important relationship I have to nurture is the one I have with myself, and that, when I take the time to replenish myself mentally, physically, and spiritually, not only am I a better mother and lover, but I am also a much better version of ME!
11. All he really wants is to make me happy: For many years, I complained that my husband didn’t help me enough around the house or with the kids. I felt exhausted, unappreciated, and taken advantage of. I’ve grown to learn that one of my husband’s top priorities in life is not only seeing me happy, but making me happy. Inside of his desire to provide for and protect me is his desire to please me. It’s what gives him a sense of purpose inside of our relationship. I’ve also come to learn that seeing me happy makes him feel good, but he also likes knowing that he had something to do with the smile on my face!
12. Not everything that pops into my head needs to pop out of my mouth: I’m a well-educated and many times strongly opinionated woman. For many years, I thought that “good communication” meant saying everything I thought to my husband. Too many times I ignored or didn’t even consider the impact that those words were having on him, his sense of self, or the way he thought I saw him. My words caused a lot of damage in the beginning years of our marriage. Now, I choose my words and how I express them wisely. It’s not that I weigh and measure my words, or that I’m walking on eggshells. Instead, I choose to speak words that let him know how I feel and what I want without complaining. I choose words that lift him up, rather than tear him down. I choose words that bring love and intimacy into our relationship, rather than destroy or strip it away. My thoughts and words are powerful and create my reality, so I choose to create a reality that is completely overflowing with love!
13. I get to choose how to see things: Perspective is everything. I can choose to see the fact that the kids had popcorn and pizza for lunch as evidence that my husband is unable to care for them properly, or I can see them as his way of having a fun day with them so that I could go get my hair done in peace! I can choose to see the fact that he got me a gift that I wouldn’t have necessarily gotten for myself as him being selfish or not caring about or really knowing me, or I can see it as him having seen something that reminded me of him when I wasn’t there! I can see the fact that he wants to stay home and cuddle in front of the TV as him being boring, or I can see it as evidence that there is nowhere else he’d rather be than at home with me. I’ve grown to learn that if I’m going to tell myself something about me, him, and our relationship, I can choose to tell myself things that upset, frustrate, or sadden me, or I can choose to say things that help me feel happy, peaceful and grateful. These days, I choose love, peace and gratitude above all!
14. Keeping the love alive is a daily opportunity: Having a great relationship doesn’t “just happen.” Fourteen years of being happily married and feeling just as in love as we were in the beginning (if not more) doesn’t just happen, either. Keeping the love, fun, and passion alive means making choices every day that lead to nurturing and increasing them! Doing and saying things that demonstrate your love; laughing and playing together (both with and without the kids); and ensuring that sexual intimacy is fulfilling, satisfying, and enjoyable are all part of the daily opportunities we can create to keep our romance alive. So, kiss and hug him every day, flirt with him every day, and let him know that you love him every single day!
Yes, making love last takes work, but it doesn’t have to be “hard work.” Instead, it can be fulfilling, exciting and fun!
And, isn’t that what we dream of as we are promising to share our lives and our undying love for one another at the altar on our wedding day?
For more information on how to keep the love, romance, passion alive in your relationship, be sure to get our special report, Relationship FUN-damentals: How to Keep Your Relationship Exciting, Fulfilling and FUN!
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