Yesterday I shared the first half of a dozen secrets to lasting relationships. These are things Rev and I believe have not only given us a lasting marriage, but made it possible for us to enjoy a wonderful friendship as well.
So here they are . . . numbers 7-12 as promised:
7. Give each other space to be and dream – Encourage each other to dream and reach for goals, and then give each other the space to go after them. When each person is fulfilled and happy in their vocations and avocations they are happier in general, and happy fulfilled individuals make for happier couples. You don’t have to spend every spare minute together, just make the time you do spend together count.
8. Laugh often – Look for the humor in life and laugh, laugh, and laugh some more. It makes you feel good. It increases endorphins. It makes problems seem less overwhelming. And it strengthens your abdominal muscles and increases oxygen levels. It’s just good for you. So laugh . . . often!
9. Expect to disagree and agree to compromise – Disagreeing is inevitable how you handle disagreeing is a choice. We believe in compromise. Here are some of our favorites: one person narrows down the choices to two and the other person decides between them, the person who feels the strongest chooses, if you care deeply about something say so, listen carefully, and offer possible solutions. Finally, accept the fact that occasionally you may have to agree to disagree and move on.
10. Compliment much more than you criticize – If you are a person who notices what’s wrong more quickly than what’s right; promise yourself that you’re going to change your attitude and retrain your brain. Look for little things to compliment and ways to encourage one another. Make sure any criticism you offer has a soft cushion of compliments on which to land. and make it kind and constructive. It may take practice but you can do it. Start now.
11. Say I love you often – Those words always bless the one who hears them, and they are always good for the one who speaks them. They remind you both that you’re in this together, committed, and intentional. I love this wisdom-filled quote from eight year old Jessica:
“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.”
12. Thank God for your relationship and tell each other – Close loving relationships are God’s greatest gift to us next to our relationship with God Himself. Praise and thank Him for each precious person in your life. Then tell them that you thank God for them. Actually speaking the words says that you recognize them as a valued gift. I promise you will both be blessed.
Those are our secrets. I blessed to have a dh who believes these things are as important as I do. If your special person needs a little nudge to get on board and put the secrets into practice, share a copy of the secrets with them and tell them you’d like to commit to doing them together. I believe when each person makes a 100% commitment to applying these secrets you will not only have a lasting relationship but you will enjoy it more, too.
I wonder, did I miss a secret you’d like to share?
Finally . . . are you doing the February Challenge – 28 Days to Love and Gratitude? I’d love to hear how it’s going and some of the things you’ve done to show people how much you love and appreciate them.
And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow. 1 Thessalonians 3:12