Will Our Love Last?

Raising caring, responsible children in today’s world presents many challenges. We hope as parents that our kids will grow into strong adults who can care for themselves and for others with their whole hearts and minds. We gauge their success as adults on many external factors, but from what I have seen in my many years of observation, it is their ability to sustain loving and stable relationships that bring us each the most happiness. It is also one of the few things that we actually can control. Regardless of the circumstances of our relationships, we can choose to handle them in a way that continually nurtures love.

So what are the magical elements that make this possible? How do we know if love will truly last and how do we do our part to make sure it has the best possible chance? I certainly have my theories, but first here are several strategies from leading experts on how to make love last a lifetime.

According to Maia Berens, Coach and Founder of Allaboutlifecoaching.com, making love last must begin right from the start with the initial knowledge that comes from being totally honest with yourself. You cannot override thoughts that say he or she isn’t quite what you had in mind as a partner or his or her life isn’t really a good fit with yours. You can no longer ignore those messages from your intuition and feelings. You must trust yourself and stay aware and be willing to voice what you feel and walk away, if necessary.

Marriage and Family Therapist and author of Breaking the Argument Cycle; How to Stop Fighting Without Therapy, Sharon Rivkin says falling in love is easy.  Making love last requires work. Unresolved, repetitive, and seemingly harmless arguments can lead to toxicities such as anger, sadness, and frustration. Avoid building a wall in the partnership that shuts out love and promotes break-ups, by using strategies that reveal each partner’s core issue, i.e., the real reason for the fights. Then, by implementing conflict resolution tools, couples are able to effectively resolve future arguments and open the door to a deeper understanding, love, and intimacy in the relationship.

I have observed many relationships, some healthy and happy and some tragically painful and destructive. I have found three elements to be consistent in virtually every healthy and lasting relationship. The first is to ensure you have done the work you need to do to bring a healthy, balanced self into the relationship from the start. Relationships are meant for sharing and can even heal our hearts, but they are not an escape from our own issues.We need to own those and not put that on another person.

Second, we need to be with someone we truly cherish and respect. Feeling blessed and a sense of awe about how lucky we are to have found someone we find joy with is a very special thing. When that element is present we are more likely to treat the other person and the relationship with tenderness and love, even in the difficult times. It is about who we are with, NOT what they can give to us or do for us. If your spouse lost everything tomorrow, i.e. their health, looks etc. would you still feel blessed just to have that person by your side? Make your initial choice for the right reason and your love has a tremendous chance for success.

And lastly, as my mother always said, be kind. There is simply no reason to be unkind to someone. However we often fall into a very unkind pattern and abandon the other person’s feelings when we are not getting our needs met and not being heard. There are many alternatives….talk about it, seek help, vent constructively….but do not take your anger and pain out on the one person you love dearly. Contempt is the number one indicator of divorce. So focus on dealing with issues kindly at all times and love may indeed last forever.

Anne is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Parentingbookmark.com, a national parenting website. Anne is also the Founder of Net Connect Publicity, an online expert publicity agency. She lives in Northern California.

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