5 Secrets to a Successful Long-Term Relationship or Marriage
4. Don’t Hide Your Needs
Sometimes when we enter into a long-term relationship, we put ourselves second, behind the other person’s needs and desires. We might give up working to have a child, or agree to move to another city to help support our significant other’s career. And that’s fine, but you need to be realistic first with yourself about whether such things really matter to you or not. If they do, you need to find a way to communicate such needs with your partner, and compromise where possible.
Two people will rarely have exactly the same wants and desires out of life — that’s just a fantasy. Instead, expect that sometimes your two paths will diverge. Express your needs at those crucial moments, but always find a way to do so respectfully and with an open mind.
5. Don’t underestimate the importance of trust and honesty
Different people have different areas of concern, but almost everyone values trust and honesty from their partner above all. Why? Because your partner is the one person you want to be able to depend upon in the long-term, without question or doubt.
Little things where your significant other hasn’t been completely honest shouldn’t be blown out of proportion, because virtually everybody tells little white lies (especially when one is dating). Focus instead on the big things, like if they say they’re a lawyer and you discover they’ve never even passed the bar, or they say they like kids but later on insist on never having one.
Strong relationships are like a really good conversation with someone you admire, trust and cherish – they are ever-changing, engaging, wonderfully rewarding and sometimes surprising. But in order to continue the conversation because you want to see what the person has to say next, you have to respect your significant other’s opinion even when you disagree with it.
And just like a good conversation, you need to work on keeping your end up too. You need to show attention and nurture the relationship constantly, just as you would nurture anything you value in life. You don’t just “get married” and that’s the end of it. Indeed, marriage is just the beginning of a long process of learning to openly and honestly communicate with another person in a respectful and caring manner.