There are definitely many things that keep a relationship strong, but here we're going to talk about four of some of the most important elements present in successful relationships.
-Love. It's the glue that holds it all together. Without love, a relationship can easily fall apart in the face of challenges or difficult life situations. The truth is when you are in a committed relationship, but specifically when you are married, you are going to face some of life's challenges as a couple. You might lose your job. He might have to undergo surgery. The washer might get backed up in the middle of three loads of laundry. Your tenant may kick you out. There are so many scenarios. But a couple in love will stay together through thick and thin. Remember, love is not just a feeling, love means ACTION. A man who loves you shows you through his actions, and not just words, that he does in fact love you and you do the same.
If your intentions towards your partner are honorable AND you are meeting each others needs (If you are married or engaged, check out His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr. It's an excellent read!), you'll do right by each other no matter what other distractions come your way (insanely attractive coworkers, ex-boyfriends who pop up and want to get back together, etc.).
Some people view marriage as a business deal (Russian mail order brides anyone?). They are looking for something specific (someone from the same religion as them, someone from the same social class as them, someone who makes a certain amount of money, etc.) and they're really not too concerned about falling in love before getting married. Some believe it's not important, and some believe it will come after marriage. But what these folks don't realize, is they are missing an essential ingredient to long lasting happiness.
-Choosing the right partner. This alone eliminates 95% (well, maybe not 95% but a large portion) of relationship problems. When you jump into a relationship too soon without seeing who the person really is (ladies, no matter how fast the man wants to move, its up to you to pace the relationship during the first three months of the relationship, or you will crash and burn. Men fall "in love" quickly, but they also fall "out of love" even quicker), you risk choosing the wrong partner. And then maybe six months, or six years down the line you're asking yourself, "What did I get myself into?!'
Avoid this by really objectively observing your partner during the first three months of the relationship. This is done by not getting too emotionally attached. One way to avoid this is to wait as long as you can before having sex (at least three to six months into the relationship, preferably when he's said "I love you," but most importantly when his actions prove his words). Sex clouds a woman's judgement. This is biological. Sex, for a woman, can cement a relationship that is unhealthy. And for men its the opposite. After having sex with a woman they are no longer in that dreamy, hoping to win you over phase.
During the first three months is a time to ask yourself, "What's his character like?" "Is he honest, does he have integrity, is he a man of his word?" "Are his values similar to mine?" "How does he treat me, does he make me feel good?" Even more important, "How does he treat others--waiters, coworkers, friends, family?" And finally, "Does he make me happy?" "Is this someone I see myself with?"
If you are saying he has "potential," re-evaluate. There is no such thing as potential. What you SEE is what you get. You CANNOT and WILL NOT change anyone. The only person you can change is yourself. Once you internalize this, life gets a whole lot easier. You can make better choices.
-Communication. The Big C. We all know communication is important, but how many of us actually know what that means? Part of it means sharing your thoughts and feelings with your partner in a mature and respectful way. It does not mean sharing EVERY single thought or feeling with your man (you can do this with your mother, therapist or even with your cat in bed), because men shut down when presented with too much relationship "talk" or talk centered around feelings.
That being said, let's say your partner has done something to upset or annoy you. How do you express that to him?
You go to him when you are both fed and relaxed and you tell him BRIEFLY (keep it short and sweet! Men cannot listen to your feelings for hours) what he did that upset you and most importantly ASK HIM, "Is this what you meant, or did you mean something else?" Oftentimes when we get upset at our partner, even at our friends or coworkers, is because we assign meaning to what they did or said, when they in fact meant something completely different. That's why its very important to clear it up and find out what the other person meant by his/her words/behavior. Assuming meanings can cause us unnecessary pain.
But what if your interpretation of your partner's actions was indeed correct. What do you do?
You tell him how it made you feel. When you tell a man how something made you feel, he can't argue with it. He can't put loopholes in your statement. Tell him how it made you feel, ask him to please not do it again, and be done with it.
-Trust. Assuming you chose your partner already, you should trust him. If you don't trust him (and for good reason), you shouldn't have chose him. Or you should choose to let him go.
Trust is important because it is one of the foundation building elements in a relationship. Sometimes women don't trust and constantly snoop around because 1. They've been burned in the past by another man or 2. They hear a lot of infidelity stories from friends, in the media, etc. and they've developed a fear over this issue. Their partners may have done nothing to prove their fear justified in any way, but they still don't trust.
Not trusting your partner can actually cause a huge dent in the relationship, one that can ultimately destroy the love between you. No one likes to feel questioned all the time, or feel your strong distrust. Trusting the person does not mean keeping your eyes and ears closed, no. It means having an attitude of believing your partner is going to do right by you no matter who else shows up in their life. If you choose the right partner (one who is honest, faithful and who loves you), then you have nothing to worry about. Don't sleep at the wheel, but do develop a trusting attitude towards your partner.
Want to know more about this? Then purchase A Dream Girl's Spiritual & Practical Guide to Marrying Mr. Right on Amazon today. You don't have to own a kindle to read it. Simply download the free Kindle app and start reading anywhere!
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