Today is my 39th wedding anniversary. The secret to a loving relationship is to do the work it takes to grow peacefully and lovingly into the future.
My wonderful regular readers know I married when I was 17 years old and pregnant; we were parents to four little girls when I was 22 years old. The odds were against us. Big time.
How do we do it? We do the work required of relationships. We’ve gotten the help we need.
We have been to individual and couples therapy (lots of it), and we have attended retreats, workshops and conferences together.
We put each other above all else.
We know how to have fun, be adventurous, work together and "be" together.
We also fight, blame, get angry and begin again. There’s no perfection.
Yet, there is constant improvement and the willingness to change and to begin again.
When it’s difficult we put one foot in front of the other. We lean on each other.
When it’s easy we celebrate, knowing hat we’ll be together until death creates an unspoken peace.
We made a commitment. I’m not against divorce. I’m really not against much at all. Live and let live is my motto.
For us, marriage just works.
We have learned that every day is a clean slate. On most days we choose to get out of our own way.
The following tips when practiced will help you have a long and healthy relationship.
Allow kindness to create a mood of love.
Do things that bring both of you joy.
Prepare for love. Set a loving intention each morning.
Give up blame.
Know your partner isn’t the source of your pain.
Be generous–give more than you think you can.
Seek outside help.
Learn to hold your own hand.
Focus on changing your own annoying habits.
Lower your expectations.
Remember love is a verb.
Accept imperfection in all things.
Know to “be” in love and
“feel” in love.
Seek comfort within your relationship.
Focus on the beauty within your partner.
Connect with your heart and soul.
The more love you share, the more love you have.
Dance and play together.
Point all of your actions to love.
Decide to forgive.
Never underestimate the power of touch.
Be willing to change.
Thrive on simplicity.
Fill your life with adventure.
Learn new things together.
Appreciate each other.
Take risks together.
Create a spirit of unity.
Learn to ask for and receive love.
Give more than you receive.
Let go of past hurt and resentment.
Establish a daily spiritual practice.
Abandon the need to be right.
Turn your burdens into blessings.
Believe the best is yet to come.
Have dinner by candle light.
Leave time for hobbies and fun.
Schedule alone time and vacations.
Smile and laugh together.
Respond to each other with love.
Be grateful for challenges and lessons.
Live in a relaxed, peaceful flow.
Respond in a calm and peaceful manner.
Don’t fix what isn’t broken.
Affirm: “I can let this go.”
Allow each other space to breathe.
Seek out the good in each other.
Keep your heart and mind open.
Embrace the unexpected.
Apologize and offer to change your behavior.
Lighten up! Find humor in difficult situations.
Disengage from all drama.
Create a plan for your future.
Leave time for family and fun.
Create room for intimacy and sex.
Pay attention to what doesn’t feel right.
Remember only love matters.
What makes your relationship work?