Have the difficult conversations in ADVANCE.
We found our partner and now we're set. The fairy tale can begin.
In a fairy tale, life is effortless, the love is flowing, we understand and support each other, the children are well behaved, we all look like models, the dream house and car are there, and we are happy and healthy ever after.
Then... we get hit with reality — the dirty socks and the farting in bed.
Real life is stress at work that you bring home, worries about money and the children, conflict about house chores, and trouble with the in-laws.
The secret to a long lasting relationship is having realistic expectations regarding your partner and what you bring to the table. Life, in general, is filled with challenges and conflict, and it seems even more in relationships.
The closer a person is to us, the more we assume we can dump everything that goes wrong in life on them. There are expectations for them to clean up the mess.
It's important to keep these next 9 points in mind:
1. Talk about the expectations you have around the relationship.
Feel each other out in the beginning, but then you need to discuss the hopes and beliefs you have regarding your relationship.
2. Have the difficult conversations about money and sex.
Talking about the hopes and dreams you have around money and sex is vital, even if it makes you feel vulnerable. This will take out the guessing and secrets, of what can later become a festering wound.
3. Build on trust and don't do anything you don't want to be done to you.
Keep your word. If you have a problem, talk about it. Partners can't read minds.
4. Talk about emotions and feelings.
If you assume that your partner knows what you're going through at the moment, you are mistaken. You need to communicate your wishes and needs.
5. Deal with your own inner demons.
Nobody can fight inner battles for somebody else, you have to face your own. Don't expect your partner to do it for you. If you have the courage to face your own trouble, it becomes easier to deal with the relationship challenges.
6. Create your own happiness.
Happiness comes from inside, it is a choice you have. It is all in the perspective you have on life.
7. Accept that you can't change your partner.
Everyone has some traits that can drive another crazy. You can talk about it, but it's up to each individual to change or not.
8. Have compassion.
Be compassionate towards your partner AND yourself. There will always be a conflict, misunderstanding, and changes, which will create growing pains in your relationship.
9. Live the way you two choose to live.
No relationship is cookie cutter. What works in one doesn't mean it works in another. Find what works for yours. This means that you have to talk.
There are no guarantees in relationships, we need to work on them every day. When we keep the above secrets in mind we have a real shot at making it last. How willing are you to work on your relationship?
For more tips on how to make your relationship last, contact Ellen Nyland.
This article was originally published at Ellen Nyland. Reprinted with permission from the author.