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What keeps the love alive in long term relationships?

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Posted

I was wondering how everyone in a long term relationship has lasted so long.  The things that have worked for us have been honesty and communication.  Even if it is uncomfortable to talk about something, we just do it.  Sex gets less and less important, but we sleep in the same bed every night.  We don't keep grudges or dredge up the past.  We pick our battles.  Being accepting of things in each other, even if we don't condone it or understand it, is big.  I just know even when I am mad as hell at him, I respect him and know his true character, and that softens my anger a lot.  We don't get all passive-aggressive on each other or expect we can read each other's minds. 

 

Also, trust is a big one.  He would never even think of spying on me, nor me on him.  When I hear about couples in crisis installing keyloggers and checking each other's phones, I think, why bother, it is already over.  When I was acting insane, my daughter suggested he come to CrazyBoards to see what was up.  He refused, citing that this was my private place and if I needed him to know something, I would tell him.  I know I can't be the only one with a one-in-a-million SO.  Anyone want to share tips or stories or anything? 

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Posted

I agree that trust and communication are a huge part of a successful long term relationship.

 

Hubby and I talk about everything (which is painful for me to do on occasion if my behaviour has been screwed up by my MI playing up) but I have told him everything and have no secrets from him.

 

I figured out about 2-3 years ago that it needed to be that way for me (me having no secrets from him) because too much of my behaviour when I'm unwell is doing the wrong thing and hiding it.

 

Still after all the messes I've made, he's still with me (been married for 7 years this year, together total of 9) so he must trust me too, to some degree at least! :)

 

Sex, yeah, sex is important, but it's not the be all and end all, though I do like to make sure Hubby "feels good" even if I'm not really in the mood (the meds have drastically lowered my sex drive), but there are plenty of alternatives to sex , like cuddling and massages, and just being in the same bed is comforting :)

 

Spending time as a family whenever you can (we have a 7yo son X) and since Hubby works split shifts 7 days a week, we do as much as we can to "stay in" and be family when the chance arises :)


I try hard not to take everything personally (cause I'm great at that) and try to have the house reasonably organised and keep the dishes and washing as up to date as I can (that all depends on how unwell I am at any given time). I also (on the 2 nights a week Hubby's home for dinner) try to cook tea for Hubby too if I can work it all out & am up to it :) He doesn't mind if I do or don't, it's just a personal preference of mine :)

 

I also try to support him as much as I can as he works 2 jobs both of which are stressful in their own way. (I want to find work, am just having trouble finding something in school hours)
 

Apart from that, I talk all the time, so Hubby always knows what's going on in my head!!! lol, poor fella!! hahaha :)

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Posted

You make good points.  I used to take everything personally, and it put a lot of unnecessary stress on the relationship.  One of my faults is that when I am really not well, I tend to clam up and SO doesn't want to pry.  I sometimes don't want to burden him, and sometimes I am so fucked in the head that I can't properly articulate a conversation.  My SO is getting better at asking direct questions to guage how I am doing.  Sometimes he just knows to leave me alone and just lets me know that he is there if I want to talk.  That goes a long way.

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Posted

Honesty and communication are big factors, as are a sense of humor and humility.  Being able to admit when you're wrong and letting things go once a disagreement is over.  I truly respect my husband and want the best for him.  I try to always keep his perspective in mind when making decisions.  We also spend a lot of time together and really enjoy each other's company.  It takes being able to listen.

 

We've been married almost 20 years and have taught each other a lot.  I feel incredibly lucky to have a relationship like ours.  It does take hard work, but it is so worth the effort.  

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Posted (edited)

Curiosity. About him, and about the world as he sees it. I never get tired of talking to him. We've been together since 1996.

Edited by Gearhead

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Posted

We talk.  We talk and talk a lot.  I am always interested in his thoughts and opinions even if the subject matter is inconsequential to me.  Actually, most of the time he fascinates me still.

 

We forgive.  There have been huge problems a few times when I know other people would divorce.  We both persisted through the pain. 

 

We try and offer one another kindness.  I never criticize his children and he is loving and kind to my mother.  I was actually a very good step mother and he still appreciates it.

 

We both have crazies, psychiatrists, and meds.  We look out for each other and pay attention to symptoms.

 

We have been together since 1996, married since 1998.

 

Sometimes now we just get busy or tired and forget about sex.  One of us always plans a date and time for a romantic hookup.

 

I know he loves me.  He has been gone now out of state for a few months with an ill / dieing father.  He called a neighborhood teenager to deliver a dozen long stemmed red roses, a box of chocolate covered strawberries, and a Valentine's card to me.

Very sweet and loving.

 

I look forward to his phone calls with anticipation.

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Posted

Respect.

 

I think trust and communication and kindness all tie into that.

 

SO is my best friend, truly.  I couldn't tell you why I feel so bonded to him, but I do.  I trust him completely and feel utterly safe with him.  When we moved in together, the people who were outside the house (delusions) went away, they've never come back.  He's always accepted me for me and I accept him for him.  We don't try to change each other, we like each other for who were are and grow strong together. 

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