Being 20 years old my wife and I have already been reflecting on our relationship. We just started reading the notes we use to exchange every night when we went home after (high) school. Now, we are still young, feel a little smarter, and have a son (two years old). It is obvious that neither of us have a clue, but I think that is part of what a relationship and ultimately a marriage is; the not knowing – the faith in one another to keep pulling ahead into the unknown.
Every relationship is different, but I would like to entertain the advice I have gathered on how to keep a committed relationship. (Minus the obvious).
I have never been the type of person to take a blog suggestion seriously when offering up some extended reading material, which is why this book’s importance is that much more vital. One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is buy two copies of this book; one for you and one for your significant other.
Throughout my first year of college I had two separate instructors recommend that my wife and I read this book. Like I said, I normally would have passed it off, but the old saying kicked in “happens once, shame on you, happens twice…” and so I looked into it. I realized that the book gave a lot of potential, not for a married couple or a heterosexual couple but for ANY couple. This book tells the secrets to loving your partner the right way, so long as you are both honest with each other; and what committed relationship is not based on trust?
- Wait to Marry/Divorce Rates
The statistics don’t lie; divorce is a common occurrence in this day and age. So is it best to wait? And what are you waiting for? The idea behind it is not to establish a life first, it is to establish the relationship first. Too many people rush into marriage. Something outlined in the book (above), is SO important I felt it needed to be mentioned separately. It is wise to wait at least two years before you decide to marry.
The science behind it is to be beyond the honeymoon faze. The honeymoon faze is that “high” that eventually trickles out and when couples believe that the relationship is no longer fun/interesting. This is not the drought that you want to run into in the early years of your marriage (as many divorce-headed relationships do).
- Keep the Mementos
One of my own ideas and habits is to keep our good memories in plain sight; such as pictures and souvenirs of places we’ve gone and done together. The presence of these items act as triggers that remind you of the love and life you share and help put you back on track.
- Never Stop Trying
(Cliché). This is one of the most obvious pieces of advice anyone that’s had a relationship will tell you, but it is said for a reason – You have to keep trying. Because nothing is perfect and there will be rough patches/dry spells (end of the honeymoon faze) and you will miss better days and believe that it is better to cut the relationship off. If you are in a committed relationship, or want one, this is where you finally choose to fight through the turbulence that you submitted to in the past. Swallowing your pride or going out of your comfort-zone is the only way to get the relationship back on the rails – the things you do for love.
- With Kids
When/if you have kids you will both find it easier to give attention to your children, but you have to find a way to keep the relationship focused. From my own experience, this is one of the toughest things to do but you have to find a way to put your significant other before your children. There are many ways of doing this but what is important is finding the way that works best for you as a couple. Regardless you have to find a way to stand together always.