5 Simple Techniques To Strengthen A Long Term Relationship
I’ve been with my husband for almost six years now, married for almost 3. It’s kind of hard to believe that time went by that fast. I feel very fortunate to be with someone who is so generous, supportive, and loving. If I’m being honest, I often take advantage of these good qualities without even realizing it. It’s taken a lot of self-reflection and realizations for me to start breaking that habit. But every once in a while the human in me gets in the way and I sometimes fall back on old habits. Now that I’m more conscious of this behavior, I’m much better at catching and correcting myself.
My husband has changed for the better as well throughout the years. We have definitely made each other better. And after having kids, we only want to become the best people we can for them. A little disclaimer, no relationship is perfect and we are all meant to go through things so that we can learn life lessons and be the people we are meant to be. So if your relationship is in a rough patch, try some of these techniques so you both can come out on top and strengthen a long term relationship.
Honest communication is probably one of the hardest things for me with being in a relationship. I have always been the quiet type and everyone I know (especially my twin sister) I have known for over a decade so they know me. I didn’t have to talk too much or explain things in details because I knew they already understood.
However, my husband was the first new person in my life for a long time. So I had to learn how to be open and communicate honestly. It took me a while to realize that what I thought was communicating, was communicating but it wasn’t honest. Instead of telling him if I felt down, I would say I was fine. If I was hungry, I’d ask if he was hungry instead of just saying I was hungry. Does that make sense? I was really hesitant to be open and honest because I didn’t want to be burdensome. I really had to relearn that my existence wasn’t a burden.
I was communicating but not honestly and not efficiently. I also expected him to just fill in the blanks for me but when he couldn’t, I would get frustrated and assume he didn’t understand me. In reality though, I just haven’t been communicating enough for him to know how to fill in the blanks. Once I realized this, I forced myself to be more honest and open about how I was feeling and thinking, my ideas and opinions. This helped strengthen our relationship so much. We are much better at dealing with disagreements because we are honest with our communication. This is why this is probably one of the biggest tips to strengthen a long term relationship.
Quality Time Together
I noticed that after having kids, the lack of quality “us time” had definitely caused our relationship to strain a little bit. So it was important for us to make sure that we found time together, with and without our children. Whether it be watching a movie at home while the kids nap or just chatting before bed. It didn’t have to be a long time, and it doesn’t have to be big events, just enough to feel like we had a moment of connection and a little reminder that even with kids, we can still be us.
I have tons of blogs on ways that you can spend time together such as my stay at home date ideas, budget friendly date ideas, relationship advice, marriage advice, and so on all on here so be sure to check them out if you need more tips and ideas. Making sure that you guys spend quality time together every once in a while will definitely help to strengthen a long term relationship.
This is just as important as quality time together. Often when people are looking to strengthen a long term relationship, they think that it’s all about the relationship. While that is true to a degree, it’s also important to remember that a relationship is two individual beings coming together. You are still you even in a relationship and so nurturing your relationship with yourself is just as important. As they say, “distance makes the heart grow fonder.”
If you can’t value yourself, your time, and your individuality, how can others? Someone fell in love with you as you and not as someone that they are in a relationship with. So don’t ignore your wants and needs. Relationships are compromises and sometimes that means taking time for your individual selves. By doing this, you will be strengthening your relationship.
I personally meditate in my room, go shopping alone, go on playdates with the boys, and just things that I like to do by myself, so that I can have that space and be alone. It’s always refreshing, rejuvenating, and makes me miss my husband. So even though it seems like this tip would do the opposite, it actually does help to strengthen a long term relationship.
One of the first obstacles that my husband and I had to overcome together was the lack of things that we had in common. We were (and still are) complete opposites. See, the thing they don’t tell you about “opposite attracts” is that it’s kind of a pain to be with someone who literally has nothing in common with you. We could never decided on things we both enjoyed. This was especially prominent when we got to know each other better and we noticed that the things he liked are the things I don’t particularly enjoy, and vice versa. It was kind of funny, until it wasn’t anymore.
So to overcome this snowball of a challenge, we discovered activities and food that we have never tried before and decided to try those things together. By doing this, we created memories and commonalities because it turned out that we enjoyed doing a lot more together than we had originally thought. We also found new shows together, and found that we could both do together but in our own way (i.e. reading books, scrolling through social media).
In the end, we found out that we had more in common than we thought, and we had strengthened our relationship. So if your relationship is anything like ours, find or create some commonality. That is a majorly helpful way to strengthen a long term relationship.
This tip is kind of self explanatory, but I wanted to highlight something specific about it. When people think that they need to romanticize something, they usually think “big gesture,” rose petals on the bed, fancy champagne, dressing as nice as you can, and so on. And while yes, that is romantic, romanticization doesn’t have to be a special occasion. You can do it every day with the smallest gestures and simple daily intimacies.
After having kids, I thought that being romantic would be thrown out the window. But as I reflected and observed myself and my husband while taking care of our kids, I still felt loved by him and I still felt a ton of romance. When he would bring me my coffee in bed or give me a massage before bed, stolen kisses here and there, holding his hand, long hugs, and just really simple things were romantic to me because I gave them more value.
I didn’t compare my relationship to others and I imagined everything as if it was our first time on days I felt I need that extra romantic boost. I created my own romanticizations and it has only deepened my love for him. So if you’re trying to strengthen a long term relationship, but don’t want to do anything too large because you can’t afford to financially or time wise, then find the romantics in just the everyday simple things. Put on those rose-colored glasses and enjoy what you already have.
Thank you for reading today’s blog! I hope you enjoyed it and that these tips can help you strengthen a long term relationship with your significant other. Every relationship is different so just enjoy the one that you have. Make sure that it’s a relationship that you can develop, have room to grow, and thrive in positively. I want you to be happy in a healthy, long therm relationship!
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Don’t forget that we are all on this journey to Authenti-City! I’ll catch you on the next blog! (: