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The Advantage of Long-Term Relationships - Livin' the Good Life

Apr. 18th, 2011

02:46 pm - The Advantage of Long-Term Relationships

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When I see young marriages on the rocks, I feel sad. I say to myself, "Hey, stick with it! It will get better!" Here is why: Steve and I had our share of ups and downs and difficulties in our early years. Each of us were unhappy and wanted to bolt, at times. However, we always eventually got through the rough stuff to our satisfaction and forged ahead. This took TIME. This took doing it over and over. And this is what I've learned: I know FROM EXPERIENCE that we can work through things. If I'm mad at Steve, I either get over it, or he changes his behavior, I change my behavior, or we both change our behavior. Many times we just drop it as something not worth fighting over. I might take a break and do something else for a while, and many times that is all that is necessary. Just a change of activity or scene causes me to view the situation differently. If I'm charged about something, taking a break may be all I need to do to take the intense energy out of it so we can talk rationally and kindly to each other. Same with Steve. We both know that we are not leaving each other. We both know that whatever comes up between us is not a "deal breaker". We've dealt with stuff like this many times before. It always works out. We always come back to love. We always come back to kindness and caring. We know from experience that we can live with our differences, and our differences will not break us up. Out of these realizations comes respect. We are not the same, and yet we are both GOOD PEOPLE. We have learned to appreciate our differences and not find them threatening. We can appreciate how our differences complement each other. We learn to, more often than not, avoid "taking the bait" when one of us is in a grouchy mood. We can choose to not take it personally. We can choose to be philosophical about it. When we make those choices, we can be kind. All these things are learned FROM EXPERIENCE. You have to do it again and again to see that, "It worked last time... and it worked this time! In fact, it's worked day after day, year after year. We really can count on each other to work things out to our satisfaction." This is the advantage of long-term relationships, and I'm very thankful to be in one.