You can’t stop loving or wanting to love because when its right, it’s the best thing in the world. When you’re in a relationship and it’s good, even if nothing else in your life is right, you feel like your whole world is complete.
~ Keith Sweat
How to keep your relationship strong requires work. But like anything in life that is worthwhile the work involved should not be considered onerous. In fact if you really love someone, then working towards learning how to keep love strong is a gift rather than a chore.
Humans are social creatures and I believe that most of us yearn to pair up with someone we love.
But as most of you know, that first blush and rush of love and lust soon gives way to a more modes yet still warm glowing ember or deeper love and passion that should be kept burning.
Though I’ve seen many folks who fell in love with their spouse or partner and were crazy for them in the first few months who have now become bored and dissatisfied in their relationships. Or at least that is what they tell me.
I’m going to tell you something that might not sound all that popular. But the problem isn’t outside of them it is actually within them.
Our society that we live in is one in which the new, the sparkly and the gauche are celebrated and revered. As such we are always hankering for something new and shiny. We want a new car when ours is just 3 years old. We want a faster car or a more expensive car.
We want a new wardrobe every season and a bigger house to fill with more stuff and junk.
And then what happens is that this rot, this material rot for want of a better work creeps in and starts rotting our souls.
We look around and we see our partner and we notice they’re getting a little older. Perhaps there’s some grey in her/his hair. The wrinkles are showing and maybe there’s a tell tale paunch or little extra space in them saddlebags that we just aren’t quite crazy about.
And that bimbo or jimbo at work is starting to look more attractive. They pay us attention and smile and compliment us. Hell, they even bought us our favourite drink from Starbucks the last time they made a run.
What have you done for me lately we start thinking about our Mr. or Mrs. Jeebers, I barely get a grunt when I come home from work.
And look at all those cool, good looking people plastered in magazines and on TV. They’re in our faces 24/7 with their pearly whites. That’s how your life should be. You’re not good enough or rich enough. Your spouse is not beautiful enough.
And so the rot spreads further and we step out on a limb and have an affair. The limb breaks and so do the hearts of those we’ve hurt. As for ourselves. We feel like shit. Rightly so.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can learn how to keep a marriage strong. Here are my best tips to keeping the love of your home fires burning.
As Picard would say… Engage
Yes, really it is that simple. People want to feel valued. And how can you make them feel valued. You give them your most precious possessions. You give them buckets of your time.
Listen to each other. Listen to your children and wife/husband. Really listen. Empathize, engage and dialogue.
Kill your television
Karly Marx suggested that “religion is the opium of the people”. He might have been right over one hundred years ago, but nowadays it is television that is the opiate of the masses.
We plug ourselves into the blue scream each day when we get home choosing the blue pill to numb us even further.
Don’t interrupt daddy he’s watching the news. Ha, the news that’s fit to abuse – your mind and your family. What are you doing. Get off the couch, take the family out for a walk after dinner and enjoy each others company.
Play a board game, poker, Go Fish, whatever, just “engage”.
Use your billions wisely
We’re all billionaires. Yet we spend our time so poorly.
If you won a billion dollars I bet most of you would doll that out like candy to your loved ones. You’d buy them cars, houses, educations, holidays, you name it. Yet why the miser with your time?
It is our most precious gift and we give it away to people who don’t even like us – sometimes – (bosses, companies) for fractions of pennies on the dollar. Then we come home and eat dinner and grumble about the kids, the dog and each other.
No my friends. We need to start aligning ourselves with our allies. We need to start calibrating our mental outlook and seeing things as they really are.
Our families are not our enemies even though we might be treating them like that.
Let’s start reframing how we live our lives and how we spend that precious time that is truly ours after all the vultures have picked away at the bulk of it. Start coming up with small little romantic ideas for you and your partner.
Bring home a rose or a card for your significant other. Bring home a treat for the kids.
You’re thinking about them right? Then show it with small gestures. My dad used to bring home candies once in a while as a treat when he came home from work. I still remember those days fondly. You can start planting these seeds of love and kindness in your most important allies and they will blossom into bushels of loyalty and love that cement relationships forever. Never underestimate the power of gratitude!