There are things that you learn when you are in a relationship for a long time. These are also the things you learn when your relationship fails. These are the things you wished you knew from the beginning.
So, when love isn’t enough, remember this:
You have to have a mutual respect for one another. You also need a lot of trust and honesty. Communication is key; no one except you really knows what is going on in that mind of yours. Voice your feelings, emotions, frustrations. You can love someone to the moon and back, but if you are going to build that relationship up with lies or avoiding the things that matter most to you, you are going to have a helluva time staying.
You have to be open with one another. Communication is a two-way street and both of you need to be on it if you are going to make things last. Don’t let things build up and boil over. Just talk more, it will help.
You are going to fight, there is no getting around it. There are going to be times when they are on your last fucking nerve and all you want to do is walk away – but you can’t. You have to face the music and let that fight happen. In the end it will make you both stronger and allow for healing to happen. But when you fight more than you are intimate with each other, that is when you know you are in trouble. Take a step back, evaluate.
It is OKAY to be mad. Everyone has their breaking points and everyone has their own process to get over it. The more you bottle things up, the worse it is going to be when they finally come out. Being mad is a valid feeling, convey your feelings and work toward a solution together. You also have to know when to walk away when you are mad. There are times when you could say something in the heat of the moment and those things are beyond forgivable. It may not be the most mature thing to do – walk away – but sometimes it is the right thing to do.
Getting married because there is a baby on the way or it feels like it is the only logical next step, is not the way to do things. A marriage won’t make you happier – it definitely won’t make things easier. Before getting married, think long and hard. Even if they are the mother or father to your child, they don’t have to be your husband or wife. The repercussions of divorce are tenfold on not only the two of you but your entire family.
You have to remember that you both are your own people. You have to have time to yourself, to find out who you are, and grow. You are not always going to have the same interests and over time your likes will change. Me time is important – take as much of it as you need.
The little idea of once a cheater, always a cheater, can still apply no matter how long you have been together. If they were sleeping around before you got married, chances are they will do it again or think about it often. You will never be the only one on their mind.
You have to be each others best friend – you can’t just say it. You have to have all of the components that you have with your best friend with your life partner. Enjoy, trust, respect, and be honest with them.
You have to ask how will this benefit the relationship and not yourself. You have to think about the relationship first. You have to go through the bad, the worse, the awful. You have to go through the bad, the great, the awesome. You have to support each other. It has to be us vs the world.
Simple acts of kindness.
You have to be committed to the relationship. Relationships are work and you always have to have both feet through the door. Break-ups, divorces should never be a threat or even considered to be an option. That is simply the definition of commitment. Take it seriously or get out.
Stability is boring but it works.
You have to make sure that the person next to you is the one. Don’t rush into marriage. Live together first and see how that works. Talk about every little thing.
Don’t have kids unless you both want them. Don’t have kids if you think it is the obvious next step. Don’t have kids if all you do is fight. There are more than enough kids in this world right now without you making the mistake of bringing them into the mix. Please, if it happens, remember the world that they are being brought into. Remember that even if you don’t think they will remember the yelling, they will. Children are special and their minds are fragile. They know when mommy and daddy aren’t getting along and it will show up in their own little personality.
Relationships are a choice. You have to feel like you are ready to make forever plans with the person next to you. You have to want them for a lifetime. For some, marriage might not even be necessary and that is okay. For others, marriage happens. Whatever feels right for your relationship, do. Just don’t rush in.
So, love isn’t enough. Remember that.