I’ve never considered myself an expert on relationships. Instead, I’ve always thought of myself as extremely fortunate that I had such a great marriage and partnership. But this Valentine’s Day is a year when Thom and I will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary and I can honestly say I love him now much more than when we first got together. So, upon reflection, I might not be an expert, but I do believe that along the way I’ve learned a few things that makes for a happy life between two people.
#1 It takes time. Okay, so this one is obvious. Still, when I met Thom and “fell” in love with him I had no idea that what I was feeling was a mere shadow of the depth of love that would come after spending ten, twenty and then thirty years living, growing and changing with another person. Think about it, even if you had a good and close relationship with your mother, father and siblings, over the long haul it is but a fraction of the time you will spend with a person who joins with you in a dedicated long-term relationship. The potential for growth and transformation in this type of relationship is incredible. More than anything else, a good relationship will help you discover yourself over the long run.
#2 It takes effort. Notice I didn’t say it takes “work.” To me work implies a sort of drudgery, which I never ever wanted to get involved with. And frankly, if it does take “work” then it probably won’t last regardless of what you do. On the other hand, it does take concentrated effort. Just as if you were creating a piece of art or writing that great American novel, you know it’s not easy, but because it is important and dear to you, you don’t see it as work. Or, as with any purpose or passion, you give it everything you’ve got, but never feel it has much to do with work. Whenever two people come together with equal commitment and intention, it leads to tremendous potential.
Continue reading on Kathy Gottberg’s blog, Smart Living 365