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I recently read that Nicholas Sparks filed for divorce after 25 years of marriage. He and his wife have several children together, and he has often credited her as an inspiration for his novels.
From outside appearances, they seemed like the perfect couple. What I think their separation represents is that even the most in-sync couples can grow apart.
The question is: what can be accomplished to keep your relationship going and growing when issues start diving toward trouble?
There are several things that can be done if both partners want to make the relationship work.
I’ve often witnessed that the greatest trait most successful couples tribute to longevity is respectfully expressing themselves.
Realistically, no two people will ever agree on everything. Disagreements are inevitable, but with every battle comes a choice:
Do both people care enough to work things out or stomp away holding a lingering grudge? Can debating occur within a balanced environment where each other’s points are given their due, or is stubbornness and an unwillingness to compromise going to be the play of the day?
Sometimes the wounds are just too deep for agreement, but communication is the number one key to success in relationships. It takes two strong personalities to peacefully agree to disagree and carry on without destroying what they’ve built.
Other relationship killers are keeping secrets or outright lying, but those are subjects for a later article.
When physical chemistry explodes between a man and a woman, it becomes a powerful reason to be together, though definitely not the only one.
But intimacy must be part of the equation or things will fall apart. It’s just a well-known fact.
If things go astray, think back to what sparked your physical interests to begin with.
For the man, maybe it was that smile or certain curve of her body and how it looked in your favorite dress. For the woman, perhaps it was the way he wore his suits and walked with confidence that made you hot.
Maybe it was the adrenaline rush when you two held hands, cuddled or kissed. Whatever it was, it worked and drew you together — powerfully.
All this said, people’s appearances do change over time (duh), but that doesn’t mean you can’t help each other stay attractive. If either one or both of you is overweight, go together to the gym, diet together and support eating habits during mealtime. Help each other dress well and keep up physical hygiene.
Also, and this is huge, make time for intimacy despite work and family demands — and that means traveling together with no kids in tow or checking into a hotel if only for a night.
Bring back periods that rekindle feelings of how things were when you started dating. After all, both of you are still the same person as when you first met.
The biggest reasons I hear couples lose their physical intimacy is holding emotional grudges or letting themselves go physically. Both can be solved by setting aside moments for honest communication and having a willingness to help each other’s appearance.
Here’s another item I see couples struggling with: the loss of excitement.
Remember when you first met and you couldn’t wait for that next phone call, text, dinner invitation or intimate moment? The thought of getting together was always something you looked forward to and cherished. It was magical and spontaneous.
Then life got in the way. Kids, pets, friends, work demands and family started intermingling with your time together. Next thing you knew, the years rolled by and the magic was gone.
Here’s the thing: don’t let this happen.
Easier said than done, right? Not really.
The answer is to always make each other number one. Period.
And this means always making time for date nights, closing the bedroom door and spending time together alone. Turn off the phone, iPad, TV and any other electronic gizmo stealing your relationship and concentrate on each other.
Put the kids and pets to bed, and remember that you were here before they were. Appreciate that fact!
Again, try your hardest to make her number one. Dating was a time of getting to know your significant other’s most intimate details and should be an ongoing process. It shouldn’t stop no matter if you’re together a week, month or embarking on a 50-year anniversary.
It’s always sad when two people in love split apart. It happens, but consistent effort from both can keep the relationship going if a mutual desire is there.
Is your relationship moving in different directions? Message us below and we’ll try our best to answer your concerns.