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What makes love last? This question was probably the one that worried me the most when I got married. Trying to understand some of the issues that come up in relationships and how to deal with them is critical to getting through the difficult times. But before that I wondered what were the habits of successful marriages that gave couples a solid foundation to build ever-lasting love and respect for each other. Here is what I think works.

1. THE HABIT OF UNDERSTANDING

They say you truly get to know someone when you either travel or live with them. I have lived with my wife for seven years, lived with roommates during my years at university, travelled with several of my friends, and I pretty much agree with this theory. The reason you get to know people you live or travel with, is you begin to understand their habits and how they live their day to day lives, rather than the polished version you see every now and then at dinner or work. It opens up a side of them you never knew, or at least you didn’t know much about. So with that in mind, my wife and I made it a point when we moved in to our first house to discuss what our habits were, and how we wanted to build our home and family environment together. We came up with a plan that divided responsibilities around the house and in each others lives, and stuck to that plan (with a few bumps along the road of course). In the grand scheme of things this was a small step which I feel created a solid foundation of teamwork in our marriage. Plus, it developed an understanding that we both had bad habits we needed to change to make the home a beacon of love for our family, and a place that gave us comfort. 

2. THE DAILY CHECK IN 

There are a lot of reasons relationships fall apart, however through my observations and readings, a common theme I see is; when either member of the relationship doesn’t regularly come home after work. It seems to create this distance between a couple, where they only really see each other at short transits on their way to work or when they are getting ready for bed at the end of the night. I can honestly say that making it a point to go home regularly after work has played an enormous role in my relationship with my wife. It allowed me to prioritize spending time with my wife and kids before any extra activities that might pop up during the day such as exercise, dinners, meetings, or events. It also gives me a chance to check in on how everything is going, how they spent their day, and sometimes just to be an ear for them to talk to about what they are going through. So no matter how late I end up working, or whatever issue comes up, I know that we have dedicated time for each other, and that has kept our relationship energized and flowing in the right direction.

3. THE LITTLE REMINDERS OF LOVE

This has to be one of my favorite parts of the relationship, the little things that my wife and I do for each other to show our love. It is a way of showing affection to each other like simply saying “Hey, I am busy at work now, but just wanted to let you know that I am glad to have you in my life”. The beautiful thing about this, is that these little acts could be almost anything yet extremely effective and touching. A text message when you take a break from your computer, picking up a flower from a garden on your way home, or leaving a note for them to read when they wake up, all it has to do is come from the heart. I have noticed that anything good in my life has not been the result of dramatic changes, but on the little acts of positivity that are done regularly. So, if you are reading this on your phone, take a second to call the person you love and tell them how special they are, it will make their day.

4. THE ACT OF STAYING YOUNG

Adventure, laughter, and dreaming keeps the heart young, and being able to do those things with your partner allows you to keep discovering parts of each other you never knew existed. Make it a point to travel somewhere new together once a year, or even more if you can. I find traveling refreshes the soul and gives you a renewed sense of energy and joy for life. Secondly, don’t be afraid to be silly in front of each other, we spend enough of our lives being serious for other people or at work. Make yourselves the comfort pills for one another, where you can be exactly who you want to be, no filters, no masks. Last but not least, dream together, get lost in each other’s ambitions for the future, picture where you both want to be, and don’t hold back, dream big. By doing this you start to change your realities and work towards building those dreams together. Furthermore, it gives you both a sense of support when the journey towards your dreams starts to get tougher, and it will. But that doesn’t matter, because no matter how hard things get you know someone is by your side to push you forward when you fall back, to keep you going when you want to quit, and to celebrate with you when you have achieved everything you wished for.

There are hundreds of different positive habits a couple can do to strengthen their relationship, and what has worked for my wife and I might not necessarily work for everyone. So what I am trying to say through this article is at least have habits that create joy, love, and smiles between you both, see what works and try to make them a regular part of your lives. Remember the things we do consistently shape our lives, so consistent acts and habits of love are what create love that lasts a lifetime.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I’m sure that other readers are curious to know what your habits are? If you have positive actions or habits between you and your partner that helped you get closer please do share them in the comments section below (I’m going to respond to all of them), Much love. 

P.S. I  dedicate this post to my wife who has worked really hard on getting our lives back to normal since moving back to the UAE. Waking up next to you is a habit I never want to break. I love you.