The DH and I enjoyed a few quiet moments together, sharing an herbal tea, as part of our anniversary celebration
The DH (dear hubby) and I recently celebrated 18 years of being married. It feels good, really good. I know you're thinking, "Why, Steph you must have been married at 14!" Not quite that young, but as grown up as I thought I was at the time, I had so much to learn. It's a serious thing to be an adult living in a committed, conscious relationship with another human. The DH and I still have our challenges. But they're much fewer and more preventable now, if we each stay conscious about our own "stuff".
We've worked hard at making our marriage good and that includes seeking outside help for enrichment and for managing the tough times. One of the most valuable lessons I've learned is that what my partner needs most from me, and me from him is to be each other's "Chief Encouragement Officer." He doesn't want or need me to be his mother. Nor should I be. I've learned over time that's not my job. Instead, it sure feels good to have a life partner on my side to believe in me and cheer me on through it all. That's what he wants from me, too. We sometimes disagree or need to hold one another accountable. But for our marriage to work at its best, the ratio of encouragement/praise/thanks/celebration/support/dreaming far outweighs the complaints and dissatisfaction. And here's the real secret - it's up to me. Where do I put my focus*?
If you've been in a long-term relationship, what is your #1 tip for going the distance?
*Please note - I'm not suggesting we overlook destructive behaviors.