Social Question

Tenpinmaster's avatar

Those of you who have been married or steady for a long time, what is your secret to your long, happy relationship?

Asked by Tenpinmaster (2920points) January 20th, 2010

I really love the person I am with and I want to know how those of you who have been in a relationship for several years how you keep a strong, passionate love year after year. I hope by starting this discussion I may be able to pick up things and ideas that I can use to keep her happy for a very long time.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

53 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Find someone you love exactly as they are. Make sure they feel the same way about you. That way, neither of you expects more than the other is willing (or able) to give. Works for us. :)

loser's avatar

Don’t marry me.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have been married 35 years and still going strong. I think it can be summed up by the three C’s; Commitment, Communication and Compromise.

daemonelson's avatar

Not breaking up.

scotsbloke's avatar

@YARNLADY – The three C’s – I love that!

I have been with my second wife for 16 years (married for 10) – My first marriage lasted around 5 minutes.!
There’s no secret to it I don’t think. If you love someone, accept them for who they are, including thier faults and really annoying habits, and they accept you the same way. If there is a frank exchange of information, regular, deep communication, and in our case, lots of fun and laughter, well it works for us.

Dont Lie or cheat.
Try not to hide your feelings.
Don’t take eachother for granted.
Compromise – sometimes this means doing stuff you hate but if it makes her happy??

Our relationship is not perfect by any means, but it’s perfect for us!

(and a really good pair of wife-noise-cancelling headphones are a must!)

Sophief's avatar

Well I’m not in a real long relationship, but it will be. I think the secret is to not try and change who you are with, love them for who they are. Ask about their day, take an interest in their life, listen, cuddle and love.

partyparty's avatar

I think first and foremost they should be your best friend.
You feel something is missing when you are not around them, and get butterflies in your stomach when you are around them.
Always treat them the way you would like to be treated yourself.
And finally, respect, respect respect.

Sophief's avatar

@partyparty Very good answer.

gemiwing's avatar

Do the work of love. Be safe, calm and loving to them and to yourself. Treat their spouse (you) with all the love you want someone treat your spouse.

TheLoneMonk's avatar

Married to Ms Monk for 29 years. The secret? Humor and cocktails. At least for us. I can see that as a deadly combination for some couples. We laugh about shit that should drive us crazy and we enjoy cocktails to help the flow of communication. oh, and plenty of sex helps

rooeytoo's avatar

Don’t take yourself too seriously, retain the ability to laugh at yourself. And always remember the line from Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, “would you rather be right or happy?”

I think if you practice those two you can stay together forever.

ucme's avatar

Compatability,patience,understanding,mutual respect & a shared sense of humour. 18yrs & counting by the way.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Choose your battles carefully, be willing to cooperate, and show them daily how much they mean to you.

Skippy's avatar

After 31 years our secret is to be friends first, and friends do have disagreements, but being friends, those are easily resolved.
In addition,be a team. Knowing one another well enough to anticipate what is wrong or going on is important. Know when to step back or step up.

Sometimes it’s tough when things don’t go right in your day to day life, but when you can be open and honest in your day to day life, it just works.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

@loser Thank you! i won’t. lol.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

Wow, these are all fantastic answers and very insightful. :-) I appreciate all the intuitive information so far.

BoBo1946's avatar

have lots of luck!

mattbrowne's avatar

Accepting imperfection.

BoBo1946's avatar

@mattbrowne ditto…for sure!

Janka's avatar

Liking and admiring each other. Not being picky of small stuff. Giving each other freedom. Having both things we enjoy doing together and our own projects and lives.

One thing I’ve noticed comparing to others is that we do not do compromises of the “maximizing suffering” kind. As in, “if I suffer through this thing I hate with you, then you have to suffer through something else with me”. Sometimes we have to do something we do not like, but if you like the other guy, why would you demand they suffer for you? Compromises should be about “if you please me this way, then I will please you that way”, not “if I suffer, you should suffer too”.

Sort of related, “fair” in things like sharing work is secondary to both parties enjoying themselves and not overworking.

BoBo1946's avatar

To clarify my answer about “lots of luck!” As we know, love is a powerful force that most of us mere mortals have very little control over. You can “window dress” the answers with cliches like, “compromise, sense of humor, etc (these are all very good answers)”., but there is a lot of luck in meeting the right person at the right time.

Cruiser's avatar

Communicate…you stop communicating about anything the relationship will suffer.

Janka's avatar

@BoBo1946 You are absolutely right that luck plays a huge role. But I do not think the trad answers are just window-dressing either; sometimes cliches are cliches because they are true.

mzgator's avatar

Believe that Divorce is not an option… Even when times are tough. I have been married almost seventeen years to my best friend and love of my life. There have been great times and no so great times. At timed it could have seemed easier to just quit, but we knew it wasn’t an option. We knew we loved each other. Working through those bumps in the road make you closer.

To clarify… I would never condone staying married to someone who abused or hurt you physically or mentally!

I consider marrying my husband the smartest decision I ever made. I love him dearly!

BoBo1946's avatar

@Janka agreed…why i included (these were all good answers) in my comment!

BoBo1946's avatar

@mzgator VERY true…and you are very lucky!

Tenpinmaster's avatar

@mzgator That is a good idea to think that because too many people divorce over stuff that could be fixed with a little bit of work. Thank you. Also to answer those talking about luck.. I think that is very true that being lucky sometimes really makes a difference

chian's avatar

respect of their space and freedom, trying to take the other for who they are and most importantly REALIZING that no one is perfect, everyone has faults, you will NOT get the whole packakem but you will get what most important to you. For me, above all i want to know that i am with a good, kind man. I think i finally am.

wunday's avatar

Couples therapy?

The longer you are together, the more your lives become essential to each other. Love/commitment can see you through very difficult events, such as infidelity. Willingness to learn new relationships skills, as needed. Appreciation for each other, despite faults. Desire to make it work.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

We as a couple don’t believe into the whole ‘accept all my flaws’ ideology – we communicate with each other often when one of us is feeling irked by the other – we have matured together, we have grown together, we have progressed as individuals together and that’s because stagnation and complaceny isn’t our cup of tea…we want to push each other to be better people and we have certain principles on which our relationship is built that are not to be destroyed – trust, openness, and communication…our standards are high for one another but as a team, we’re quite a force…we left our first spouses behind because they were dragging us down…they were just stuck in life…we wanted to be able to fly and that’s what we gave each other…side by side, we have passions and allow each other the freedom to pursue those passions…we don’t pressure each other to go in the same direction but we know that we’d support each other either way…we have two children that we love to death and luckily agree on every point of raising them…we are both functional and responsible people…I think that’s important in a relationship because it keeps the inspiration high and we can depend on one another…we don’t follow gender norms or conventional monogamy and therefore have transcended many of the squabbles other couples have…but this doesn’t work for all people so find what works for the two of you…and we believe that time spent kissing, on top of each other, having sex, cuddling, hugging is uber important and we maintain a very strong physical bond despite having children because children shouldn’t put a damper on your relationship, they should only make it better…to sum up: listen to each other, love each other, inspire each other.

ETpro's avatar

Accept the bad with the good. When you get married, you make a solemn oath. It typically runs along the lines of:

“I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”

You make that commitment before God and man, before state and your mate. So set your face like flint to honor that commitment. If instead you think that you are going to find “the right one” who will agree with every move you make, remain as attractive as the day you met them, and enrich your life in every way, best forget marriage. The moment things become the least inconvenient, and they will, it’s goodbye Charlie, I don’t need this.

I’ve been married now for 35 years and that’s how. The only way this marriage will end for my part is when one of us dies or if she chooses to leave me. I said I was in for life, I swore it as an oath, and I am keeping that promise. Period.

HGl3ee's avatar

Compatibility. Where I lack he exceeds and where he lacks I exceed. Our hopes, dreams, fears, annoyances, laughs, happiness, goals, hobbies, interests; they all fit together. As if we are two pieces that make up a whole. Soulmates.

AstroChuck's avatar

Love and combatibility.
And luck.

HGl3ee's avatar

@AstroChuck : So true, luck has a lot to do with it too ^.^

life_after_2012's avatar

not being afraid to tsee the error in my ways.

Judi's avatar

Love your spouse as much as you love your kids. Realize they’re imperfect (as are you) and deal with the occasional annoyance with as much love and forgiveness as you would give your kids.
Take the “D” word off the table
Marry someone who is willing to work things through, and not cut and run every time life isn’t “fun.”
Honor, respect and cherish your spouse.
Have a shared mission as a family.” “What do we stand for?” What do we believe?” “What is OUR moral code?”
August will be 20 years and it works for us.

whitenoise's avatar

Love, commitment and respect.

LethalCupcake's avatar

#1 rule – Don’t fight over little things, try not to be stubborn!!

Blondesjon's avatar

Find somebody who shares the same interests as you and realize that life is not a Disney movie.

There are no perpetually happy couples out there. You are going to fight. You are going to argue. You are going to hate each other from time to time. Understanding this and knowing that these things are temporary, in the face of the time and life you have built together, is what keeps strong couples strong.

Besides, who the fuck wants to start all over and go through all of that bullshit again?

BoBo1946's avatar

good sexual chemistry! without saying, can compromise, committed, respectful, etc..

tinyfaery's avatar

Aside from all that’s been said above, not viewing my partner as “mine” makes me view her as an individual seperate from our relationship and my needs. As an individual, she has the right to do as she pleases. I do not have unlimited access to her time or emotions. We respect each other as people first and as a partner second.

jeanna_'s avatar

Patience, trust and compromise.

sdeutsch's avatar

Talk to each other. No one ever believes that we never have yelling and screaming fights about our problems, but it’s because we talk to each other about them before they become huge problems. If something is bothering me, I speak up, and so does he. We don’t take offense, and we don’t keep score – we just work to make our life together as good as it can possibly be for both of us.

nicobanks's avatar

Communication, communication, communication! Also patience, love, trust, honesty…

“Communication” includes communication with one’s self. (If you don’t know why you’re acting a certain way, or feeling a certain way, how will you possibly explain it to your spouse?)

…working on our 11th year!

DrMC's avatar

My wife says “compromise”

I say “endurance”

pearls's avatar

@partyparty Terrific answer. Unfortunately for me it didn’t work because the other person was more about themselves than me.

partyparty's avatar

@pearls Not good when they are selfish is it? Have you found someone new, who cares about YOU?

BoBo1946's avatar


You girls want to party? lol

pearls's avatar

@partyparty No yet. Guess I’m looking under the wrong rock. @BoBo1946 I love a party!!!

partyparty's avatar

@BoBo1946 Your house or mine? I cook great food LOL @pearls See you there then !!

BoBo1946's avatar

@partyparty hey, would could invite all of our old, you fill in the space, don’t want others to feel left out! also, that is a forbidden word here..loll

DrMC's avatar

Comrades, the leader is married to his people, and the people to the leader. The only separation occurs when the leader lays down his life for his people.

(my impersonation)

“In order to build a great socialist society, it is of the utmost importance to arouse the broad masses of women to join in productive activity. Men and women must receive equal pay for equal work in production. Genuine equality between the sexes can only be realized in the process of the socialist transformation of society as a whole.”

(his wife)

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther