If you ask people what “the key to making a relationship last” is, some of the most common answers you’ll get are:
But the thing is…
Those are not the secret
Many people struggle with emotional boundaries — what’s theirs, what’s their partner’s — and think “sharing” is the same as “solving,” as though “talking about it” means it’ll be “fixed.” They then struggle with anxiety and passive-aggressiveness — especially when, shocker, “communication” alone doesn’t work. So, I know many say that “communication” is the solution, but it’s not.
“Communication” gets you statements like:
“I loathe you sometimes”
“I sometimes regret marrying you”
“I sometimes think about cheating on you”
And while these are an exaggeration, the point is: saying something isn’t a solution to any problem. It’s just lobbing it out into the space between two people, and if you don’t follow it up with something, it does nothing.
If you struggle to communicate (or get passive aggressive), then yes, work on that — but as a “you” thing. Not as “the secret” to a relationship. Sharing is great, but relationships are much more.
When asked how to make relationships work… failed (or failing) couples say “communication.” Successful couples know it takes a lot more.
The secrets: PERSPECTIVE, EXPECTATIONS, & COMMITMENT
Of yourself, your feelings, your responsibilities, and your partner.
How that pans out:
Relationship Option 1: stay together “as long as it lasts”
This is you if: you’re not set on forever. People change, couples change, and (either upfront or deep down) you’re okay with that.
But this is also you if: you define “love” as a “feeling” — and bank your relationship on always feeling exactly the same.
If you define “love” as a “feeling” rather than a “choice,” and believe a relationship hinges on that feeling, then you also deep down are setting yourself up to stay together (or happy) only for as long as…