5 Things I’ve Learned In A 5 year Relationship
This summer, it’ll be 5 years that my husband and I have been together. I only came to that revelation a couple days ago. In some ways it seems like WAY more than 5 years and in other ways I can’t believe it’s already been 5 years. Since that day, I’ve been pondering our relationship. How do we keep the love alive? What is the key to our healthy and happy relationship?
This is the longest relationship I’ve had and the most sturdy, not to mention the most eventful. We met in the summer, moved in together by the winter, were engaged a year after that, married 9 months later, pregnant, 5 months later, had our son 10 months later (yes 10 months, that’s 41 weeks), our son is now 1 and we are here.
In this time together I’ve learned 5 things that keep our relationship going and that I wish I had known sooner in life.
1. Your partner can’t read your mind.
Seriously, my younger self could be a bit passive aggressive, expecting my partner to know what it meant when I stopped talking to him or copped an attitude. Now I just say what’s on my mind. When something bothers me, I say it. When I need something, I say it. This actually gives him a fair chance to respond, allowing you both to communicate and work towards a healthy and happy relationship.
2. Don’t be a roommate.
Keep it fun and keep it sexy. I struggle with this one, between, work, the baby, trying to keep the house in order, my blog and candle business, sometimes it’s all just too much to feel sexy or fun. It should feel effortless but it doesn’t. Which I hate to say but that’s my truth. What I have found though is it’s worth the effort to keep things spicy and make time for fun.
3. You can’t make someone else happy
…but you can help them find their own happiness. You will drive yourself nuts trying to fix someone else or make them happy. It’s better just to love them and do what you can to guide them to where they, not you, want to go.
4. Just say “I messed up.
” When you mess up, admit it. Seriously, just apologize wholeheartedly and do better next time. You love this person, you want to spend your life with them, be vulnerable in this way. It creates a foundation of honesty. Which is something you need to build a long term relationship on. You’ll carry less baggage and be able to work through tough time’s a lot easier, together.
5. Don’t avoid conflict.
I used to keep things that bothered me inside because I didn’t want to “rock the boat”. It’s no way to live, you might be able to do that for 1 cuffing season but when you are looking long term it’s just not possible to be happy this way. Someone once said to me “ the battles you avoid externally become battles you lose internally”. Don’t sacrifice yourself or your feelings. This type of martyrdom doesn’t lend itself to a sustainable long term relationship that will make you happy.
I used to keep things that bothered me inside because I didn’t want to “rock the boat”. It’s no way to live, you might be able to do that for 1 cuffing season but when you are looking long term it’s just not possible to be happy this way. Someone once said to me “ the battles you avoid externally become battles you lose internally”. Don’t sacrifice yourself or your feelings. This type of martyrdom doesn’t lend itself to a sustainable long term relationship that will make you happy. If you want a healthy and happy relationship you need to be open and honest.
BONUS: Let go of your expectations.
Do not and I will yell this one DO NOT BASE YOUR RELATIONSHIP ON SOMEONE ELSE! You are unique. Your partner is unique. Your joining, by definition is unique. Don’t look outward for what works for you. Do not base your relationship on someone else’s. Look in, do what feel rights for y’all and let everyone else kick rocks.
PS: If like me you are a working mom, struggling with keeping the fire alive, check out this article on helping your relationship thrive after baby.