When we meet that special person, we are convinced that the relationship will last always and forever. When it doesn’t, we’re lost. When it does, it feels good to say to the naysayers that we were among those that beat the odds. The nice thing about relationships with people is that we are exposed to people who have common morals and values, and folks who differ strongly from us. Through strong relationships with people, we can envision a life of love, laughter, and happiness.
One of my favorite moments is when I talk to couples who have been together for decades. They inspire me on many levels. It’s nice to see that couples didn’t give up on each other when times were difficult. In today’s world, many couples are quick to give up on each other when communication stops. I gave up on my marriage when it was clear my husband didn’t respect me.
I struggled for a long time with that decision. I took my vows seriously and thought he had too. The lesson I took from what happened was if someone doesn’t respect you enough to be a partner, then you not only lack respect – you lack trust. That can be a lethal realization.
Some of the couples I talked to about their longevity had a common answer for why they stuck their relationship out. They genuinely liked each other. There was no one else on the earth they wanted to talk to at the end of the day than their partner. Each couple had established trust. Every one of them indicated that their relationships had taken a lot of work and communication. But at the end of the day, they felt that their lives were richer. They knew they had found the right partner to spend their eternities with. As one man told me, “our bodies will leave, but our love will never die.”
Sometimes I think I’m making puerile excuses. My mind ricochets like a ping-pong. But when I look at the people who are giving their relationships with everything they have, I recognize one interesting fact. Each of the couples that made their marriages work had determined they would not allow life to separate them. They wouldn’t allow puerile statements to make them lonely. They fought with everything in them to be together and to overcome insurmountable odds. Through that kind of perseverance, I’m reminded why people choose to be together always and forever.
If you meet that special person or have already met them, don’t look for the relationship’s negatives. Choose to see where the relationship will take you. If you know the relationship is special but not right, then you have hard choices to make. If the relationship is abusive, get help, and get the hell out of it. But if, in your heart, you know it’s the real deal, don’t throw it away just because things get complex. Be willing to open yourself up to conversations with each other.
We all deserve happiness. Happiness requires work. Communication, love, and mutual respect are necessary. Once you have those things, I hope that you find yourself an always and forever relationship because life is too short to live with regret.