|Keith and Shirley Abbey-married 61 years|
Long term love and I mean deep love, the kind of love where you feel that you would marry your spouse all over again after 10, 20, 30, 40 years of marriage does happen. There are couples that DO experience that kind of relationship. What are their secrets? I have learned from these couples, some people are clients, people I know in my personal life and even people I have read about in articles or seen on TV.
Look for the best in your partner. I have heard many of these couples talk about the necessity to overlook each other's flaws; not to ignore them but at the same time not to focus on them. Definitely each partner kept in mind the good stuff, the positive attributes, and the things they enjoyed about their partner.
Let them know how good they are. Not only did they look for and think about the best in their partner, they expressed it. They complimented their partners far more than they criticized them. It was easier to hear the negative feedback because they got plenty of positive feedback as well.
Be affectionate. They touched a lot and were affectionate with each other. As they got older, even if their sexual relationship changed somewhat, they never stopped touching. They adjusted to the aging process but kept the physical connection any way they could. They were not rigid when it came to approaches to touch and sexuality. They were able to talk openly about sex.
Place a high value on the importance of the intimate relationship. They made relationship a high priority. They made time to be alone and intimate and enjoyed each other's company. They planned trips together and went on frequent dates. They often were different (as most couples are) but they found enough similarities of activities to do these things together.
Tune in and be attentive and let your partner know you are there for him or her when needed. They were strong emotional supports in trying times. They would take turns being strong for each other during the occasional life tragedies and losses. They each felt a sense of deep caring for each other and trusted each other. Some of these couples had earlier times when the trust was disrupted but they learned how to heal and create trusting relationships. There was a sense that, "You are there for me."
These wise couples have reaped the benefits of these secrets to long term love. Now it is your turn.
Todd Creager at "Making the World Safe for Love"