Relationships are hard work.

Talk about stating the obvious, but even with such glaring, obvious truth, people still find it difficult to comprehend this, and expect their relationship to be a walk-in the park. An  expectation like that is bound to lead to disappointment.

I’m not claiming to be the authority on the subject, but I have been in a loving relationship with my husband for almost two decades, and all the mistakes we made, and the rough patches we have come through, is what has taught me the things I know now.

I like to keep things simple and easy to follow, so I’ve broken my advice and opinions down into small nuggets of accumulated knowledge and wisdom (haha). These are not in any order of importance, and each point holds it’s own merit, and try to bear in mind that these are my opinions, based on my personal experiences, I’m not telling anyone what to do.

  1. Friendship is a great foundation for a lasting and happy relationship. Having that underlying bond makes the inevitable bumps in the road easier to navigate, because you already have a certain level of insight into what your companion is thinking and feeling, and a good idea of how they might react in certain situations. A foundation of friendship also gives the relationship a more relaxed feel, there are no pretences to be upheld and you can be yourself freely.
  2. Honesty is the best policy- this is a difficult one, with many conflicting views on the matter, but in MY opinion honesty really is the best policy. No matter how bad the mistake, or indiscretion or what the situation or predicament is that you are in, honesty with your partner will alleviate a huge amount of the stress. Lies create a web of deceit that gets more and more entangled the more you tell them. Things get messy. We all make mistakes, if it’s your turn right now, next time it will be your partner. Some mistakes are small, and some are the kind that could wreck what you have with each other. The worst thing you can do is predict and assume how the other person will feel and react. Sit down and talk- honestly.
  3. Be the real you from the get-go. So many people try to be something they’re not at the start of a relationship. The obvious reason as to why this is unhelpful is because it’s difficult to sustain. Frankly it’s just hard work to try and be someone else all the time. Just be you. True love needs to be between two souls that have bared themselves completely to one-another. In order for that strong bond to build you really need to see each other. I’ve never got my head around relationships where couples don’t feel comfortable to share their true beliefs, opinions and ideas about each other, each others families and the world. Why would you need to hold those things back unless you feel your partner is only in love with this persona you’ve ‘created’? I pride myself on the fact that I hold nothing back when discussing matters with my husband -no matter the topic. Nothing is off-limits for us. Of course when you love someone you do try to make the effort to use words kindly so as not to cause pain or leave permanent scars, but you shouldn’t need to sugar coat the truth about your feelings.

In the long run, mutual respect, honesty and openness will shape your relationship. There are going to be difficult times, but they’re a lot easier to get through when each person knows exactly where they stand.

And I know I didn’t include this in my neatly laid out points, but that mutual respect is so important. When you respect one another you will not allow each other to tolerate disrespectful behaviour from others, or from yourselves.

Bye for now!

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