Love Isn't Everything

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One of the most famous songs by the band The Eagles was titled “Love Will Keep Us Alive.”  A lot of married couples would disagree with that, saying that love won’t be able to pay the bills, nor will it feed hungry mouths.    But in terms of relationships, love is always in the center.  However, love is not the only thing that keeps couples together.  How does one keep a relationship healthy and flourishing?

How does one keep a relationship healthy?
Both partners should strive on maintaining these following qualities:

Keep trusting each other: This means having faith in your partner’s loyalty even if you know he’s surrounded by a lot of temptations.  This is knowing that your boyfriend loves you enough not to cheat on you.  It is normal to feel jealous; however, it is how a person reacts to that emotion that will count. Acting on impulse because of jealousy will only bring you down and will not be healthy for your relationship.

A sense of respect for each other: Your significant other should be able to give you the same respect he expects from you. This is respect for your individuality, for your unique personality – your sense of humor or the weird way you laugh. Also this entails a sense of respect for your decisions. Accepting your decisions and understanding it. Simply put, mutual respect in a relationship means that you value each other’s differences and understand, not try to change the other person’s personality.

Maintain a sense of fairness: Relationships are never one-way street.  It should always be give and take.  This may be something as simple as choosing a location, or a movie to watch.  This means establishing mutual consent on whatever the couple wants to do, instead of making the decision making process a battle for the power to make the decision.

Keep the lines of communication open: This means having the freedom to express how you feel openly and honestly to your partner without fear of being ridiculed or misinterpreted. Having the initiative to speak what’s on your mind shows your partner that you are comfortable enough to open up to him.  This is, of course, provided you’ve given it enough thought to know that what you say will be taken in a good, constructive way.

A sense of honesty: This goes together with trust as trust is based on how honest and faithful your partner is to you. The problem lies in how a person can trust his partner if that partner can’t be honest with him?

Supportiveness: This doesn’t only mean offering your support to your partner when they’re down or problematic.  They also need your support during times of happiness and triumph.  It’s nice to know that someone’s with you when you’re in the mud, but it’s also nice to have someone to share your sweet success with.

Separate Identities: This means compromising in situations where there is a difference in interest. This doesn’t have to end up with one losing his identity just to give way to the other person. Both partners should still be able to maintain time for their own interest like when they started with the relationship.

What compromises a strong relationship?

A  relationship starts to falter once it becomes unhealthy.  An unhealthy relationship is one that is described to be mean, disrespectful, hurtful, controlling, and overall, full of emotional abuse.  Most people who’ve grown up exposed to hurtful parents and domestic violence have a tendency to carry it over when it is their turn to get into a relationship.  Someone brought up with that kind of emotional abuse will most likely develop a thinking that the violence he saw growing up is normal in a relationship.

Relationships don’t work out on its own, it needs work.   What may have started as a love-filled relationship is not guaranteed to end up love-filled like before.  Falling inlove is easy, it is staying in love that’s hard.  Understanding you and your partner’s differences, embracing those little difference and working around those will make your relationship easier to handle. Keeping it healthy, will make you both flourish and grow not just as individuals, but as a couple as well.