Many people think relationships are 50/50, but that is not what good relationships are made of. Good relationships are made of two people willing to give 100% the majority of the time.
There will always be times one partner will not be up to giving 100%. This may be due to illness, work stress, family stress, or the many other struggles that life brings up. When this occurs, even if one person cannot give 100%, the relationship is still fully functioning. It’s fully functioning because the other person can make up the difference since both were giving 100% prior to this life stressor.
In the best relationships, each partner can have bad days or even bad weeks and the relationship continues. The partners work together to help make life situations or stressors easier to handle so that the struggling partner is able to give more back to the relationship. Times will change and each person in the partnership will go through these ups and downs. However, the relationship will last because they are working with each other and for each other.
So what does it take to get a relationship like this?
What does it REALLY take to get a relationship to this point of strength?
Some couples are lucky enough that their relationship is this steady and strong from the very beginning and other couples have to build such a relationship. Either way, the couple has to continue to work on, improve, and strengthen their relationship through the years to ensure the relationship stays strong and healthy.Check out Party City’s current Coupons & Promotions!
To build a strong relationship like this one, the partners need to spend time together, get to know each other as their relationship grows, pursue their own interests, share those interests with their partners, and do things (chores, activities, etc..) with and for your partner. The idea is that as you continue to grow, you share yourself with your partner and vice versa. Everyone grows and changes some and it takes time, effort, and work to maintain that connection with your partner.
The Importance of Continuing to Learn about Your Partner
We all continually grow and change. Sometimes those changes are small, such as you used to like pepperonis and now you don’t. Other changes are larger, such as new hobbies or a new career. However, no matter if the changes are big or small, we need to keep up with those changes in our partner so we always know our partner.
Many times life becomes busy and chaotic. We have to focus on our careers and jobs so that we can support our family. We focus on doing activities with the children and making sure they get to their activities. These are the times that our marriages can get put to the side.
We believe we know our partners and they will be with us forever, so why put in daily or weekly time and effort?!?! However, this can damage relationships in the long run. We have to remind ourselves that we chose our partner and that we need to continue to foster our relationship with our partner so that it continues to grow. Just like when we were dating and first getting to know each other, we need to continue to get to know each other.
We need to make sure we have fun with our husbands (boyfriends, significant others, partners, whomever), just like we have fun with our friends and children. You need to make time to talk with each other and talk to each other about things besides kids and groceries! We need to continue to remember our partners are important.
We also need to keep in mind that we need to continually keep up with our partners and continue to learn about them, so they are not strangers when our children are grown.
Pursuing Your Own Interests
This is definitely NOT my strength.
For me, first and foremost, I’m a wife and mom. I also work full-time outside of the home, so personal interests outside of home and work are few and far between for me. My free time typically revolves around doing things with and for my family. When my kids were little I was the Girl Scout leader (for thirteen years) and cookie mom for most of that time.
I was the Cub Scout den leader (for four or five years) and then I was popcorn mom for their Boy Scout troop for five years. I was the mom that ran the kids here and there to make sure they got to participate in extracurricular activities….and four were in band. If you know anything about band, especially marching band, you know what a commitment this is!
Because of all of this, I’ve never really developed any of my own personal interests, besides scrapbooking/Shutterfly and traveling, but that also happily involves my family. My husband, on the other hand, has always had several hobbies and personal interests. He most recently played on the local adult recreational hockey league. He started out as a regular player and moved to goalie after an injury. He has had many other hobbies throughout the years, shooting sports, making his own bullets, the Firefighter Combat Challenge, selling exercise equipment, selling jewelry, and many other enjoyable activities.
These activities allow him to exercise, spend time with his friends, and enjoy himself outside of our family life. Have activities outside of the main relationship helps to express yourself and find out about other things you enjoy!
Sharing Your Interests with Your Partner
My interests have always been traveling. I’ve traveled since I was an adolescent, going on trips to Washington, D.C. with my high school club and going to Mexico with Girl Scouts. When I met my husband, he had never really traveled. He had visited friends in other states, but never actually traveled. This also meant his children never traveled.
I had the joy of sharing my love of travel with them! We have been to Disney World on several occasions with the kids,
as well as to Niagra Falls,
Memphis, Tennessee to see the panda bears and eat at Lambert’s Cafe,
St. Louis for museums, zoos, and baseball games,
several sandy beaches,Free nights and much more…only at Sandals Resorts. We make honeymoon dreams come true.
and tons of other places.
In addition to family trips, my husband and I have been on several amazing trips together! We have been to Mexico,
the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, San Diego,
Las Vegas, and several other destinations!
I’m thrilled to be able to travel, share the educational and enjoyable activities with my husband and our children, and I am glad that I have been able to open up my husband to all of the wonders that travel can bring!
The Importance of Spending Time Together
With everything discussed previously, time is the main factor. Spend time with your partner talking about them and their day to continue to know them and learn about them. Spend time with your partner doing activities you enjoy and activities they enjoy together, even if their favorite activity isn’t necessarily yours and vice versa.
Your time is a gift only you can give to someone else. When you give your time, you give your full attention. You make that other person feel important. You may have had to even change plans or choose not to do some activity to ensure you have that time for the other person.
Do Things for Your Partner
Many of the other things we talked about today have to do with having fun and doing enjoyable things with your partner. Doing things FOR your partner is also important.
Sometimes you do things for your partner because it is needed. Maybe he typically cooks supper but is ill, so you cook supper instead. This may not be your favorite task, but it needs to be done and you can do it to help your partner. Maybe you need to work late so your partner brings you supper to work to make sure you have something. This may be out of his or her way, but it’s helpful and needed (because you have to eat somehow)!
Other times you do things for your partner because it is simply a nice thing to do or because it is what is in the best interest of your relationship. Maybe you surprise your spouse with a lunch date or flowers! Maybe you set up a movie night for her with her friends or she gets you tickets for your favorite sports team to go with your dad or brother. We do things for our partner to make our partner happy, even if those activities do not benefit us directly. This is part of showing love and strengthening the relationship because you show your love and care.
Check out our post about the value of doing service for your partner to further discuss the importance of doing things for each other!