Nitin is a certified life coach, executive coach, writer, husband, and father. His passion is to help people become their best version.
A lot of people, especially couples, approach marriage and family therapists with relationship issues. In this article, we're, going to be discussing ways to make a strong relationship last.
First and foremost, I think it's really important to remember and be mindful that that relationship dynamics, ideology philosophy about this stuff is going to vary from culture to culture from place to place.
For all intents and purposes, we will be writing from a Western perspective. In this Western perspective, which is more individualistic, it's going to be different from other cultures.
Enter as a complete individual
That may be more collectivistic, for instance.
But in this Western frame, it's really important to remember to be a complete and whole individual when you enter a relationship.
So a way to illustrate this, in a monogamous relationship there are two partners coming to the table here.
They are both bringing a cup, and a lot of people may enter a relationship with an empty cup expecting their partner to fill it.
However, this can be a little bit dangerous sometimes because then we place a lot of unfair expectations on our partners to do all these things.
You are responsible for your own happiness
Really we can be filling this cup ourselves. I encourage you to come to the table with your own cup that is full.
That affords you, the opportunities to pour out to others. Expecting someone else to fill your cup, is not really taking ownership of your life or ownership of your happiness.
Nobody is responsible for your happiness but yourself. On the flip side, you are not responsible for anybody else's happiness.
Relationships are about connection
This article is mostly in the context of a conventional, monogamous, and closed relationship. Relationships are about connection and about respect.
Here is a little analogy. If you like a flower, you are going to pick it and bring it home with you.
You will put it in a vase, and look at it for a while, but inevitably, it's going to die. If you love a flower and respect it you are, probably going to leave it where it is.
You are going to nurture it, water it, and you are going to see it grow for many seasons. That's just something to be thinking about.
Is it communication or respect?
Many marriage counselors and professionals have said that the number one important factor in any relationship is communication. However, it is arguable.
I think the number one important factor in any successful and long-lasting relationship is respect.
That's mutual respect for everybody that's involved in the relationship where you know you can communicate with your partner all day. You can talk to each other all day, but if there is respect gone, then all that communication comes to a halt.
Respect encompasses trust, loyalty, honesty. All these things are super important when it comes to conveying a deep level of love and understanding for yourself and for your partner.
What about your partners' friends and parents?
Another factor that is quite important is respecting the other significant people in your partner's life.
For instance, you might meet your partner's friends or family. It's really important to at least convey that you are respectful to them.
You might not like them, but you don't have to. You, just need to respect them, you would expect the same from your partner.
So respect, I think, is the most important factor and the key thing that needs to be present for a successful relationship.
Do surprises help relationships?
Another important aspect of relationships is the surprise factor.
People might say that they either love surprises or they can't stand them. But research actually indicates that successful in long-lasting relationships have a good balance and mix of both spontaneity and predictability.
So too much chaos, too much unpredictability, too many surprises can actually be a little bit maladaptive. And on the flip side, too much planned out, predictable, and no room for spontaneity behavior can lead to boredom.
One possible outcome of boredom in a relationship is infidelity.
Meeting each others needs
So what does that mean?
Getting to know your partner's, emotional and physical needs is going to be very important.
Your respect and communication show that you are putting efforts into meeting your partner's needs.
The idea is that there's this reciprocated dedication, that both partners are doing those things.
Both are not only coming to the table with their own full cup. They are also putting in some kind of effort to meet the emotional and physical needs of their partner.
Reciprocal dedication is important
So that reciprocal dedication is really important. If all people involved in the relationship are dedicated and committed, then you are going to have more positive outcomes.
There is a higher likelihood that people are going to stick around together to work on issues instead of giving up on them.
And the reality is that in a relationship, the only people that can break up the relationship are the people in the relationship.
So if all people are committed and dedicated to it, it's going to be really difficult for some external factor to break up this relationship.
If one person is checked out, however, whether that's mentally or emotionally, that's a whole other story.
So find out how to fulfill your partner's needs, while also maintaining your own needs too.
You can't expect these other people to constantly be the ones to make you happy.
Are relationships a game?
Also, be mindful of a reciprocal dedication to the relationship.
Some other tips all fall under this great umbrella of respecting your partner because when you respect someone, you are honest with them about your feelings.
When you respect someone, you're able to put yourself in kind of an uncomfortable situation if it's for the good of everyone involved. Find space in your heart to forgive when things happen, and things will happen in a long-term relationship.
Relationships are not a game, so why keep a score? I see a lot of people trying to keep tallies.
So, for instance, 'I did this thing for you on Wednesday, so you should probably do this thing for me next Friday'. That kind of stuff is a great way to lead to resentment, to feeling like you're putting in way more into this relationship than he is.
Relationships are not a game, so there are no scores to keep.
Live happily ever after
You want to find yourself with a partner that you can grow together with, nurture each other, and support each other's growth.
At the same time, this presence of another being in your life is not going to stop you from continuing to chase your goals.
Don't forget to say thank you even if you have been together with your partner for many many decades.
It's still really nice to say 'Thank you' when they do something nice for you.
On the flip side, practicing altruism with your partner is great too. This can help increase your capacity to give unto others without respect.
Hopefully, you found some useful tips on how to have a nice, strong, and long-lasting relationship that's fulfilling for everybody involved.
You are, probably also going to want to discuss things with your partner to see what's going to be best for you guys.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Nitin Khaire
Nitin Khaire (author) from Mumbai on November 23, 2020:
Yes, Risha you are right. Relationships require mutual love and respect. Both the partners must take the responsibility of maintaining the relationship. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
So in such extreme circumstances, the help of a professional marriage counselor will be crucial for the relationship to survive.
This is a very sensitive and delicate issue and yet it is a widespread problem too. We all have a lot to learn in this area of our lives.
Risha Khan from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh on November 23, 2020:
I loved reading about your perspective regarding relationships, Nitin Sir Relationships need mutual love and respect. Communication is another important factor. Reciprocation of efforts in a relationship definitely leads to a strong bond. Many relationship counsellors have stated that partners must resolve their conflicts and arguments before going to bed. Also, being honest and assertive never goes wrong if one of the partners is toxic.
If things go worse, one must seek help of a family member who is capable to make unbiased opinion and judgement. The best solution is to seek a marriage counsellor.