6 Hard Facts about Successful Relationships
January 8, 2017 12:00 AM EST | 6 min read
Successful relationships take time and effort.
In order for it to really work for the long haul, couples need to remember a few things, such as forgiveness during arguments and keeping the passion alive.
Even true love needs a little help to keep thriving through the years.
To forge successful relationships, here are several tips to get you started:
1. You can be right or be in love.
Being right is big for men, so they need to learn this.
But women can be attached to being right as well.
The point is that you can focus on being right and winning arguments – OR you can be understanding and have a happy marriage, but not both.
It’s a good idea to apologize twice as much for being right as for being wrong, as criticism on target hurts far more than criticism that isn’t.
You will also enjoy our article on misunderstandings in relationships.
2. Successful relationships require gentleness with each other.
When you love someone, you take them into your heart, inside your emotional defenses.
When he loves you, everything you do and say touches his heart unimpeded.
So touch gently.
A strong word or negative comment hurts far more coming from you than from anyone else, including friends and family.
If you have something hard but important to say, wait until you are calm and no longer upset to be gentle.
I’m not saying you should be a doormat and let him wipe his feet on you.
Just to speak gently from a loving space.
Pick the kindest words you can and wait for a time when he is best able to hear you.
Encourage him to follow your example.
3. Live within your means and always save.
Money is the source of so much conflict, even in successful relationships, that it deserves its book.
But the critical point is that, it is good to be frugal and to save as much as you can.
This shouldn’t be too hard if you both have good credit scores.
But the best tip I can give is to resist the temptation to increase your spending just because you get a raise or you come into some extra money.
The best thing to do is to maintain your current lifestyle and spending.
Then use the extra money for savings and investments.
Financial issues are critically important.
Plus, it tends to get more complicated as you age and save for retirement.
There is a lot to know about money, and it can take years of study to become knowledgeable.
Don’t wait until you have a lot of money to learn about it.
If you wait until then, it’s too late.
Your financial structures and knowledge have to be in place BEFORE that.
So start learning now, even if you don’t have much.
4. Never spend money to make each other happy.
Other than spending money on marriage counseling if you hit a rough patch, DON’T spend money to cover up problems in your relationship.
It is very tempting to spring for flowers or a fancy dinner to make up for a mistake or smooth over an argument because that works like a charm.
The problem is that the good feelings you are buying are temporary.
As soon as they wear off, you must spend more money to bring them up again.
Eventually, you will get into serious debt if you do that to fix every problem or disagreement.
The same thing will happen if you try to boost chronic unhappiness in your marriage by spending money.
Instead, learn to work through your problems by talking things out hard.
Have the courage to admit your faults.
Learn how to enjoy being with each other.
So even the simplest things you do together make you happy and strengthen your bond.
5. Have sex and orgasms as frequently as you can.
Sex (especially when you orgasm) triggers the release of many chemicals in the brain that cause you to bond to your man.
Sex does similar things to him as well.
However, that bonding slowly fades the longer you go without sex.
People with successful relationships understand this.
Regular sex helps keep your bond strong.
In fact, the six weeks you have to wait after giving birth should ideally be the longest you ever abstain, but you should be creative and give each other orgasms frequently.
There are situations where refraining from sex is necessary, such as serious illness and injury.
Infidelity or a serious conflict can also be good reasons.
Makeup sex after an argument is fine, but only after the argument is over and you’ve forgiven each other.
Ignoring your feelings and having sex when you are still angry and don’t want to be touched is risky because it can create a negative association and an aversion to having sex.
If the anger and lack of desire persist for more than a few weeks, you need to start looking for a marriage counselor right away.
It only takes a few months of abstinence to damage your relationship.
If it involves infidelity, you will almost certainly need the assistance of an expert.
6. Always be willing to go to therapy.
If the two of you have a problem that is persistent and you are not able to make good progress solving it on your own, go to therapy.
Therapy can work wonders, but it takes time.
Waiting only makes it harder to solve the problem.
You are far too late if you wait until you are on your way to divorce court.
I have a simple rule for successful relationships:
Both people must be willing to go to couples counseling or individual psychotherapy if the other person asks them whether they think they need it or not.
If one person refuses to go when their partner asks them, I seriously doubt their commitment.
I would never marry someone unwilling to go to therapy if I asked them to.
These are just six tips for lasting, successful relationships.
There are also unspoken rules and other tricks to help couples stay together.
Do YOU and your partner have some tips of your own to share?
Feel free to write them in the comments section below.