We’re home now from our very long road trip starting from Cagayan de Oro to Oslob, then Dumaguete, Bacolod, Iloilo, Gigantes, Boracay, back to Iloilo, Bacolod, Oslob, Cebu City, Dapitan, and now back in Cagayan de Oro. Whew! What a blast it has been! We are so tired from our trip but so rejuvenated as well.
We came home just in time for a few things:
- my grandfather’s 95th birthday celebration
- an event I am attending later for Solane as a blogger
- a package that arrived from Blue Bee which I will be using and reviewing before I join their affiliate program
- and most especially, just in time for our 5th anniversary as committed life partners ❤
Wow! So many blessings! Thank you, God, for all these love and opportunities in my life right now. I really feel blessed despite the fact that I am oh so tired (which is why I am now taking Thiocell to give me more energy, aside from my usual multivitamins and organic supplements — perhaps, I’ll blog about them next time).
Anyway, that long trip of ours really tested our faith, our patience, and ultimately our love for one another. We are used to traveling together, but it’s not always that we travel with a group, more so, our extended family. I must admit that on a few occasions, it did make me feel like I wanted to give up on us because of the little stresses that came along the way (you can read about it here: How to Avoid Travel Burnout When Traveling With a Group) but as always, after every storm, a rainbow always comes and I’m glad that we always get out of it stronger than ever.
So how do we keep managing to strengthen our love and commitment for each other (as if we’re falling in love for the first time all over again) despite our imperfections? How do we make our relationship last year after year after year and hopefully until death do we part? How do you make your relationship last longer… until marriage… how do you make a marriage last a lifetime?
Below are the major 3 things I learned along the way (which I learned the hard way by the way) and which I want to share with you in case you’re in a relationship too, whether a new one or a seasoned one, and you want to make your relationship stronger too. As I continue to embark in this amazing relationship with my best friend, my life partner, my soulmate, my Mahal, here are the 3 major tips I can give you based on our own experiences:
1. MAKE YOUR MAN FEEL LIKE A WINNER
Men always want to feel like they’re winners. The moment they feel like they are losers in your relationship, and you don’t try to address that, or minimize that, and most importantly, prevent that from happening again and again, that’s the minute you will start losing them. Maybe this is what happened between Gerald Anderson and Bea Alonzo in that much talked about love triangle issue. The girl became a nagger and you know men, they’re from Mars, they will go to their caves and not talk again, in Gerald’s case, he ended up ghosting Bea. It is a natural tendency in men. It does not excuse them though from doing such a bad thing, but it is their nature that is hard to fight without any consciousness about it. Read Men and from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray and you will learn it there. I learned it there and it made a huge positive difference in my relationship with Mahal right now.
I also think this is one of the major reasons why I failed in my first marriage. I failed to make my ex feel like a winner. No one is perfect. But it doesn’t help to always nag the other person about his imperfections. Instead of nagging or nitpicking what’s wrong, notice the good that the other is contributing to the relationship and magnify that. Say thank you for every little and big thing your partner, spouse, or boyfriend is doing in a genuine way. Be grateful for their effort, their thoughts, their actions in the relationship even if it’s not what you’re expecting. Of course, it’s hard to feel grateful when you’re really not feeling thankful so it’s good to change your perspective, or change your mindset first. Tony Robbins can help you here. Mahal and I have both listened to several of his podcasts and Youtube videos and his teachings have really helped us elevate our relationship. When you’re being grateful and appreciative from a genuine position, you become happy, if not, happier. And when your man is seeing that you’re happy, it makes him feel like he’s doing something good in the relationship… it makes him feel like a winner. And when this happens on an ongoing basis, your guy will be more drawn and attracted to you. It doesn’t matter if there are other more physically attractive girls around him. For him, it will always and only be you. He will do everything in his power to keep you feeling happy and grateful. That’s because he doesn’t want to relinquish his being a winner. That’s the male psychology. Use this and I assure you that your relationship will be better and stronger.
This is my dynamic with Mahal. Though I am not perfect and I do have my moments especially when it’s that time of the month (wink, wink!), I always do my best to see the good in him and appreciate what he’s doing for us, for our family and for our future. He is a hands-on father to Tuz (and he’s great at it), and he is always putting me above all his priorities, even above Tuz, and even if it seems like he is not doing so. Take for instance that time we were in Bacolod and he didn’t insist on his elder sister that we get a separate room during our trip… I found out after that that he did talk to his sister about it, even before I came into the picture. But his elder sister, being a dominant lady in their household, insisted too that we just all stay in one room. He tried again but his sister won the conversation. By the time I talked to his sister, he didn’t intrude in the discussion anymore and just let me voice out my failed request. He was just avoiding having any problems with his sister, and he didn’t want me to look bad in front of his sister too, which after he talked to me about it, I then fully understood. That’s the kind of person he is. He does his best to balance his relationships with me and his family and he always puts me in a good light. As for me, when I found out about his effort, it was more than enough to pacify me. After all, what I needed from him at that time was just his support. And I thanked him for it.
2. NEVER BLOW UP AT THE SAME TIME
Being first-time parents in our 40’s can really be stressful. We are blending our life together with work, with travel, with other businesses and projects and it can get messy and stressful at times that it’s hard not to get hot-headed and blow off steam every now and then. When this happens, and whoever gets to blow up first, the other one remains cool. We didn’t really talk about this dynamic, it just naturally happens. When I’m in a bad mood, he’s the cool one who comforts me. When he’s having a bad day, I’m the “hot” one who comforts him (if you know what I mean, hehehe… although it doesn’t have to be about THAT all the time… a simple hug, sweet words, supportive actions will do).
This give and take system makes any relationship for that matter withstand the test of time. It is making us more appreciative of each other, hence, a lot stronger as time goes by. If you’re the type where both of you tend to get hot-headed at the same time, what usually happens? The problem snowballs, right? Try controlling your emotions and let the other blow off steam first and see what happens. Have a talk with your partner about this dynamic so next time, you will know how to deal with one another should one or both of you become hot-headed again.
3. SLEEP… TAKE LOTS OF REST.
We are in our early 40’s. I’m 41 and Mahal is 40. We’re not as energetic as when we were young. Our energy reserves are limited but with so many roles we are playing in our life right now — a partner, a parent, an entrepreneur, driver, caregiver, confidant, best friend, lover, consultant, peer, blogger, influencer, son, daughter, etc… it can be very tiring. And when you’re tired, you do and say things that you could regret later. So have enough time to rest. This also applies to young couples out there who are struggling in their relationship. Sometimes, you just need to rest. Don’t abide by the old saying that you should not let the sun go down without solving your relationship disagreements. Rest first. This will allow your body and mind to repair whatever needs repairing in your bodily systems and when you wake up after a restful sleep, you feel more rejuvenated, more forgiving, more compliant. That’s when you talk out your problems, this time, with openness and understanding and a ton of love for each other. That’s what we do and it always works wonders for our relationship.
Of course, there are so many other things you can do to make your relationship a lot stronger and last a lifetime (references below) like proper communication, doing romantic activities together, have time for intimacy and sex, etc. but for me, as we celebrate our 5 years of life partnership, those 3 things I mentioned above are the major factors that contribute to the bliss we’re experiencing in our love relationship right now. I am really happy! As in blissfully, utterly, romantically kilig-to-the-bones kind of happy that I am living my life with my very best friend by my side. We are not just surviving, we are thriving (because relationships should not just survive but also THRIVE!)
Life is hard as it is. More so when you are in a committed relationship… when you are relating with someone who is different from you, but whom you want to love and serve too. The moment that you are conscious about this fact, you will do everything in your power to make your life, especially your love life, better and thriving. And on, and on, and on, you go on building a wonderful life together, full of color, passion, love, and compassion for one another and the family you build along the way.
I hope I was able to impart with you some helpful tips. Do let me know if they will work wonders for you too in your relationship as they did with mine.
Check out these other articles that can help your relationship last:
HOW TO KEEP THE ROMANCE ALIVE WHEN YOU LIVE TOGETHER
COUPLE’S THERAPIST EXPLAIN 11 WAYS TO KEEP THE SPARK ALIVE IN A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP
5 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR RELATIONSHIP STRONGER
TODAY’S HOT TIP!
“A great relationship doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning, but how well you continue building love until the end.”
See you tomorrow!