It’s not easy to stay married in today’s world. We’ve been married and practiced together a long time now, raised a family with the full range of common and not so common issues, and have had many of the same personal and relationship problems our clients have. We’re not immune to life’s difficulties and have made our own mistakes in trying to make a life together. Even therapists have their pains, but we’ve also had our celebrations. As Paul Simon sang: “Still crazy after all these years.”
So what have we personally learned in these 46 “crazy” years together?What allows a man and a woman to still like and love each other, to laugh together and be actual friends? These are the ingredients to a not so secret brew:
• Stay curious about one another.
• Practice kindness and consideration.
• Notice the little things about each other you like and remember to tell your partner.
• Give your partner the benefit of doubt.
• Learn to live with and respect your differences.
• Allow for separate spaces and experiences.
• When fearful or angry seek clarification of the reality.
• Learn not to be frightened or angry by intense feelings.
• Don’t lie your way out of a bind, a lie, or a betrayal. Practice honesty.
• Use some discretion in what you say about your feelings and perceptions about your spouse, but have your voice heard.
• Forget that marriage is a 50/50 proposition in the short run, but it should feel like a fair deal in the long run.
• Be fair and just with each other.
• Commitment means a willingness to be unhappy for a while, but only for a while.
• Be involved with friends and community separately and together.
• Find ways to laugh with one another and at some of your problems together.
• Don’t be ashamed to cry together.
• Be sensual. Taste each other’s sweetness, open your eyes and ears to each other
and remember to take time to touch one another.
• Have more adventures together.
Find the timeless moments