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Respect is more important than love: I didn’t say that love is not important. But there are many cases where couples choose to stay together even though the love had died long before. Sometimes to support their children till they grow up, or to attain financial security. In contrary, once you lose the respect to your partner, you won’t be able to coexist. Life becomes constant torture. Their voice penetrates your ears and rattles your skull every time they talk, their touch burns your skin and their perfume fragrance chokes and tighten your chest. Every encounter is a potential woe. You can revive lost love, but disrespect is irreparable.
Fancy the eyes: If you decided to fall in love with the looks, make sure to fall for the eyes, because they never age. The handsome guy that you know today, in few years’ time, will have a muffin-top belly and thinning hair and the stunning beauty that you adore now will have wrinkled face and sagged posture. If this what happened to celebrities, guess what will happen to your partner.
Remember the eyes are the window of the soul. You will see your partner’s passion, joy and longing through them no matter how old they are.
Cross minefields together: When your partner is progressing through a tough times in their career or if they’re struggling with some health issues, or even going insane. This is what I call the minefield of your married life. You have to cross it together. If you decided to wait for him/her at the other side of the minefield and let them cross it by themselves, you’ll definitely lose them. If they don’t make it to the other side, you have lost them. If they made it by themselves without your support… You have lost them as well.
You will not be the same person 10 years from now:People change all the time. You fell head over heels for this person. This twenty something passionate energetic caring human being, who knew how to listen, who dreamed big and wanted to change the world. After years of continuously getting crushed under corporate-life wheels, marathon after the kids, and drowning in daily housework, will make your partner personality almost unrecognizable. They might become more nervous, less sensitive, more aggressive or less forgiving. They will definitely not be the same person. And you need to come to terms with the new version of you and your partner, otherwise your life will be unbearable.
Work as a team: From previous point. You found that after few years, both of you have changed. Now more than ever, you need to work as a team. It is so hard to have a ship with two captains. Sometimes let her be in control and sometime let him lead. At the end of the day you want to arrive safely to the other side. How do you know that you can work as team? Easy. If you’re driving somewhere and get lost. If you manage to calm down and find your way back on a map and help each other till you reach your destination without fighting, it means you can work as a team.
Feed your intimacy: Sex is like food and drink. Everyone knows that. But some people think that everyone can survive on the same amount of food. For some people KIDS-MEAL is more than enough. But some won’t feel full before devouring a whole family meal. Same with sex, don’t expect your partner to have same appetite as you. If one partner was starved that might lead to unfaithfulness. You need to communicate your feeling, needs and worries otherwise you will be stuck in an ox donkey relationship. check: Sam Fahmy’s answer to How do husbands remain faithful to their wives?
Be friends: One day, many years from now, when the cyclone of emotion, intimacy, kids growing and work routines, settled down, you’ll look back at your marriage path and reflect. You will have a lot of time to spend together. If the hours passed as eternity and you don’t have anything to say, then you haven’t been friends all your life. Friendship is the glue that stick the couple together. All the way to the end.
Don’t take things for granted: Happily ever after is an elusive statement. There is ups and downs in any marriage. Sometimes you feel you married the perfect partner and sometimes you perceived them as partner from hell. It is always work in progress. So celebrate the good time and be ready for the hardships.
Don’t compare: The following scenario may happen to you after few years of marriage: You’re having dinner with your partner with another couple who look like the Romeo and Juliette of the modern day. They look passionately at each other and touch hands as if it’s their first time. She explicate her man as the perfect husband. And he talks about her as the trophy wife. At your side of the table: Sigh… look at each other.. why can’t my partner be like that? Be careful, what you had witnessed might be a show. Like the one you watch at the cinema. It had start and end time. Some people are good at acting in public.
Patience… Patience… and more Patience: When you face any obstacles just remember that time mend all problems. So take a deep breath in… shall I make myself more clear?… Let it out. Patience.