Advertising
Advertising

10 Forgotten Habits Happy Couples Have That Make Their Relationships Last

10 Forgotten Habits Happy Couples Have That Make Their Relationships Last

It warms my heart when I see a couple in their 70’s walking hand-in-hand.

Do they have a secret formula for a lasting love? After all, their relationship endured the years while so many others fell victim to breakups and divorces.

It turns out that most happy couples share similar reasons as to why their love has stood the test of time, reasons too many of us may have forgotten.

Here are 10 of those reasons.

1. They Continually Share in Common Interests and Find New Things to be Interested in Together

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 3.45.25 PM

    Image via Flickr by Ryan G. Smith

    Common interests are one of the things that bring happy couples together and is something that keeps them together in the long run. When couples continue to share common interests and cultivate new ones, they create a common time they enjoy together.

    Common interests do not need to be elaborate. They can be something as simple as enjoying cuddle time under a blanket while watching a movie.

    Today, too many couples forget what common interests attracted them to one another in the first place and are too busy to recognize new ones.

    Continuing through a relationship as individuals with different interests instead of sharing at least some common interests can be detrimental to the relationship in the long run.

    2. They Move Towards the Bedroom Together Each Night

    Advertising

    2503763116_6cf6e0b874_z

      Image via Flickr by K

      Many happy couples suggest that moving to the bedroom at the same time is important to them in maintaining a loving bond.

      Melissa Orlov, author of The ADHD Effect on Marriage, suggests couples create a “sacred time” around bedtime. This is a time when partners can share a loving and intimate time together.

      Orlov further suggests that it’s okay if a partner needs to get back up to finish something. The important thing is to create a pattern for sharing a special time at the end of each day.

      Many couples today live their lives on different schedules and have forgotten the importance of the intimate time needed before sleep. Instead of staying in the living room to watch television while your partner goes to bed, join them in the bedroom. You can watch that show together while cuddling under the blanket.

      3. They Never go to Sleep Angry

      5523899267_a3576f6915_z (1)

        Image via Flickr by Aldan McMichael

        The happiest of couples say that this is their cardinal rule.

        Interviews with couples married 50 to 60 years suggest that the moral of this advice goes deeper than just a cliche.

        Going to bed angry can lead to unresolved issues and feelings of resentment that go beyond one evening of disagreement.

        Before drifting off to sleep, recognize this battle does not define your relationship and reassure your partner that you love them.

        Advertising

        Today, too many couples ignore this cardinal rule and drift off to sleep angry. If this becomes a pattern, it can do irreparable harm to their relationship.

        4. They Hug and Kiss to Start the Day and Hug and Kiss to End It

        5607684907_b1b4ee59f8_z

          Image via Flickr by Tania Cataldo

          Happy couples say they start and end every day with a hug and kiss. Psychologists suggest that hugs create feelings of positivity and better health. Andrea F. Polard, Psy.D suggests hugs release the hormone oxytocin, which elevates feelings of attachment, connection, trust, and intimacy.

          Too often today, couples forget to touch their partners and some go through days without good hugs and kisses. The lack of intimacy can eventually take a toll on a relationship.

          5. They Trust Their Partner

          2945297942_198e9028cb_z

            Image via Flickr by Duncan Rawlinson

            Couples that trust each other take a huge element of conflict from their relationship.

            Catherine Morris, MFT advises “Trust is the bedrock for building a strong relationship.”  By placing your confidence and faith in your partner, happy couples can believe and rely on their partner when things get tough.

            Today it seems that many couples incorporate distrust as part of their relationship. In the end, this creates a situation of excess worry and a relationship that never realizes its full potential.

            6. They Say Thank You Instead of I’m Sorry

            Advertising

            8654989124_daebc16e9f_z

              Image via Flickr by Ed Yourdon

              Happy couples focus on the positive aspects of their relationship instead of dwelling on the negative. By turning the focus to something positive and thanking a partner for putting up with something instead of apologizing for something, they eliminate the acknowledgment of a negative behavior.

              Today, too many couples point out each others flaws and forget that they have flaws of their own. Both people in a relationship must love each other in spite of the other’s flaws.  Focusing on your partner’s acceptance instead of apologizing for short comings can strengthen relationships.

              7. They Celebrate in their Partner’s Accomplishments

              7342693034_a71240657f_z

                Image via Flickr by Audrey & Elvis

                Happy couples remain proud of their partners and celebrate in all of their accomplishments no matter how small. If it is important to their partner, it is important to them.

                Happy couples encourage their partners along their journey of personal goals. They ask them about their progress and encourage them to keep moving forward.

                Today, too many couples tend to forget that to be a happy couple in a relationship you have to be a team. There is no I in team. Never be too busy to recognize, encourage, and celebrate with your partner.

                8. They Continually Do Small Things for Each Other

                3605522850_7ccf638f85_z

                  Image via Flickr by Chris Goldberg

                  Small actions equal big rewards in a successful relationship. Happy couples continuously do small things for their partner. It could be something as simple as slipping a note in a lunch that says “I love you,” or taking the dogs for a walk when your partner is too tired to walk them.

                  Advertising

                  Today, couples forget that giving is not dependent on receiving. If you continue to do nice things for your partner, they may eventually do nice things in return; but even if they don’t, you will feel good about your efforts.

                  9. They Acknowledge Each Others Feelings

                  DE Landscape 08: Tiergarten Old Couple

                    Image via Flickr by Francisco Osorlo

                    Happy couples don’t have to agree on everything, but they do say that at least acknowledging the other person’s feelings is important in a successful relationship.

                    Just saying “I understand how you feel” makes a huge difference in keeping the roots of problems on the surface and manageable.

                    Today, couples tend to tell their partner how they are crazy for feeling a certain way. By not validating a partner’s feelings, hurt feelings can run deep. Instead of building a partner up, this breaks them down. Eventually, it can damage a relationship.

                    10. They Keep a Sense of Humor

                    2165411154_7058f0ae06_z

                      You never know what life will throw your way. Happy couples have learned to use their sense of humor as a tool to diffuse uncomfortable situations and keep a lighthearted outlook on life. There are even annual conferences that teach how to use humor in a relationship.

                      Cultivating a humorous outlook requires respect. Today, some couples confuse extreme sarcasm and humor. Extreme sarcasm can be hurtful if it hits too close to a partner’s insecurity. Set some ground rules and respect each others boundaries when it comes to humor.

                      Do you know anyone who has a lasting relationship? How do their values compare with the list above? Do they have any additional tips they think were important to their success?  Share with us their secrets in the comment section below. We can all learn from each other.

                      Featured photo credit: Image via Flickr by Patrick via flickr.com

                      More by this author

                      Missy Yost

                      Missy enjoys decorating, capturing the beauty of her surroundings on canvas, and making new friends. She shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

                      20 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore 15 Amazing Places in the U.S. You Should Go For A Warm Christmas Five Smart & Cheap Ways to Stage Your Home to Sell Ten Brilliant Ways to Become A Homeowner When You’re Broke 10 Myths About the Human Brain

                      Trending in Communication

                      1 5 Steps to Cultivate a Positive Mental Attitude 2 9 Ways to Prepare for Change and Live Your Dream Life 3 7 Steps to Start Living Your Dream Life Right Now 4 How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want 5 What Happiness Is and Is Not: The True Meaning of Being Happy

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on August 19, 2019

                      How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                      How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                      We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

                      When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

                      In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

                      Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

                      If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

                      According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

                      No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

                      When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

                      Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

                      1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

                      When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

                      Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

                      When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

                      Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

                      In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

                      Advertising

                      It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

                      You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

                      Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

                      What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

                      You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

                      That’s where we all should be.

                      So, answer me this:

                      How are you, really?

                      And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

                      Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

                      Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

                      Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

                      Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

                      It’s taking control.

                      Advertising

                      2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

                      You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

                      You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

                      In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

                      Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

                      You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

                      Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

                      But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

                      It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

                      In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

                      It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

                      Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

                      Change will happen.

                      Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

                      You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

                      Advertising

                      And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

                      You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

                      That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

                      You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

                      When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

                      There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

                      3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

                      Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

                      In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

                      If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

                      Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

                      Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

                      How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

                      Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

                      “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

                      Advertising

                      Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

                      Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

                      It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

                      Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

                      “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

                      What would you do if you felt you were enough?

                      By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

                      So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

                      Final Thoughts

                      By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

                      Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

                      When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

                      You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

                      More About Living Your True Self

                      Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next