A great relationship does not happen because of the love you had in the beginning, but how well you continue building love until the end. Here are some tips that can help build a strong relationship with your partner.
1. A good/great relationship doesn’t just happen; there have been times in my marriage where I thought I’m done and I can 100% say that my husband has felt the same way.
Whilst at times over the years I think it would have been much easier to leave, I chose to stay. It is in this time I have struggled deeply, learnt more about myself, changed, grown and matured. Quite often it is more about seeing through my shortcomings and what God is wanting to do in my life so that I can be more Christlike.
Iron Sharpens Iron: A Principle of Relationship
"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17)
The concept of “iron sharpening iron” obviously implies at least two pieces of iron. It would be impossible for one tool to become sharper without the presence of the other. Left isolated, both blades would be dull and quite useless.
2. Relationships take commitment, patience, persistence, humility and selfless love.
Thinking about it now and if I am honest when we got married, I did not fully realise or understand what it really meant when we said our vows.
"In the name of God, I, Lyn, take you, John, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until parted by death.”
42+ years later, I have a much deeper understanding; has it been easier, no; however, through the ups and downs, we have done life together and there have been so many treasured memories, laughter, fun, joy, pain and tears. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
LOVE NEVER FAILS! (1 Corinthians 13:3-4)
3. I am very thankful for my husband John, he sees me at my worst, when I am struggling, my perfections and imperfections yet chooses to be by my side and love me.
A true relationship is two imperfect people refusing to give up on each other.
4. Relationships will get boring.
There will be times in your relationship where it will become stale/boring. Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a verb (doing word); it’s a commitment to love physically and emotionally. It’s difficult, it’s not always laughs, smiles and fun. People tend to quit when it stops being fun and they go look for someone else, because “the spark is gone”.
Be creative and purposeful to create and plan for fun activities, adventures, holidays, and projects you can do together.
John doesn’t like to dance, one night after going out for dinner he took me to a secluded spot at Kings Park, put my favourite love song playlist and asked me to dance under the stars. It was the best night ever.
5. During the earlier years of our marriage, there were times I was upset or had a problem and my husband wanted to fix me and try to make the situation better. But all I wanted him to do was to sit and listen to me. Watch this interesting short video, “It’s Not About the Nail”.
6. Over the years as we grow, there are many things that can change—from our favorite food and drink, to our dreams, values, and goals in life.
I think I know the top three stress my husband is facing… However, when I ask him about it, the reply quite often miss the mark from what I’ve assumed. This eventually gives us an opportunity to chat about it.
For many years, we randomly use the Gottman card decks; it is an excellent resource to build connections with your partner.
There is no end to building a strong relationship. It is an ongoing work-in-progress and to make it successful, each one has to be driven to stay together for the long haul and willing to offer each step to God.