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15 Tips From 15 Years as a Couple, Part III

Alright, last part! Here are another five tips on how me made our relationship last.

11. Have regular physical intimacy.

There is one universal language of love that all of us understand - sex. This point should have been higher up as it is often a glue that holds the relationship together. I am not talking about just a physical aspect of it but the true intimacy that can sustain a long-term commitment.

How is it achieved? First, by having an open conversation about it. Usually, women need to learn to be more understanding and men more sensitive. It's a two-way street. It gets better when effort is put into making the other person feel loved and cherished. If one partner carries significant baggage from the past, it might need to be dealt with first in order to restore the ability to give and receive love in a healthy way. This can be done through counseling or a ministry:

12. Look good for each other.

I am glad you are still with me and haven't given up yet on this super long post. So, one way to enhance your desire to have intimacy with each other is to have a makeover. Some women cook dinner and in high heels and some, like me, wear old jeans every day. But if we try to look good for work or special outings, we need to do this for our spouses as well. Same goes for guys.

It is also important to stay in shape whatever this means for you personally. This is not about trying to be somebody else but taking care of yourself. Your significant other needs to see that you are trying. Even if he or she does not notice or appreciate it, you will feel good about yourself either way. Getting a new outfit wouldn't hurt either even if you only wear it to bed ;).

13. Have fun together and make each other laugh.

It's easy to get busy with work, kids, and million other things that need to be done. We often forget to have fun, but more importantly, to have fun together.

Often people wait until they go on vacation to do something that brings a smile on their face, but it doesn't have to be something you do few times a year. Watching a funny video together, sharing a joke, or starting a pillow fight with kids might bring down a tension of the day.

Make your home a place where both of you can come and unwind. If that's not possible because kids are in constant sibling rivalry or prolong whining phase, wait for the time when everyone is finally in bed. Do something to help each other relax or try to get away once in a while.

14. Don't give up.

Most articles warn that if you survive the first two rocky years of marriage, you might experience a decline in satisfaction and quality of your relationship after about four. Then apparently your relationship might stall completely around seven and you can even get an "itch" to get out. But once you make it to your ten-year anniversary, phew, your expectations finally become more realistic and you settle down.

The point is, if you don't give up on each other, things will get better. I can say that we went through some hard years and reached a critical low nine years into our relationship but things still turned up.

We all go through ups and downs in life, take wrong turns and make mistakes. In marriage, there is just another person strapped in next to you for that roller coaster. Sometimes they might want to get out, sometimes you might but the truth is, it is easier when you are in it together.

15. Plan for a long haul.

We know couples who never had a single heated argument and we know the ones who have regular yelling matches but can't live without each other. We have friends who stayed steadily committed and who hurt each other badly but went through healing completely restoring love. What matters more is whether two people are willing to fight for their relationship. Are you willing to fight for yours? Yes, spouses do take a turn for the worse and sometimes become unsafe to live but even these situations can change and trust can be restored.

When two individuals plan for a long haul, they work harder at getting problems solved. When you don't have plan B, then you do the best with what you have. And how do you know that if you get out of this relationship next one will be better? Think about all the good things that brought you two together in the first place and roll up your sleeves again.

Please, share below what you found helpful in your relationship.

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