Through almost thirty years Juan and María have been able to consolidate their marriage. What has kept you together? How have you faced the challenges that marriage is going through today?
Maria watched Juan’s arrival through the window. Her steps were slow, as they had been since her youth. Contrary to her own steps, which despite the years continued to be hasty. His face reflected the weariness of his daily work. Many years had passed since she had first seen his face, but her love for that man was still as strong as the first day.
Sometimes he wondered how, being so different, they had been able to stay together for so many years. Their relationship had had ups and downs; Yet through all these vicissitudes he had grown strong. Ever read a phrase on a blog that could describe what she was thinking: ” The key to being successful in a relationship is not finding the right person, but learning to love the person you have found.” People are always looking for the right person. Maybe someone graceful, gentle, hardworking, devoted to her family, and so on. But very seldom do we stop to analyze whether we ourselves will be suitable for someone else.
For almost thirty years Maria and Juan have shared a life. They both knew that they could count on each other in difficult times: in illnesses, in financial difficulties; even in the mistakes they made they knew that there could be a forgiveness to be able to start over. It is indisputable that the certainty of support between them has been one of the points that has contributed to strengthening their relationship. But there are others, though not the only ones, who have helped their marriage last:
Accept the personality of the life partner
“There is a secret to living happily with the person you love: not trying to modify it
Jacques Chardonne used to say: “There is a secret to living happily with the person you love: not trying to change them.” Maria has a different personality than Juan. But this, instead of separating them, has brought them together, because her impulsive character is complemented by the patience that she possesses. Maria’s drive prompts him to take on challenges. They both respect and accept their differences. It is wrong to think that someone will change with us, just like reaching a relationship with the perception of a person who only exists in our mind.
Not being afraid of commitment
The fear of being hurt or betrayed creates emotional limitations. These limitations are a barrier to fostering communication and trust. Juan and María did not arrive at the marriage thinking that if it did not work there would be a divorce, but thinking that together they would face all the problems that arose. It is very difficult for a union to consolidate if the commitment is not mutual. Both of you must be willing to commit to themselves first and then to your relationship.
Find a balance between “me” and “us”
to be happy with another person, we first have to be happy ourselves,
For Juan and María the word “we” is the most important in their vocabulary. Coexistence is not easy, even for those who love each other. But it is that love that helps them give in at certain times. It is not about forgetting yourself to be focused on the wishes of the other. On the contrary, to be happy with another person, we first have to be happy ourselves, otherwise the only thing we are going to grant is our own frustration. That is why it is necessary to balance our wishes and those of our partner. Sometimes giving in on a small detail provides more joy than just satisfying our goals.
Understand the different stages of the relationship
According to experts like Victoria Cardoso, love goes through six stages: in the first years of the relationship, in the first stage, everything is fantasy. Couples want to spend as much time together as possible. At this stage, conflict is avoided; contrary to the second and third stages, where you start looking for solutions to problems and life returns to its normal course. During the fourth stage they begin to notice the differences; therefore, acceptance and adjustment of these are basic points here. This adjustment can help as you move to the fifth stage, where mutual trust is reaffirmed. Personal growth can strengthen or separate couples. Couples have been married for more than five years. Between 15 or 25 years of marriage, the sixth stage begins, in which the couple faces the crises of middle age, which brings with it many challenges. It is necessary to adapt to the changes that each of these stages implies.
To fall in love again
Juan and María have gone through each of the previous stages, not without having faced many problems; however, each of them gave them the opportunity to rethink their relationship. Some difficult situations led them to rediscover or find new qualities in the other, which made them fall in love again as at the beginning of their relationship, but now with the maturity and knowledge of the other that the years of living together have given them.
In these times it is very difficult to achieve stability in marriage, but it is not impossible if couples are willing to commit. Through the years that love that united them can grow; maybe it’s just a matter of being willing to give more of yourself.
¿Estás con la pareja adecuada?
Victoria Cardoso, “The six stages of the couple”, in:
The 6 stages of the couple: find out which one you are in