According to researcher, Karl Pillemer, author of 30 Lessons for Loving: Advice from the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationships, and Marriage there are five key elements that make for successful long-term relationships.
Pillemer interviewed over 400 Americans who had been married from thirty to over 50 years. What he discovered was this:
- Couples who saw marriage as a “We’re In This Love Forever” type of life-long committed relationship were the ones that made it. While they had rough patches and times of stress these couples fought to get through their troubles and ultimately succeeded by not giving into the temptation to leave. These folks just refused to give up!
- The couples interviewed beleived that it was important to pick a person who had smiliar interests, views and background. If these commonalities were observed contentious issues regarding money, religion and how to raise the children would be minimized because the core values were the same according to the happy couples.
- Talk, talk, talk said these long wedded couples. According to them problems are solved through constant open dialouge and that they felt that marriages ultimately fall apart due to lack of communication.
- Team work tells the story according to Pillemer. Marriage is not always a 50-50 proposition. When illness or setbacks sidelines your partner the other has to step up and step into the game. A winning couple acts as a team in all facets of their lives and problems are not an individual issue but one that the team faces and works on together.
- Know your potential spouse well before marrying them. Shared experiences over time tell you how you will handle issues and problems in the future. These long time lover advised making sure you like your partner in all types of situations because you can’t go into marriage thinking that you will change them. You won’t.
Oh yeah, one more thing…those long term forever marriages…well they have a lot of sex even in their advanced years. Now that is about the best news I have heard in a long time…Maybe there is hope for us yet!