I had a friend send me this post about Successful Relationships and absolutely loved it. The post is a little long, yet very thorough. I truly wish there were required classes in High School and College to teach the importance of relationships and how to make them work. I understand we need to learn by experience and sometimes the only way to truly grow is to rise up from the ashes, yet, if we could get it right the first time, maybe we could alleviate some of the shrapnel our kids end up with when our relationships become destructive.
Out of the hundreds of analogies I saw these past few weeks, one stuck with me. A nurse emailed saying that she used to work with a lot of geriatric patients. And one day she was talking to a man in his late-80s about marriage and why his had lasted so long. The man said something like, “relationships exist as waves, people need to learn how to ride them.” Upon asking him to explain, he said that, like the ocean, there are constant waves of emotion going on within a relationship, ups and downs—some waves last for hours, some last for months or even years. The key is understanding that few of those waves have anything to do with the quality of the relationship—people lose jobs, family members die, couples relocate, switch careers, make a lot of money, lose a lot of money. Your job as a committed partner is to simply ride the waves with the person you love, regardless of where they go. Because ultimately, none of these waves last. And you simply end up with each other.
I used to complain about the “ebbs and flows” of my marriage. Instead of riding the waves, I fought them. If you are struggling in a marriage, want to improve your relationship, in a new relationship, or single and want to take a step for your future in the right direction, please read Mark Manson’s Relationship Advice.