Don’t you love celebrating relationship milestones? We do and we try to celebrate it every year in simple and unique ways we can. My husband and I have been together for 15 years! I can’t believe it’s almost half of my existence in this world. That’s 10 years of being girlfriend and boyfriend and 5 years married!
Of course, like any other relationship, we went through a lot of challenges, ups and downs, and up to this day we can say we know each other well but not perfectly. This is because we all change everyday – depending on a lot of external factors and experience. I still marvel how 2 total strangers become attracted to each other and end up choosing each other as their partner until the day they die (through good and bad times). That’s one of the many miracles of life.
In our 15 years of being together, we learned so much form each other and we saw each other literally grow up and mature from the time we graduated from college. We saw each through our highs and lows (including weight..hahaha!). And really, everyday is something different and something exciting. Now that we have 2 children, life gets all the more exciting!
There are several things we learned on how to keep relationships strong. Of course, as much as we want everything to be perfect, we still fall and make mistakes but rise again and become smarter individuals. We don’t perfectly and faithfully follow all these (to be perfectly honest) but at least these are the things we’d like others to know how important they are for a happy and healthy relationship.
- Say “I love you” not only verbally but also in everything you do. Small gestures of love like buying your partners favorite food, preparing and serving special meals for your partner,
- Be supportive. For decisions, for change, and improvement for oneself or for others, always have each other to support and cheer each other. It feels good when you have someone who cheers for you and keeps you inspired while you work hard on becoming a better person and contributing to the the betterment of the world. Give praises, compliments, be your partners honest critic, support them in actions and words.
- Couple Rituals. Almost all couples have their unique couple rituals. Do something together and make it a tradition. An oh-so-simple gesture or tradition can become something sweet and more beautiful when you do it as a couple or for the love of each other. Be creative, sweet, and sincere. Like us, we used to write all the restaurants we eat together and as years passed, we enjoyed looking at our long lost of places we went to and had so many memories to talk about at every place. Every year, we also have little traditions like who will plan valentine’s day. Now we have more and more new couple rituals as we face parenthood together. It gets more fun and more exciting.
- Apologize. Sometimes in our busy and hectic life, we are eaten by pride and our ego that we refuse to admit our shortcomings. We refuse to accept the fact that we make mistakes and sometimes see it as a horrible thing. Of course not! We all make mistakes and make wrong decisions and we should all man up and own our faults and take them as helpful things to improve ourselves. We are still working on being able to admit faults, apologize, show a gesture of affection after apologizing, and having a plan of action to avoid the mistake from happening again.
- Physical affection should be everyday. A simple hug, kiss, holding of hands create feel-good moods and hormones for more cheerful days for a couple. It can create healthier relationships.
These are just a few of the many things we can do to have and maintain a healthy relationship. We’re still learning everyday and with our children with us, there are more relationships to build and take good care of. But above everything else, we still and should always find time to reconnect with each other despite our own busy chores and tasks. We may be physically be together everyday in one home but because of everyday demands form us, we can’t seem to talk like before on how our day went. But we make sure we do have some quality time at least once a week or twice and this helps us a lot.
Also, it pays to be not predictable. Try something new together even if you’ve known each other for a long time. Learn something new together and enjoy more new things together.
Having my husband beside me for 15 years is something. We’ve irritated each other, we annoyed each other, we liked each other, but we loved each other more and more as years passed. We’re like frenemies sometimes too.