How To Keep a Relationship Strong

Do you listen to your partner every time you communicate? Has boredom become a concern in your relationship? Are you wondering how to be a happy couple through the years? I think everyone asks themselves these questions at some point during their relationship. Since I always like to be prepared, I decided to research how to make love last and share with you what I found.

First of all, as a writer, I believe that communication is the seed to growing a strong and healthy relationship and the tool you need to cultivate it. Often times we take communicating with each other for granted. I bet if you asked yourself how you can be a better communicator, and were honest, you would probably say by being a better listener. For one thing, by truly listening to your partner you will discover new things about them so that you’ll have something interesting to talk about. Listening is a powerful skill and one that can help you succeed in your professional life as well as your personal one. Many of us seem to focus on being heard and not the other way around, for this reason listening is going to require practice.

Additionally, developing your individual interests can help deter the boredom that sometimes creeps into a relationship. Although having mutual interests are important, couples need time apart to pursue things that make them happy. Too much togetherness can harm a relationship. One of Hollywood’s most romantic relationships that withstood the test of time was Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Admittedly when asked why their marriage lasted so long, Paul Newman is quoted on the IMDB website as saying “we are very, very different people and yet somehow we feed off those varied differences and instead of separating us, it has made the whole bond a lot stronger.”

Unfortunately some couples are threatened by their partner’s independence. Therefore I suggest the following advice from an article, written by Kimberly Dawn Neumann titled, “Happy Couples: What’s Their Secret?”

Nurture your separate selves

Going off to your book club when your sweetie’s out golfing isn’t a sign you two are drifting apart. On the contrary, developing individual interests allows for a richer life as a couple. By taking little “couple breaks,” you gain a greater appreciation of the gifts your partner brings to your life and you have more to offer as well. “It’s very sexy to be independent sometimes,” says Magdoff. “You feel better about yourself and you’re less demanding of your partner when you’re together.” After all, taking some personal responsibility for your own well-being relieves the other person of the pressure to “provide” happiness-so go ahead and nurture some solo adventures. That’ll also keep each of you stocked with plenty of adventures to chat about, which also builds your bond.

Eventually we realize that relationships are always a work in progress. We start out by creating a bond and then we need to continue to strengthen that bond to make it last. So how does a couple work together towards strengthening an already amazing relationship? I recommend the following 5 tips from an article titled, “5 Habits of Successful Couples” How to love and cherish each other through the years by: Dr. Pepper Schwartz.

  1. They keep up with the changes.
  2. They know how to fight fairly.
  3. They find new ways to play.
  4. They accept the challenges of aging.
  5. They stay physically connected.

Finally, I’m a firm believer in focusing on the positive. So rather than learning what not to do to maintain a successful relationship, check out the article link below and learn what to do to keep yours happy. Better yet, have your partner read it to you and just listen.

Until next time, here’s to keeping you Safer in the City,

~ Jessica

“What’s Their Secret”

How Can We Hope To Live Happily Ever After?

A Jane Austin novel seems to end at the altar as if the wedding were all that is necessary for future bliss. Yet these days a lot of marriages seem to finish up on the scrap heap and you might have a sneaky feeling that perhaps a well-known film star was right in her opinion.

“Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.”(Katherine Hepburn)

So is achieving a happy marriage simply a matter of selecting the right mate in the first place, or is it about finding a successful formula for living together? Or perhaps you think it is all to do with good luck?

Experience of happy couples Rather than study just failed relationships, several psychological researchers have actually looked at successful marriages. For example the late Judith Wallerstein, reported in her book The good marriage: How and why love lasts, that happily married men and women both tend to report the same basic experiences.

We worked it out. To love, you must feel emotionally safe – totally accepted, respected, and supported. Therefore, we don’t criticize or strike out in anger, instead we gently request a change.”

“We do so much together and agree on most issues, but we have a clear sense of self and do things by ourselves”

“We cherish our time together, expressing our appreciation of each other for little acts of kindness as well as major sacrifices. We treasure our memories and frequently remind each other of the good times.”

This is only a glimpse of what some contented partners have known.

Mature love Clearly a lasting relationship is something more than mere sexual pleasure, romantic sentiment, or emotional infatuation.

“You can tell that it’s infatuation when you think that he’s as sexy as Paul Newman, as athletic as Pete Rose, as selfless and dedicated as Ralph Nader, as smart as John Kenneth Galbraith and as funny as Don Rickles. You can be reasonably sure that it’s love when you realize he’s actually about as sexy as Don Rickles, as athletic as Ralph Nader, as smart as Pete Rose, as funny as John Kenneth Galbraith and doesn’t resemble Paul Newman in any way – but you’ll stick with him anyway.” (Judith Viorst)

Immature love has been called trying to fill loneliness or an emotional vacuum with a love relationship. Some psychotherapists have written about immature love saying it follows the principle “I love because I am loved” and ” I love you because I need you.” On the other hand they say that mature love, its opposite, follows the principle “I am loved because I love,” and “I need you because I love you.”

Not surprisingly, mature love is said to imply concern for the partner’s emotional and bodily needs, respect for their uniqueness, seeing them as they really are and helping them to grow and unfold in their own ways, for their own sake and not for serving oneself. We are told it involves entering and become familiar with the private world of the lover, to live in the other person’s life and sense his or her meanings and experiences.

Commitment Mature love involves commitment. But the issue of commitment seems difficult to many. Importantly, there is commitment to the exclusive nature of the relationship. Infidelity is a ‘no no.’ In line with the teachings of the world’s major religions, illicit sex and unchaste thoughts are to be avoided.

Over time, any deception destroys intimacy, and without intimacy couples cannot have true and lasting love.” (Bonnie Eaker Weil).

An affair is a betrayal of the trust that has been shared in marriage that is extremely hurtful to the innocent partner.

Neither can a lack of commitment to work on the relationship be seen as good news. There are bound to be problems in any sexual union and so if one gives up easily one could end up living with several partners without giving any of them a proper chance.

“Patience gives your spouse permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time that they deserve to correct it. It gives you the ability to hold on during the rough times in your relationship rather than bailing out under the pressure.” (Stephen Kendrick).

Origin of mature love So where does mature love come from? According to Emanuel Swedenborg it has a divine origin. This he calls ‘conjugial love’ which he says is a spiritual gift: it only flows into where it is wanted but when it flows it creates a deep sense of joy, contentment, and delight that lasts for ever. You might wonder whether this is the ‘happy ever after’ many have dreamed about?

Swedenborg maintains that if ‘conjugial love ‘is to be received it requires a man to be prepared to be influenced by his wife’s subjective feelings of care and sensitivity to personal issues. He needs to listen to her practical wisdom. And it requires a woman to be willing to learn from her husband’s objective and rational thinking. On the other hand,

“When a woman thinks her husband is a fool, her marriage is over. They may part in one year or ten; they may live together until death. But if she thinks he is a fool, she will not love him again.” (Philippa Gregory).

In other words lasting happiness requires a suitable love match where the two partners can progress together in their personal inner journey, being willing to prioritise each of their needs and humbly learn from each other by celebrating their different strengths.

Copyright 2012 Stephen Russell-Lacy

Tony Stewart Possible Champion For Nascar Sprint Cup

Tony Stewart who just might win the 2009 Sprint Cup Championship this year is also a man of many hats.  I am not talking about the souvenir hats that you can purchase at any of the Speedways that the Nascar circuit tours each season, but the many jobs that he has. 

Tony is currently the newest partner in the recently formed Stewart Haas Racing which was formed in 2008.  He hired fellow Indiana native, Ryan Newman to be the driver for the second team.  Tony also owns the legendary Eldora Speedway located near Rossburg, Ohio.  A half mile clay oval is host once a year to the elite of Nascar premier Sprint Cup Series for The Prelude to the Dream.  The Dream originated in 2005 and has raised over a million dollars for Kyle Petty’s Victory Junction Gang Camp, a camp for the terminally ill and chronically ill children located in North Carolina.  This year’s event is going to benefit Military Family charities such as The Wounded Warrior Project, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Operation Homefront and Fisher House programs.   Ryan Newman’s sponsor this year for his Sprint Cup car is the US Army.  Tony wanted to do something for our troops in honor of his company’s Army sponsorship for Ryan’s car. 

The lineup for “The Dream” this year is very impressive, it includes, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Robbie Gordon, Cruz Pedregon (NHRA favorite), Ryan Newman, and more.  Of course Tony Stewart will be driving his own late model car in the event also trying to defend his 2008 win.  If you can’t make it to the Eldora Speedway in Ohio, you can always watch the event live on the HBO pay per view channel for your area.  The money is donated to the various military programs that Tony has designated this year. 

I watched it last year and as an avid Nascar fan, it was a lot of fun to watch my favorite drivers in a relaxed setting, having fun driving on dirt not worrying about racing points or money as they usually do on 36 Sunday’s a year.