The One Conversation that can Help your Relationship Last Forever

The One Conversation to Make your Relationship Last Forever

My husband Angelo and I will be celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary next week. One of my favorite thing about our connection, is that we are always striving to make our relationship stronger and better than before.

Angelo and I are very different people, but we have similar values. We both truly appreciate and honor our family life, and we also have various other interests that we are involved in separately. I believe that in ordered to be a fulfilled person, it’s both healthy and necessary to have our own interests outside of our relationships, but if we are not careful, these outside interests can easily start to cause a rift in our partnership. The good news is that this is something that can be easily addressed.

As we go through different life stages as individuals, it is common to go through periods of time where we feel disconnected, or like we are drifting apart in our relationships. It is normal for this to happen, but the important thing is to take notice of it, and know what you need to do to bring yourself and your partner back together.

Remember that being in a marriage or long term relationship is a decision that you make over and over again to be life partners and go through life together. With communication, honesty, and love, it is possible to remain committed to one another and fall even deeper in love as you navigate your individual paths.

I believe that the best way to do this is to hold periodic “State of Our Union” meetings with your partner! This is simply time dedicated to having a conversation that addresses where you each are on your individual life paths and in your joint life together. Here are my tips for getting the most out of these meetings and having a positive interaction.

1) Get your partner on board.
A serious conversation is not something that you should spring on your partner casually while you are making dinner and your kids are screaming in the next room. Let your partner know that you have been feeling a little distant, and would like to set aside time to discuss what is and isn’t working for each of you in your relationship. Ask your partner to take some time to think about what they think is going well, and also the areas that need some work. Remember that relationships are a two way street, so it important to have both of your points of view heard.

2) Make it fun!
Plan a date night, light some candles, have a few drinks, or go on a day date to the beach. Just because your conversation is serious doesn’t mean that it has to be boring or heavy. In fact, you will both feel more comfortable opening up if you are enjoying each other and having fun together.

3) Start with the positive.
Start with discussing the things that you LOVE about one another and that you think are going GREAT in your relationship. This will set the tone for the rest of the conversation, and remind you why you are choosing to be together in the first place.

4) Discuss your challenges.
Ask your partner what they see as the challenges in your relationship, or what you could be doing better. Then tell them what you see as areas of improvement. Chances are you will have some similarities here, but keep in mind that perspective is everything in relationships, so you each may be looking at situations differently. Be open to feedback and receptive to your partner’s suggestions.

5) Create a game plan.
Now that you know what’s going well and what needs improvement, it’s time to create a game plan for how you will make your relationship better. Start with deciding to keep doing the things that are working, and then implement a plan for what you will do to change the things that aren’t. Get creative, but also be realistic. You don’t have to change things drastically overnight. Small steps in the right direction are the perfect place to start in order to move towards your goal of a loving, lasting relationship.

And that’s it! I recommend doing this exercise at least once per season, or during times of transition or major life stressors. Open communication and receptivity are the number one way to remain connected to your partner and keep your connection strong.

Wishing you a week of love + connection.

Be well,
Ambar

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How to Keep your Love Alive through the Seasons of Life

How to Keep Your Love Alive

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about the different seasons of relationships. I’m blessed to be married to an incredible, hard-working man who I love very much. But that doesn’t mean that things are always perfect for us. Marriage is a commitment and relationships take work. In order to make your love last, you have to put in the time and effort to establish a strong foundation to help you weather the different seasons of life.

Every relationship starts out in Summer. This is the beginning of the relationship, when you are first starting out on your journey together. Things are hot, sexy, and fun. My husband Angelo and I were lucky to have a long season of summer early on in our relationship. We were together for 4 years before getting married, and then enjoyed being newlyweds for 2 years before I became pregnant. We truly took the time to get to know one another, to travel, and to have adventures. This helped us set the foundation for the next season: Autumn.

I think of the time in which I was pregnant as Autumn. It was a time of shedding and letting go of our old personas and identities as we prepared to welcome our baby into the world. We knew that our lives were about to change drastically, and it was a time of releasing all of the habits and routines that would no longer serve us once we were parents. There is a big identity shift that happens when you become parents. During autumn, we started preparing for the inevitable change that was on the way.

When our daughter June was born, Angelo and I entered the season of Winter in our relationship. During this time, our romance took a backseat as the priority shifted to nurturing our beautiful baby girl. It was a time of quiet hibernation and our relationship entered survival mode. We were doing all we could to keep ourselves and our baby alive during this huge life adjustment. Winter can be cold and brutal, but it has its own unique beauty that can be found when you take the time to look for it. It also helps to know that this is a season, and that Spring is coming.

Angelo and I are currently in the Springtime. Our daughter is now 19 months old, and we have adjusted to life as a family of 3. We love being parents, and now that our daughter is slightly more independent, we have more time to focus on our relationship. We are in a season of renewal and rebirth. We are figuring out a way to get to know each other again as the new people that we’ve become. We are spending more time alone together and starting to re-prioritize our relationship. This is not always easy, but we are making an effort to allow our love to bloom.

As you can see, things are not always perfect in my marriage. But we are committed to navigating life together and maintaining a strong love for one another. I am very much aware that my relationship with my husband will be the model for my daughter’s future relationships. I want her to grow up in a home with two loving parents who have a healthy relationship. I think that there are 3 key things that create a solid foundation for any relationship:

1) Be besties.
Your partner should be your best friend. This is the person you have chosen to share your life with, so it is important that you share your life with them! Be open with each other. Share your hopes, dreams and secrets with one another. Confide in each other. Spend quality time together. Go on adventures. Have fun. Laugh.

2) Be intimate.
A relationship requires intimacy. Your partner should be your best friend, but not be ONLY your best friend. Being intimate is what crosses you over from being friends to being a couple. Keep that in mind. Be lovers. Even if you’re too tired, or not in the mood. Make an effort. At the very least, be affectionate. Cuddle together. Hold hands. Kiss. Hug. Make out. We all want to feel desired. A little physical touch can go a long way in sustaining a healthy relationship.

3) Be supportive.
You and your partner should be each other’s biggest cheerleaders in life. Encourage each other to have outside interests. Take an interest in one another’s hobbies. Allow your partner to be a happy, fulfilled individual, and do whatever you have to do to make sure that you are one as well! Praise your significant other. Acknowledge when they do something right, not just when they do something wrong. Cheer them on and do whatever you can to help them achieve their goals. Encourage one another. Cheer for each other. When one of you wins, you both win.

In my 9 year relationship, I’ve found that these 3 things are vital to making sure that my marriage is headed in the right direction. When I notice that Angelo and I are arguing a lot, or that things are a little off, I check in with these 3 ground rules, and usually notice that at least one of them is not being met. Having these guidelines gives me a great reference for knowing what I need to do to maintain a strong marriage no matter which season of life we happen to find ourselves in.

The media leads us to believe that a good relationship is one in which you are in an endless summer, but that’s just not true or realistic. Your seasons may look different from mine, depending on your life circumstances, but make no mistake, every relationship has its seasons. Create a strong foundation and you will find that you have what it takes to shelter you through any kind of weather.

Happy Valentine’s week my beautiful friends! Wishing you a beautiful week full of LOVE!

Be well,
Ambar

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