This week, we’re celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary and it seemed appropriate to talk about what we’ve learned about making love last.
When we got together, we didn’t want to re-create our previous marriages to other people that ended in divorce so we knew we had to do some things differently.
Our focus became learning how to communicate with love and treating ourselves and our beloved with respect and kindness.
But here’s what we truly learned over the years…
One of the tricks to making love last is to know that you don’t focus on making love last…
You focus on this present moment and showing up as love as much of the time as possible and as big of an example as love as possible.
When you do, the lasting love part takes care of itself.
If you want love to last, be amazing, beautiful, and wonderful…
Focus on what’s good and what you love, like and appreciate about that other person instead of what you find objectionable, upsetting or what you’d like to change.
Of course, over the 20-some years we’ve been together, there have been things we wanted to change about the other person.
(That’s normal and we’d be lying if we said that nothing had come up that really irritated us about the other person.)
But here’s what we’ve learned…
Appreciate the differences between the two of you instead of focusing on trying to change them.
Take something as simple and small as Otto’s love for going to yard sales.
Susie doesn’t like looking through people’s stuff they want to get rid of and is in favor of getting rid of “stuff” instead of accumulating more.
So going “yard-saling” isn’t what she enjoys!
While it’s tempting for Susie to make Otto wrong because his views are different–and Otto to make Susie wrong because she has a different outlook…
We’ve come around to not doing that because we realized that contempt can grow from even the smallest issue of making the other person wrong.
And contempt ends love and relationships.
We came to a loving agreement about what’s brought home from yard sales–and it took listening to each other without making the other wrong and appreciating different outlooks on life.
This is a tiny example of what we’re talking about…
Allowing love to keep growing instead of eroding away over small resentments that can become overwhelming and kill love over time.
So many people make the mistake of thinking that the goal is to make love last…
To make it last a lifetime with one particular person instead of staying in the present moment.
In the present moment is where the possibilities are for deeper love for yourself, for your special partner and for others you come in contact with.
That’s where you’ll find lasting love.