Falling in love with healthier, happier relationships.
Three years into our marriage and I feel closer to my husband than ever before.
Truthfully, we have to be close at this point, we’ve been together through thick and thin at our highest and at our lowest points. But there’s an essence there now that wasn’t there before; a knowing, a gentleness, a comfort. Relationships aren’t easy. In fact, they can be down right hard. I’ve had plenty of chances to take the the blogosphere to talk about our relationship, but I never felt the draw. Until last week… I saw my husband in downward dog, sweating it out, in the yoga class I was teaching. And watching him there, I felt something warm in my heart; he was supporting me even in something he had no interest in. He was straining and pushing and still looking up at me with this glowing look in his eye. That real love look that you only see in genuine eyes. 11 years in and he still supports me…even in downward dog. Here are 4 steps that we have learned together for a healthy, happy relationship and marriage:
1. Establish Trust
We didn’t always have trust and because of this we had a shaky start. Then again, we were in our early 20’s, had lots of baggage, and were still uncertain of our own wants and needs. But in my senior year of college I took a Human Sexuality course and he decided to sign up too. It was a very fascinating class- learning the history of sexuality, psychology, and love. In the class, we were asked to draw a house of what our relationship looked like and then label the house with words that define our relationship. Both of us put trust at the bottom– the foundation of the house. In that moment, we put all the trust issues behind us. We started to really communicate and just be honest. In this honesty, we know we can always be truthful with each other and trust each other. We tell each other exactly as we feel- even when it hurts- with no questions asked.
2. Make Your Partner a Priority
When you list your top five priorities in life, your partner should always be in the top three (if not the top spot). Not number four, not number 11, not number 15, but right there in the top three. You have to prioritize your relationship and make time for it. You have to put effort into it and treat it like a plant that you have to water and nurture. The more you allow the relationship to slide down your priority list, the more you will argue and the more you will become disconnected. Throughout our relationship, I have enjoyed feeling like a priority and making him a priority. It acknowledges that you have something special. That you care about each other. And that’s significant with any relationship.
3. Talk it Out
If something is bothering you and you hold it inside, it will only lead to resentment. Bottling up emotions is something I knew a lot about. When we started dating, it’s all I knew. I didn’t understand discussing feelings or being emotionally vulnerable. You see, in my household when I was growing up, crying was a sign of weakness and emotions were never discussed. Instead, we would all just bottle up our feelings until someone exploded. Not healthy, not at all. Through this relationship I have learned to always be truthful and honest with my feelings, even if they hurt. Rob and I communicate best when we hash out our differences right away and not let them build over time. We may argue, we may not see eye to eye, but he always knows where I stand and I always know where he stands. There are no veils, no walls, no lies. As they say, communication is key.
4. Separate But Together
You have to be separate but together. I don’t mean to separate literally, I mean to separate yourselves from being a unit all the time. To live your own individual lives and then come together as a couple. So many people forget the crucial step of allowing each other to thrive. In any healthy relationship, your partner should encourage you to be the best person you possibly can be, and you should encourage your partner in the same way. You both have to be beautiful flowers, enjoying your time in the sun. When you first start dating, it’s normal to want to do everything together, but as your relationship matures you should both have your own goals, interests, dreams, and relationships with friends and family. If you neglect those things and only focus on each other, you are just hurting yourselves. Instead of wrapping your lives into each other and growing together as a big ugly weed…try to nurture each other as two beautiful flowers that grow together. —————————————————————————————-
About the Author
Suki Eleuterio is a writer, energy healer, yoga teacher and poet living in South Florida. As the creative mind behind Sookton’s Space and Found My Light, she enjoys writing and discussing spirituality, holistic health, and vegetarianism. Growing up in Kenya with parents from different religious and cultural backgrounds, Suki has spent time finding her own path. You can follow her musings on Twitter and Instagram.