Is advice from a 60 year relationship worth listening to? I think so! My in-laws have just celebrated their 60 year anniversary, and recently my mother-in-law had some words of wisdom that she shared with me. One of her grandchildren had asked her “how can you tell when you are in love”, and this is what she said.
“How do you tell when you’re in love? I had to stop and think. My mind came up with several words- all that begin with the letter P.
Privacy– way up there as a priority, it lets a person feel free and be himself.
Passion– way up there too, what’s the fun without it?
Politeness, Persistence, and Patience
Politeness– way up there, treat the one you love as politely as you would a stranger. Other basics- bite your tongue, don’t put words in the air you’ll have to apologize for later, and perhaps, most of all, a wanting more to be with someone than not to be with someone.”
“A person needs to fall in love over and over again- how nice if it’s with the same person each time!
People change and I believe about every five years you recognize, hey, is he (she) different now? Then it’s time to take inventory of yourself and your life, and for me, to remember back to how loving someone all started and finding if the spark is still there? For me, the answer keeps being Yes, and I find myself really falling in love again. That’s what makes life fun- with the new person that I’m living with.”
My father-in-law also put in his two cents at our wedding. He was asked by the DJ what he thought the best relationship advice was- and his answer? Just one word- “Trust”.
Personally, I don’t have the experience and wisdom of 60 years behind me, but I have seen quite a few couples over the years in the practice. It’s very true= the couples that do well with improving their relationships are patient and kind to each other, and willing to see each other from a new perspective, even through some really difficult times. Couples that treat each other with disrespect and disdain are destined for divorce. (I know, a lot of “D words” but it’s true.) Fondness and admiration can go a long way in helping to solve problems, generate resolutions and create intimacy.
So, take these words of wisdom from a successful, long term relationship to heart. And to my mother-in-law:
Thank you, Phyl, for the sage words and wisdom from the heart. I truly appreciate you being a marriage mentor in my life.