What is the most important thing to remember when maintaining a long term relationship.
Making it Work
People are going to tell you a long list of what you need to have a successful relationship, and most of it is going to be great advice. Great things to have, but almost impossible to actually accomplish, at least 100% of the time.
The way I always tell people to look at it is your happiness, are you happy more then you are upset with the relationship? If its less then a 50/50 split, your in a bad place. Heck, if its a 50/50 split you might be in trouble.
Every relationship has its pitfalls and struggles, they aren't going to be sunny skies all the way though .There's going to be a lot of rainy days, and part of a relationship is making it through those rainy days. Making it out the other end holding the person you're withe's hand.
Commitment is a big word that people throw around, talking about the drive that you have to be with the person, how much you're willing to put into the relationship. Its a double edged sword though, and be careful with it. You might see a ton of "commitment" in the relationship, a lot of go to make this work, but there's boundaries, lines. If a part of the relationship is more committed then the other, its all going to collapse, sooner or later.
Now, don't get me wrong, there are points where life gets so crazy that the last thing on a persons's mind is "I have to give this relationship everything" and where they start just relying on it being there. Relying on the other person not to leave them while they get through.The dedication factor of a relationship. Which is the next point.
You need to have your goals set together on life if you're talking a long term relationship. The same goals, ideas, in making a future. Even if the talk isn't in the air on if your partner is going to be there at that point in time. You need to discuss who you plan to be ten years down the road. Make sure that the person your with is someone that can support you as you grow and move fully into your life.
You'll find one other big word out there, this huge word that everyone uses for long term relationships, and it can be the end of them very quickly. That's trust. You need trust in a relationship to make it work!
Bur, when things get tough, the fight or flight switch goes off in your head. You want to run away from the relationship or fight for it, and unfortunately when people have that flight switch go on, they obsess about things. They make themselves cut up a relationship and ask themselves, can i trust them? Are they cheating on me? How much haven't they told me? Don't fall victim to this! Every relationship has the little things that are lied about, be it your Beau not confessing he was looking at porn last night after you went to sleep, or a girl not mentioning the cute guy at the bar that bought her a drink. None of these things are reasons to end a relationship, but all of them would add stress in many relationships by the knowledge of.
To be honest you need to trust yourself more then you do the person your with. You need to trust yourself and your judgements not to betray the person your with, or unnessisarily damage their ego by telling them about silly little things, that in the end add up to nothing.
Monogamy is a big thing that a lot of people question. Are they ready to be with only this one person for the rest of their lives? To not seek out another friendly touch? And guess what? For a lot of people it's easy, for a lot of others its not. Not to scare anyone, but most couples do encounter one of the members having an affair of some kind. It might never have been followed through with, or it may have been followed through with a lot!
Affairs, cheating, they're all caused by one of a few things. Fear of the relationship being their last, and acting out on it. Not getting all of what they want from the relationship at home. Or having doubts in the relationship they have at home. Yes, sometimes its a revenge thing, a spited spouse acting out against maybe the partners choice of adultery.
Most people that have an affair actually have a better relationship after the fact with the person they were with originally because of the affair in the first place. They realize what was wrong and they strive to fix it.
The easiest way to avoid this violation of trust and hardship, is to communicate. Tell your partner whats wrong, don't let it pass you by and make your heart sick. Work through it, and make yourselves stronger for it. That's what a long term relationship is about. Living life together, and well, life isn't always an easy road to be on. There's a lot of rocky paths.
Just take each day on its own, learn from each other each day, and don't take your spouse or partner for granted. They are there for you, and sometimes life gets crazy and its easy to forget to tell them how grateful you are for them, but you need to. Or else things will start to break before your eyes. It's work, to make it all work. But it's worth it in the end, to have that other half of you when you go to sleep and you wake up.