This morning Facebook reminded me that three years ago (today), one of my friends posted something on her status that prompted me to shared my thoughts on the topic. Today I revisited that memory, and my feelings about her personal thoughts and my own, have only been amplified…tenfold.
My friend often posts about her life; a life which she happily shares with her beloved husband of 29+ years. I enjoy her posts… In fact, I look forward to them because she is REAL. She shares her thoughts with friends in such a candid way, I often have the feeling I am right there beside her, witnessing what she is describing, as it happens.
On that particular day she mentioned missing her husband when they are apart, and though she felt silly about voicing it, I thought it was one of her most adorable and REAL stats ever.
When I was younger, in my late 20’s, early 30’s, I often asked myself what made a relationship last so long, and just as often the question went unanswered. Luckily, with age comes wisdom, and wisdom is perhaps the most valuable mental power we possess; the one which allows us to see life and its many aspects in a new, more accurate and revealing light. I am now in my mid 40’s, and though I might not have all the (accurate) answers, I do have a better understanding of what makes it work.
So…what makes a relationship last so long? What makes the embers of what once was a hot burning fire, continue to glow brightly after so many years? Some say communication, others say trust, but “we” the romantics say love. I personally believe love is the fundamental emotion in a relationship; however, “Man does not live by bread alone”, and the same can be said about man and love.
A relationship cannot depend solely on any one emotion in order to blossom, thrive and survive. It needs the added assurance and security of other feelings as well. Loyalty, trust, understanding, companionship, intimacy, and other factors need to come together in harmony, in order to carry two people along the hard road to everlasting happiness. Sadly, relationships today are more often strikingly out of tune, making the highly desired harmony almost impossible to attain.
The one thing my sweet friend says has contributed to her lasting marriage is the mutual appreciation she and her husband have for each other. I wholeheartedly believe and agree with her.
Regardless of how much love is shared, the appreciation factor weighs heavily in a relationship. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that it is in appreciating the (often small) things done and said to one another, that we perpetuate the motivation towards the rest; after all, the patience, understanding, and even acceptance suffer when we do not feel appreciated. But when we do, our mindset and our demeanor speak volumes.
In short, appreciation makes us feel valued, which in turn helps us become happier versions of ourselves, ultimately leading us to love.
Appreciation, Happiness & Love… Perhaps it really is that simple.