If you search Amazon.com for advice on relationships or marriage, you will find over 279,000 books on the subject. You can read all of them OR you can open your heart to advice from Nancy and me, a couple who have been in love for sixty-six years and married for sixty-one. Based on experience, which I am told is the best teacher, here are five commandments for a lasting relationship.
Thou shall be totally committed to each other. A relationship or marriage that stands the test of time requires that you be tenacious in your love for each other. A good relationship requires that you have a “capacity for tenacity.”
Thou shall always treat your partner with courtesy and consideration. “Please, thank you, you’re welcome, excuse me, I’m sorry and you’re forgiven” should be common language between you. Sarcastic humor, wisecracks, humiliating digs or crude language that demeans your partner are not part of a loving relationship.
Thou shall communicate with your partner with candor and frankness. A relationship built on honesty and straightforwardness is vital in a marriage that stands the test of time. Also remember communication is not limited to words. Touching, holding hands, hugging and kissing are constant reminders of your love and affection for each other.
Thou shall have a penchant for humor. A good sense of humor is the best antidote for anxiety and depression and the most direct route to serenity and contentment. Laugh often, laugh long, and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself.
Finally, thou shall commune together with your God. If you ask God to be present in your relationship, He will bless and strengthen your togetherness and heal your relationship when there are problems. That’s one reason those couples who attend church regularly have the lowest divorce rate.
Follow these commandments and you too may celebrate sixty-six years of a loving relationship with the same partner.