What do you do to keep your relationship strong?

mscriv

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 14, 2008
4,911
586
Dallas, Texas
For those of you that don't already know or haven't read my signature, I'm a professional counselor and love doing marriage and relationship counseling. So, with that in mind I thought I would ask the following question. What are some of the things you and your partner do to keep your relationship healthy and strong? I think it's fascinating, educational, and inspirational to hear what individuals do for each other or what couples do together that helps maintain their relationship. Please don't be shy and know that there is no good or bad answer, it's your relationship not someone else's.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

One of the things my wife and I try to do consistently is keep the lines of communication going and be intentional about making a good portion of that communication genuine and positive praise for each other. The advent of texting has made this much easier in that we can bounce affectionate and loving messages to each other at random times of the day for no specific reason other than seeking to encourage, support, or express emotion to each other. A new thing we recently started is that I send her a daily email during the work week, so 5 of 7 days a week. This email is simply a list of characteristics/qualities about her that I love and appreciate. It's the same email every day with just something new added to the list and a brief explanation or commentary about it. The email is always entitled "What I love about you" and so far I've been consistent for almost a month now. If this sounds confusing, then here's an example. Number 17 on the list is:

17. I love that you enjoy silly fun like snowball fights and making snow angels. Whether we're playing with the boys or just having fun with each other you understand that life doesn't always have to be serious. I look forward to spending the rest of my life having fun with you.
My wife tells me that getting her daily email is the highlight of her day. It also helps me in that I am forced to look at things in a positive manner and am thus encouraged not to become critical, overly negative, or ungrateful.

Sorry for the long post, but I got carried away. So, your turn now, what do you and your partner do to keep your relationship healthy and strong?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,857
30,381
Boston
For me, I try to engage my wife a much as possible, listening to her telling her how much I care for her and doing small things for her.

Its not about buying your loved ones a lot of stuff but rather making them feel special and I believe that means being engaged to what's important to her and communicating.
 

ezzie

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2006
2,208
0
Baltimore, MD
The email thing seems interesting, mscriv. You have a very lucky wife. :)

I think you're right when you say texting makes it easier to express affection and the like...and that's one of the things we do on a daily basis, and it makes a big difference. I have no doubt in my mind that I'm very, very loved! :p

We make it a habit to touch each other often, even if it's just my hand on the small of his back while we're out shopping, or him brushing the hair back from my eyes while we're watching TV. Those things may seem unimportant, but closeness is key.

Also, we do our best to talk about things when they're bothering us, rather than letting things stew until a huge fight erupts. In the rare instance a huge fight does erupt, I think we do a good job of never saying hurtful things that can't be taken back. That's the kind of thing that keeps hurting long after the fight is over. :eek:

Last, but certainly not least, we don't take what we have for granted. Our relationship has been difficult and at times seemed impossible, yet here we are. We're both very thankful for what we have and we tell each other that often.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
not have one.


simple answer but speaks volumes.
I expected something like this from you. You do realize that it may not be a choice for you? ;) I do hope you find someone to love.

To keep things strong I bounce loving messages off mscriv's wife as well. :D
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
I spoof dirty text messages to ezzielu. She thinks they're coming from TDD. The way I see it, I'm helping their relationship while indulging in some sick stalking activity. Wait, what?


@mscriv, I think you're just looking for new things to suggest to your patients. ;)
 

redwarrior

macrumors 603
Apr 7, 2008
5,562
3
in the Dawg house
To keep things strong I bounce loving messages off mscriv's wife as well. :D
:p I love you, Jess, and you too ezzie. I just realized it's been awhile since I said that. :)

I think it's important to always put the other person first. I know, however, that this HAS to work both ways or it doesn't work at all.

But who am I to contribute to this thread? I will enjoy reading it, however. :)
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,552
2,886
I absolutely haven't got the foggiest! We've been together 8 years almost and it just works, I guess. And it scrolls like butter too.
We have similar interests and hobbies.
We have contrasting interests and hobbies.
We have similar personalities.
We have contrasting personalities.
 

kyzen

macrumors regular
Feb 8, 2010
134
0
Colorado
I try not to get caught buying apps from the iTunes "Explicit" category :D

Kidding aside, I'm not sure what makes us work so well. Just keeping communication going, and being sure to balance "together time" with time on our own to do the things we like to do that the other doesn't necessary want/need to be involved in.
 

mscriv

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 14, 2008
4,911
586
Dallas, Texas
To keep things strong I bounce loving messages off mscriv's wife as well. :D
I was wondering why she's been so frisky lately?!? Whatever you said to her Monday night, please say it again because the results were quite enjoyable. ;)

@mscriv, I think you're just looking for new things to suggest to your patients. ;)
*puts pad and pen down*

I'm not sure what you're getting at there. :eek:

I think it's important to always put the other person first. I know, however, that this HAS to work both ways or it doesn't work at all. But who am I to contribute to this thread? I will enjoy reading it, however. :)
Wise words from someone who's opinion I find to be usually on target. So let's stop all the self-depricating talk now shall we? :)


Edit:
I try not to get caught buying apps from the iTunes "Explicit" category :D .... being sure to balance "together time" with time on our own to do the things we like to do that the other doesn't necessary want/need to be involved in.
My therapist alarm bells are going off! The professional counselor translation of the above is, "I'll use humor to soften and blur the truth that I justify to myself that I do things on my own time that may or may not involve explicit activity that my partner does not need to know about". ;)
 

kyzen

macrumors regular
Feb 8, 2010
134
0
Colorado
My therapist alarm bells are going off! The professional counselor translation of the above is use humor to soften and blur the truth that I justify to myself that I do things on my own time that may or may not involve explicit activity that my partner does not need to be involved in. ;)
Lol... I more meant that she likes to read quite a bit, which is rather difficult for us to do together. Meanwhile, I like trudging around in the mud and snow with my camera, or lounging about playing WoW. Having our own interests that we spend time with seems to make the time we spend together more worthwhile.
 

mscriv

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 14, 2008
4,911
586
Dallas, Texas
Lol... I more meant that she likes to read quite a bit, which is rather difficult for us to do together. Meanwhile, I like trudging around in the mud and snow with my camera, or lounging about playing WoW. Having our own interests that we spend time with seems to make the time we spend together more worthwhile.
"WTF!, how did he know that! I'll write something that makes it sound better."

*Furious backpeddle typing ensues*

Yep, even over the internet, I'm that good! ;)
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
That was in the heat of the moment, and while good and necessary, I also think the sincerely felt statement should be made a public gesture at times.
I loves you too lady. :)
I try not to get caught buying apps from the iTunes "Explicit" category :D
I seriously LOL'ed.
I was wondering why she's been so frisky lately?!? Whatever you said to her Monday night, please say it again because the results were quite enjoyable. ;)
Ok I will try but there was booze involved. :eek:
 

TechieJustin

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2009
270
0
Pennsylvania, USA
My last girlfriend whom I dated for two years - I did everything right. Remembered her birthday, communicated, talked to her about everything - everything the OP outlined.
It didn't work. She switched religions and said I could either convert or hit the road. I'm Italian, so being Catholic is part of my heritage. I hit the road.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,647
661
Colly-fornia
What do you do to keep your relationship strong?

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andalusia

macrumors 68030
Apr 10, 2009
2,945
5
Manchester, UK
We use the Relationship-asizer. It works out your relationship in just 10 minutes a day while you sit on the couch and watch TV. Your relationship will be toned and firm with just 6 weeks of regular use. Just 5 easy payments of $129.99. Plus it folds up and goes under the couch when you're done with it. Why pay a counselor bags of money, when for just dollars a day you can have the same effect from the comfort of your own home?






(Results not guaranteed, product may or may not exist, 6-week time frame includes professional counseling, not responsible for relationship failure as a result of use of this product. Consult a physician before beginning any workout regimen.)
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redwarrior

macrumors 603
Apr 7, 2008
5,562
3
in the Dawg house
I leave for a few days. Or she leaves for a few days. :)
Well, you guys don't have much of a choice. :) It's nice to know that it works for you.

I guess that is key too - couples have to decide for themselves what is right for them and not try to pattern their relationship on others.

I have always wondered about the whole "time apart" thing. My parents have been married for over 60 years and are never ever apart. Several years back, about 15 to be exact, my dad went on a trip with me for 3 days and said he would never do that again. He was miserable without my mom and was like a school kid calling her constantly. They are still inseparable and completely live for each other.

I want that, but it's hard to put my finger on what exactly makes a concrete relationship like that, as much as I have tried to pay attention. Selflessness is the one trait that is very apparent.