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Post No.: 0771wedding


Furrywisepuppy says:


A thriving romantic relationship isn’t just about remembering and attending to Valentine’s Days, wedding anniversaries, birthdays and other special days – it’s about being conscientious and considerate to your partner every single day. (It’s just like appreciating your colleagues in the workplace isn’t just about partaking in a couple of symbolic ‘team bonding’ events each year!) We may think that doing thoughtful, fun and special things too often will mean that they’ll cease to feel special anymore, but the key is to not ever take any kind gestures for granted and to understand that the little, regular gestures matter just as much as, and sometimes even more than, the big ones.


Momentous as it may be, even the wedding day is just one day, and one day it’ll be history in mere photographs, videos and memories. But a marriage is every single present day and the foreseeable forever future hence it requires thought and effort every single present day. So never take each other or what you do for each other for granted. Take nothing for granted. Regardless of how good and how long the past together has been, or how much has been done in the past – it’s the past – and every new day needs love in the present and happy plans for the future because we shouldn’t live for the sake of what has been done (or not done) in the past but for the sake of the best for today and tomorrow. Discuss and visualise your future plans together – always have exciting or nice things to look forward to.


The aim of a great marriage is for the relationship to feel like it gets better every year, rather than feeling like it peaked on your wedding day (and therefore it’s been downhill ever since(!)) Don’t pin all of your expectations on the ‘perfect wedding’. It’s a really special day – maybe the most furry special day you’ll both ever have – but it is, at the end of the day, just one day. A wedding should not be viewed as the pinnacle, prize or endgame but merely the beginning. (It’s just like passing your exams and graduating is just the beginning of your career, and really your education and growth should never ever stop.)


So don’t put all of your joyful emotions, money and good memories on that one day and on the honeymoon that you end up neglecting to anticipate and plan for joyful moments in all the other days that’ll follow. Certainly don’t risk entering into debt for the sake of hosting the most lavish wedding that tries to impress the guests or outdo the weddings of one’s peers – financial problems are a common reason why marriages collapse.


So a happily enduring relationship needs to be constantly attended to and worked at. Lust only lasts up to a few years max – read Post No.: 0747 to understand how lust and love are different states. The first thing is to never stop doing the things you both were doing at the beginning of your relationship – the very things that attracted you both to each other! But do introduce a bit of variety into your relationship to lessen hedonic adaptation or the effect of getting used to good things. Don’t get into an ‘autopilot rut’.


Lots of small, thoughtful gifts and gestures are generally worth more than big, expensive one-off gifts or gestures overall. Experiential gifts create fond memories of being together. Physical gifts can help you to remember each other too, as the objects will come to be associated with each other. Personally meaningful gifts are the most thoughtful. And non-perishable gifts will last longer.


Couples who play together stay together. So don’t stop the play! Stay fun-loving even as you age. ‘Other-directed’ play – the type that draws others into silliness and good spirits – is the best kind of play to keep a relationship strong. So be a bit silly and appreciate the goofiness in your partner, and do whatever makes you both smile and laugh. Embrace the cringe why not! Behaving romantically is vital, and it’s best when it’s not stuffy and always formal I’d say. (It’s the case that people often throw up watching other couples lose themselves in romantic frolics though(!)) Foster positive emotions, and savour the good times together.


You must continue to invest in each other. Investing in your partner in time, attention, emotions and resources will make it feel harder for you to leave them, and for your partner to leave you if your partner invests in you too. This is exploiting the effect of sunk costs but it’s okay, wholesome and healthy here as long as the investment is mutual.


Continue to have an impact on each other. You should always be growing in mind and soul as individuals, and be cultivating each other’s mutual growth as people. Also make sure your partner knows that they have had, and they continue to have, a positive and central impact on you and your life by telling them so. Woof!


Yet don’t expect a perfect relationship – disappointing days or moments are bound to happen so adjust your expectations. No one can ever match all of your desires absolutely – like being able to mind-read you and fetch you a drink every single time you’re thirsty!


Seek a secure interdependence – a balance between being okay by oneself yet being vulnerable and open to your partner and what they can offer, which includes such things as having your own individual interests, as well as activities you both do together. Some people feel vulnerable in a relationship because they think it means losing their own independence, and having to depend on someone else leaves them feeling uncomfortable – but we can find that balance and a secure and trusting interdependence. Well some independence is fine and even encouraged, like to pursue your own hobbies even if your partner doesn’t want to share in them. And it’s okay to find other people apart from your partner to meet some of your needs i.e. don’t ask for everything from one person because this is unreasonable. No one individual alone can fulfil all of our needs – as in we need some time and space to spend with other friends and family in our lives too, without jealousy from our partner.


‘Operational closeness’ is sharing daily tasks and organising life together, and ‘emotional closeness’ is understanding and appreciating the experiences and feelings of each other. Both are vitally important ‘until death do us part’.


Do pay attention and gratitude to the everyday joys, gifts and thoughtful gestures. Actively pay gratitude to your partner and what they do. Never neglect the power of affectionate physical touch – the hugs, kisses and more :*. Positively celebrate and delight in their joys and good news, as well as empathise with and be there for them concerning their bad news. Be there for them ‘in sickness and in health’.


Give them the benefit of the doubt whenever something doesn’t go to plan – so first assume they’re late because of a valid reason rather than because of a lack of respect for you. Assume the best regarding surprise kind gestures and compliments too – so first assume they’re being especially thoughtful right now because they love you rather than because they must be feeling guilty of something. Well if you think they’re hiding something negative from you then find and record evidence before accusing them. If you don’t know then ask, don’t assume. If there is a problem then talk instead of expecting them to read your mind. Then listen.


Try to view any conflicts from a third-party perspective because sometimes things do get blown out of all proportion. Understand again that relationships require attentiveness and energy rather than expecting everything to be effortlessly sublime – understand that problems can be resolved with work too (cultivate a growth mindset and see problems as opportunities to learn about each other to deepen the relationship). Lower your expectations during certain times such as around the birth of a new child, a tough period in the workplace, a family illness or even just after getting married when there is much stress and upheaval in your lives but that you know will only be temporary.


Communicate empathically at all times, be responsive to their needs and desires, validate them and their feelings, and genuinely care for their well-being.


…So falling in love then getting married – special as the big wedding day may be – isn’t the finish line but is just the start because love needs to be continually nurtured. It’s not ‘and then we lived happily ever after’ – at least without the ongoing work being dedicated and committed to the relationship. (Therefore, ironically, the romantic notion that lasting love just lazily or automatically happens because it’s down to fate, rather than down to our conscientious efforts, can extinguish a bond quite quickly!) Love is a verb; love is a doing word.


Woof! Everlasting relationships feel like they get stronger every year, and key to this is the constant endeavour invested into them. Continue to make happy memories together by continually doing the kind of things that attracted you both together in the first place. Don’t forget to continue playing and finding the humour, and showing appreciation and gratitude towards each other. Whether you’re looking forward to it or it has already happened – the wedding day is just one day out of hopefully many thousands together…


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