Written by Latoya Andrews
Image by @jasminendaniels
Divorce currently seems like the in thing. It seems every other week a couple whom the world admired as “goals” is going their separate ways. As we currently sit in the first quarter of 2023, let me just note that January and March have been associated with separation and divorce in many articles and research outcomes.
Of course relationships can be hard and people do grow apart, however has till death do us part, lost all meaning in today’s society? With the strains of life it is very possible that throughout the span of a marriage there will be challenges that will require strength and commitment from both parties to overcome.
My personal experience of a 17 year relationship, means that I have pulled myself through the hardest times and swung from trees in our most loving moments. But through it all I do have a few principles that I stick to and so far they have been bulletproof to maintaining a sphere of solidity with my partner.
These 10 principles are:
Understanding that you do not own your partner, therefore they must live their own journey which is to align with your own.
Communication is key – be sure to share the likes and dislikes. If your partner does not know your preferences, chances are they’re going to make mistakes.
Allow each other space to grow and change but maintain togetherness by showing interest to your partners new path even if you don’t share the same passion for it. Learning your partner is a continuous journey.
Be ready to forgive often. Mistakes and challenges are what tests our commitment. How we learn to do be better is often through making errors.
Be prepared to feel sadness in your relationship. Negative emotions are a healthy part of emotional intelligence. As long as you can identify triggers for these feelings, communicate and work through them – there is no need to be overcome by sadness.
Compromise through it all. Just because you are together does not mean all your views will be in sync. But compromising through the differences allows for a balanced outlook – even if it is sometimes uncomfortable.
You will get the ick – but you will also get the butterflies. Focus on the latter. Work hard to create those moments which remind you why you first loved your partner. The qualities of a person usually remain.
Be patient. Periods of turmoil may last a little longer than you may wish – but once your over them the lessons learnt brings more understanding and clarity to your togetherness and individuality alike.
Seek professional input rather than from a friend or family member. Therapy is pricey however sharing with familiar people may result in continued grudges once the issue has passed.
At times love alone is not enough. But if you both have respect for each other and a common ground to forever work on your relationship, the cycle will turn and intertwine when most important.