how to help your relationship stand the test of time
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Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman have separated after 30 years of marriage. Why does it feel so sad? Maybe because, in a reality-TV world, we are so used to seeing relationships go the way of Kim Kardashian. Here's how to put aside the sad news of spotlighted break-ups and focus on staying with your own leading man for 50 years (or more).
Stay Alive: This may sound like a smart-aleck answer, but it is true. Take a good look at yourself and realize that you’re not that strapping 20-something anymore and you have to take care of your health in order to make it to 50 years of marriage. Joe Hewitt, a retired pastor, mediator and married man of 50 years was blunt when asked how to make it to celebrate that many wedding anniversaries.
“To make it to the 50th wedding anniversary, first of all, the couple has to stay alive.” Make the choice and decision to be healthy for you, your partner and your family.
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Take Time to Talk: Life is busy for everyone at every stage of life, but it is vital to your marriage to take a time out each day and reconnect with your spouse. Christina Steinorth is a licensed psychotherapist and author in Santa Barbara, California and believes 30 minutes is all it takes to stay connected.
“With all the interruptions couples have between jobs, kids and smart phones, it’s very easy to lose touch with each other over the years, only to find out five or ten years down the line that you have very little in common anymore.”
If you can’t find a solid half-hour, Steinorth suggests breaking into 15-minute sessions. In-depth talks that will involve some Kleenex aren't necessary -- just some simple conversation. “Talk about your day, make plans for the weekend or even talk about current events," she advises -- all to build and maintain a strong bond.
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- Check-Ups: Everything we own needs maintenance: our cars, our teeth, even our technology need to be charged and updated. So why wouldn’t we do the same for a marriage? Dr. Carletta Perry, a psychology professor, therapist and relationship and life coach, tells couples not to be afraid of attending counseling, a workshop or a fun couples retreat.