As you settle into a long-term relationship, you settle into its particular rhythm. Every relationship has one and every rhythm is unique to that relationship. Sometimes you will affect your relationship; sometimes life will impact its ebb and flow. Either way, you can be sure that your path will not be a smooth ride without any bumps or detours. Yours may look something like this—
Everything has been going just fine for some time until one day you discover that your significant other has kept something from you. You experience an upset and the relationship feels rocky. After some weeks of arguing, distancing, discussing and forgiving, the relationship feels good once again and a deeper sense of intimacy ensues. You feel very much in love and are relieved that the crisis has passed and the relationship survived. Time moves forward—you both get busy with work and day to day responsibilities. You enjoy the feeling of normalcy as you move through life together until one day you begin to feel ignored and bored. You realize that you aren’t having sex as much or as passionately. You notice that you spend more time at home watching TV than having a nice time out together. You don’t know what happened. Your significant other is experiencing the same thing but is less inclined to do anything about it. You begin to plan some fun things to do but are secretly resentful that your partner is not doing the same. You feel alone and sad. Some time passes and you receive an invitation to a friend’s wedding. You both have such a great time dancing at the wedding that you decide to sign up for a dance class together. This class ends up being a blessing. You and your partner feel reconnected. New life has been ignited into the relationship. More time passes and one day your significant other tells you that he’s been laid off from work. Despite all his efforts, he has difficulty finding work and sinks into a depression. You feel helpless, not knowing how to help him and the future feels less secure. More time goes by and…
More from YourTango: Watch Out! You are in Phase One!
You get the picture. It’s called Life. People who have been in long-term relationships and marriages will all tell you the same thing—long-term relationships require a long-term perspective. There will always be moments when things feel great, good, okay, challenging, and at the brink of disaster. Life guarantees it. Patience is what enables you to win. People who practice patience are better equipped to get through the tough times and relish the good times. Patience understands that