One of the perks that comes with lots and lots of work travel is spending time in airports. I know what you’re thinking, but just hear me out!
It’s not that I like germy, dirty spaces with gross and overpriced food, but I do like talking to people at airports. It’s one of the only places left in the world where you can actually have a no strings attached conversation with a human being.
People in airports are bored before they board. They are sometimes lonely missing their family and because they know they will most likely never see you again they will share a LOT of really fascinating personal information. Sometimes it is definitely too much information, but once I’ve started a good chat with someone and I can tell they have been married or in a relationship for a long time I always ask them one question:
“What is your secret?”
They usually laugh, but then they get quiet and really think. I have never met someone who did not have a unique or interesting piece of advice! I’ve included the best tips I’ve learned in my airport journeys below and I have also included wonderful advice from fellow bloggers who have been in relationships for a decade or more. Being a 15-year relationship vet myself, I could not agree more wholeheartedly with the wisdom shared below, and I am extremely grateful for the people who have shared their tips with me throughout the years.
1. You Have to Laugh
This is a common one I hear from relationship veterans. I love it when people tell me this, because you can’t always initially tell that that these folks have a sense of humor. I think it’s about the inside jokes and knowing someone intimately for that long that makes laughing after 20, 30 and 40 years a common occurrence.
And Emma from https://www.emmareed.net weighs in: “I’d have to say that along the way you will both change especially as you gain more responsibilities and have children but as long as you talk, still have fun, still do things as a couple, you will grow together and not apart.”
2. Choose Your Battles
If I had to personally provide one piece of relationship advice after 15 years, this would be it. My husband is not perfect. He loves to smoke cigars and throws the remote at the TV when the Yankees lose. But he is home with his family watching sports and smoking a Cigar. If he’s here helping, parenting and giving our kids love it’s easy to overlook a lot of the small things that couples often fight about.
And Mel of https://www.thisdoesnotdefineus.com who has been in her relationship for 18 years says: “Best piece of advice we’ve both had to learn is love is a choice, not just a feeling. We can choose to respond in love or chose to blow up. We can choose to seek ways to make their lives better/happier/easier with love or we can choose not to. I don’t always choose love obviously but when I do, man does it go better. We cannot expect “feelings” to last a lifetime.
Kate from www.mumfromdownunder.com says “ The best advice we received is “never go to bed angry”. We always try to resolve any argument before we go to sleep.”
3. Space and Independence are Key!
Debbie from http://www.mumstheboss.co.uk notes “We’ve been together 23 years & married 17. We are both quite extreme introverts. For us it has been really helpful to accept that the other one sometimes needs alone time and that is fine. We have separate hobbies & then we have more to talk about when we are together.”
And Faith from http://www.raisingmoonbows.com who has been married for sixteen years says “One tip is to have something that you go and do such as an interest or hobbies on your own. Those times give you that me time everyone really needs”
4. Maintain a Healthy Support Network
Psychologists have long said that having friends is key to a successful relationship because close relationships outside of your primary relationship can help illustrate different perspectives and ways of thinking which can, in turn, help you see your spouse’s perspective or a potential argument in a new light.
Kate from https://www.kateonthinice.com says “Ensure both of you retain a support network because long-term relationships can go wrong and will always have some bumps in the road”
5. Date Your Spouse
Heather from https://coffeemomrepeat.com says “The best advice we ever received was “never stop dating your spouse.”
Samantha from https://www.stressedmum.co.uk notes the importance of keeping the spark alive. “We have been together for 20 years and married for 17 years. Communication is key and making time for each other we have date nights. Remember why you fell in love with each other before kids and daily life.”
Rachel from https://www.outandaboutmummy.com notes: “We’ve been together for 16 years, married for 9. My best piece of advice is make the effort and find the time for just the two of you. Spend time together without the kids, even if it’s enjoying a nice meal once they’re in bed. Life is so busy (especially with three little ones) but remembering who you both are not as parents is so important.”
Vicki from https://www.victoria-kirk.co.uk/ says: “I’ve been with my husband for 17 years and married for 8. Our biggest tip is to have a hobby that you can do together (ours is running – now we do it with the kids in the buggy too), but then also make time for having a hobby of your own, so that you get some time and space just for you. It’s hard as life gets crazy busy (we have a 3 year old and an 18 m old) but making time for each other, and making time just for you is so important.”
6. Know Yourself and Your Own Values
Hayley who writes at www.hayleytwheeler.co.uk says “We have been together 20 years, married for 15yrs, 4 kids. I’ve learnt to be the best partner you can be you have to be the best you can be. Self knowledge is a super power™️ the more you know about yourself the better informed you are with regard to the type of relationship you deserve and create.
Being with someone is not about giving up your power, it’s accepting the strengths in your individual power and working together with those strengths. Knowing your individual values, boundaries and points of compromise is so important. You don’t necessarily have to have the exact same values because compromise and acceptance are good as long as no one person is always compromising more than the other.”
7. Communication is Critical
Jenny from https://parentbloggingsecrets.com says “Keep communicating together. I’ve been with my husband 15 years, together for 17 years. Allow each other time off from family pressures. If you keep communicating through changes, you’ll be fine. Make plans for the future.”
Traveling has also been known to strengthen a relationship and you can find some great couple travel advice here.
Do you have any relationship tips or advice to share? Please feel free to share in the comments!