What do you think is the MOST critical element in a LONG TERM happy relationship?

Bignuf Bignuf
As the years go on, we BOTH feel that having shared values...the same moral compass, may be the single biggest factor in long term happiness. Our boundaries are at the same place, so no one ever gets "hurt" by actions of the other. Our humor, tastes, everything, still differ...and always have, but somehow, we make it work AND are happy as heck. We are still best friends, in fact.

SO..what is the secret element in YOUR long term relationship???
03/04/2012
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- Kira - - Kira -
I agree with having the same values. My husband and I naturally agree on many issues which means neither of us will do anything to hurt the other because of this.

I'd also add good communication. This is something we had to learn as it doesn't come naturally (at least not in a healthy way) to either of us. It's taken a few years and we are still perfecting our skills, but better communication has brought us closer and created greater harmony in our home.
03/04/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Love. We're still in love after many many years.
03/04/2012
Swish Swish
love, and then values and lifestyle habits, humor is good too though
03/04/2012
Nazaress Nazaress
Honesty, in all its forms. This means no lying, cheating, stealing, or anything dishonest and deceitful. I love my boyfriend to death. We share a lot of the same values and have many of the same interests. We find each other humorous and we like spending time together. That's all well and good but it's not going to keep us together if he keeps lying and cheating on me. He's done so three times already and recently lied about where he was going to be when he was away from me, which led me to believe he is cheating on me again (though he says he isn't and just wanted some time alone). And so, I'd say that honesty is the MOST important aspect to a lasting, successful relationship, though obviously others (like love) are needed for the relationship to even have a chance at succeeding.
03/04/2012
Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
We've been married now for 33 years and we've had our ups and our downs with lots of downs. Several times we stayed together because we couldn't afford to split up (plus deep inside we knew that we could make it through the storm if we just hung in there).

We've talked about this several times and we feel the most important aspect of our relationship is commitment. We are committed to stay with each other(divorce never even comes up anymore...although murder might be threatened) though thick and thin (and right now we're both thick and trying to get thin...but that's another topic).

We've found that we can weather any problem and make it back through the cycles we go through to find those feelings of love - if we remember our commitment and just stick to it.

One thing that is funny is that even after all these years - we struggle with communicating sometimes and even today we had a near blow-up about something. When he walked back in the door (he'd been up to our son's helping with the vehicle), I kept telling myself, "I am feeling hurt and angry and I can act on those feelings and make us both miserable and rip him a new one...or I can choose to let it go and understand that what I'm experiencing are 'feelings' and not let them run my life or my actions." I chose to smile and have us all go to lunch (our daughter lives with us). She got up to get more at the buffet when he turned to me and said, "I know I really pissed you off and I'm sorry. I know we don't communicate well and I need to work on it."

I had tears in my eyes. I could have argued my point and helped create a fight..but by giving him time to think through things...he is the one who opened up the subject.

I explained that I wasn't trying to show that I was pissed and that I was trying to get over it 'cause I didn't want to run my life by feelings...and he said, "I could hear it in your voice. You were trying to be sweet, but I knew you were hurt."

We talked more later on.

It reminds me that communication is a great thing and it's something I'd love to see us have more of - but that deep commitment we have to stay together and try to focus on "we" and not "me"...that's what makes us work.

It's gonna tear me apart when I leave this coming weekend to close up mom's apartment and be gone about 2 weeks. I'll get back about the time he heads off on his motorcycle for his brother's wedding.

I'm glad we have the next few days to just celebrate together now that we've worked through things - vs. being mad for days which we've done before.

I'll close this with a short story I read somewhere years ago. Someone asked the evangelist Billy Graham's wife about their marriage and the success of it and at one point they asked if she'd ever considered divorce (Billy traveled a lot and she was home with the kids all the time). She said (with a smile), "Divorce? No. Murder? Possibly..."

We quote that to each other sometimes when we get frustrated...cause it makes us laugh.
03/05/2012
Elnoa Elnoa
Having a similar outlook on life and goals.
03/05/2012
indiglo indiglo
The top 3 things off the top of my head (in no particular order): honesty, communication and a sense of commitment. I can't narrow it down anymore than that, because I really think those 3 things are vital. They've helped us through some very bleak times.
03/05/2012
J Peach J Peach
My partner and I have a really intense relationship, even though he's gone a lot. He's in the Marine Corps and is currently stationed in Japan, and will be for the next two years. It's hard, but I can't imagine leaving him or being with anyone else. I think the key factor in my relationship is just how strong our bond is and how connected we are even without physical togetherness. A lot of people can't do long distance, but I guess we're just well-suited for it.
03/05/2012
robertk2380 robertk2380
The most important thing for us is shared commitment. We trust each other. We can count on each other. We say we're sorry when we've hurt the other. We communicate. Been together almost 39 years.
03/05/2012
J Peach J Peach
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Love. We're still in love after many many years.
How many years? That's so amazing and romantic. Do you guys still flirt with each other?
03/05/2012
TheParrishism TheParrishism
Quote:
Originally posted by Bignuf
As the years go on, we BOTH feel that having shared values...the same moral compass, may be the single biggest factor in long term happiness. Our boundaries are at the same place, so no one ever gets "hurt" by actions of the other. Our ... More
Happiness. So long as we can still make each other happy and the relationship is a positive force. I think the biggest key is teamwork. We tell each other everything, even stuff we would rather not. This helps keep the lines of communication open.
03/12/2012
CindyH CindyH
love and honesty
03/12/2012
Rahel Rahel
Quote:
Originally posted by Nazaress
Honesty, in all its forms. This means no lying, cheating, stealing, or anything dishonest and deceitful. I love my boyfriend to death. We share a lot of the same values and have many of the same interests. We find each other humorous and we like ... More
I agree about honesty. And I think communication on top of the honesty is also important.
03/13/2012
romstomp romstomp
Honesty for sure. Also it helps to genuinely like your partner/spouse, I have know far too many people who love and are in love with someone that they don't really like very much (Strange but true). I also find that laughing together and just sharing the same space helps.
03/16/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Bignuf
As the years go on, we BOTH feel that having shared values...the same moral compass, may be the single biggest factor in long term happiness. Our boundaries are at the same place, so no one ever gets "hurt" by actions of the other. Our ... More
The ability to discuss and reevaluate shared dreams and goals. The ability to laugh together and the really, really important ability to communicate fully. To be able to hear your partner without judgement and to act only when you are asked to. To be able to stand firm and resolute while the whirlwind of life swirls around you as a couple (or triple, quad or pod). These are some of the necessary ingredients for longevity
03/16/2012
dragonn dragonn
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
The top 3 things off the top of my head (in no particular order): honesty, communication and a sense of commitment. I can't narrow it down anymore than that, because I really think those 3 things are vital. They've helped us through some ... More
This. Absolutely.
03/21/2012
rom323 rom323
our relationship is built on trust and honesty.

Nothing else matters if you have this.
03/21/2012
goofballmaster goofballmaster
Quote:
Originally posted by Bignuf
As the years go on, we BOTH feel that having shared values...the same moral compass, may be the single biggest factor in long term happiness. Our boundaries are at the same place, so no one ever gets "hurt" by actions of the other. Our ... More
It's hard to single one out, but I think being able to make the other one laugh is very important.
03/22/2012
nova2014 nova2014
I think the attempt to understand each other and letting things go are critical elements in my relationship
02/11/2013
gsfanatic gsfanatic
Communication, since without it, you end up talking at each other and causing stress
02/11/2013
Total posts: 21
Unique posters: 20