1. Immediately have the hard talks. They normally do not take long. Do not try to “win.”
2. Find a good couples counselor and use them when you are having trouble cleaning out a wound.
3. Frequent, simple touches.
4. Travel in adventuresome ways to test yourselves as a team and rely on your respective strengths as individuals.
5. Foster and encourage each other’s passions, even though those passions take time and money from the family as a whole.
6. Do not let the love, care, and time children take trump the importance of the relationship.
7. There is something to the notion that people fall into one of five categories that appreciate: words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, gifts, and acts of service. Learn which one or two your partner especially appreciates, and take them seriously.
8. You have to value the institution of a committed relationship in general. What it means and offers in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’, and 80’s. If you don’t fundamentally value the institution of the committed relationship, do some deep work on trying to figure out why. That work could be therapeutic, academic, spiritual, philosophical, or some other approach.
Final thought. I heard a very educated woman I respect very much say as she reflected on her wonderful 60-year marriage, “𝙈𝙮 𝙝𝙪𝙨𝙗𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙄 𝙗𝙤𝙩𝙝 𝙛𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙖 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚𝙨 𝙙𝙪𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙜𝙚 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙠𝙛𝙪𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙖𝙢𝙚 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚.” This is a quote by author and columnist Carolyn Kortge, who wrote weekly for the Registered- Guard Newspaper in Eugene, Oregon—Food for thought. By Matt Longtin of Matthew D. Longtin, LLC
Matt Longtin of Matthew D. Longtin, LLC has been a family law attorney for 25 years in Eugene, Oregon, and has been married to Sandie, his partner in love, life and adventure, for over 27 years. The Evolving Nest recently had the pleasure of talking with Matt and his lovely wife about why, in his experience, he feels relationships break down. It is a topic he has personally spent a lot of time thinking about, and we are honored that he willingly shares his wisdom with all of us. -Matt Longtin can be reached at https://www.longtinlaw.com/