My husband and I are knocking on the 20-year mark… we started dating in high school and were married during college. As I sit back and reflect on the past 20 years, I realize there are a lot of lessons I have learned to maintain our relationship.
First, it is ok and I even ENCOURAGE you to have separate hobbies. You are each individual with things that interest you. Spending time away from each other is good for you both. You will have something new to talk about when you are back together and you will each be able to recharge by doing your own thing. This can be a hobby with friends or alone but time away is good for both of you.
Prioritize intimacy. Intimacy in a long-term relationship is crucial. If this does not come naturally for you or your partner, consult a sex therapist. Remember, intimacy comes in many different forms but prioritizing time together alone and away from kids will keep you going during the worst times.
Be willing to compromise. As much as we may have dreamed about it, we are not going to find someone who is the peanut butter to our jelly for EVERY situation. There are some things that you will have to compromise on. This may be as simple as where to store something in the house but this could also be what or where we go for certain holidays.
For me, I remind myself that the ultimate goal here is to be loved and honored and to love and honor my spouse. For us, that requires A LOT of grace. We are both humans and we both do things that unintentionally hurt the other. When this happens, we ask for forgiveness and talk through what happened so that we can move forward and not continue to repeat the same issues.
Overall, there will be good days, bad days, great days, and hard days in any relationship. Hold on to what is MOST important to you and what are “deal breakers” but also hold some grace in your heart for your partner. We are all human & we all are learning & growing together.