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Behind Lasting Relationships

While some couples experience very stormy relationships that barely last a month, others are able to hold on to theirs for years. Learn from some successful couples and finds out what secrets lie behind their lasting relationships.

Couple: Joanne 23 and Andrew, 15 together for 4 years

Joanne: Communication is what keeps our relationship going. But we did not always communicate the way we do now.

Andrew: In the past, we never quarreled and people thoughts we had a perfect relationship. But in reality, it was far from that. The real reason we never quarreled was that we preferred to keep issues that troubled us about our relationship to ourselves rather than bring them up for discussion. There were usually deep undercurrents of resentment going on between us. Joanne and I were dissatisfied with some aspect or other of the relationship. However, neither of us were aware of what the other was feeling.

Joanne: Yes, In my case, I did many things for Andrew, like send him cards of encouragement during the exams, go out of my way to run errands for him when he was busy with his work and give in to his wishes most of the time.

Andrew: Hey, thats not true&

Joanne: But I felt that he was not appreciative of all that I did for him. In fact, my resentment towards him got so bad that one point I was finding difficult to spend time with him because after a short while I would start to feel very irritated. At the same time, I could sense that something was troubling him too but I couldnt figure our what it was. I though he was getting tired of me and that made me even more unhappy and I contemplated a breakup with him.

Andrew: But all of a sudden, it hit me. I realized that wed never really tried talking about our problems. So I decided to talk to her. It wasnt easy and it took a lot of ums and ahs before I managed to get my message across.

Joanne: And because I was encouraged by Andy honesty (he revealed that he found many of my little bad habits like not being punctual and backing out of plans at the last minute very annoying), I also told him what irritated me about him. And though this talk, we managed to iron out quite a few problems that were troubling us then.

Andrew: Now, we still dont quarrel but that is because we are learning to bring up our problems with each other without getting heated up. We feel that opening ourselves up to each other has enhanced our relationship and we understand each other better than ever before.

Joanne: Yes, communication is not just about talking to your partner about stuff that happened to you during the day, or just laughing over some jokes. Its about revealing your thoughts, insecurities, ideals and needs. It sounds easy enough, but its hard to actually do it. Still, its vital and worth all the effort.

Staying Together

Divorce may not always be the solution to an unhappy marriage. A University of Chicago study of 5,200 married couples found that people who worked through their marital problems were just as happy after five years as those who'd gotten divorced.


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