Families and friends try to give the bride and groom their best advice:
- Never go to bed angry!
- Make time for being together!
- Don’t swallow your anger, talk about it!
- Have fun together…!
All of these words of advice –and many others– are valid, but just the same, we wonder, what can we do to make this a truly happy marriage?
We live in a changing society and the model of our parents or grandparents might not be the best one for us. So what is the best model?
We know that communication and mutual respect are undoubtedly the basis for a successful intimate relationship but in reality, they are not enough. It’s not enough to find the right partner; you must do the right thing so that your relationship with the person you’ve chosen works. We can achieve a lot if we wake up every morning with the idea of bringing happiness to our relationship. Those who give love find peace; those who dedicate their time find shelter; those who pay close attention find understanding.
There are certain fundamental elements that cannot be missing in a relationship:
Intimacy is critical to having the trust to reveal secrets, vulnerabilities, feelings and fears; to losing the fear of being judged or criticized, knowing that everything you share will remain confidential, sealed within the confines of the relationship. Without intimacy, the relationship becomes a contract between two individuals who live in the same place but don’t live together.
Passion is about more that personal chemistry and attractions. It’s the passion for discovering the other person, for sharing, for supporting each other, for being there for each other in difficult moments. Taking pride in your achievements, crying together over the failures and then starting to walk a new path together. Without passion, there can be no love.
Commitment is absolutely essential to solidify the relationship. Without commitment, the relationship succumbs to the frustration that life will inevitably present. If both partners are committed, the hard times are not so hard, because the two of you are together to share these moments and find solutions together.
If any of these elements are missing, the relationship is weakened, because when there is intimacy without passion or commitment, there is only friendship; when there is only passion, it will only last for a time, and when there is only commitment, then boredom will inevitably lead to the end of the relationship.
The original version of this article – in Spanish – was published in the Summer 2008 issue of Bodas USA magazine.