The longer a couple stays together, the more challenges they endure. Relationships require constant work, compassion, and nurturing, especially after 50. You see, getting a divorce during the first few years is easy, but once you’re past 50, you want to spend the rest of your life with that special someone. At this age, the goal is to integrate the skills you’ve learned over the years while picking up new ones to shape your union.
We asked Sandra Larson, a nurse and relationship coach, what couples can do to keep the spark alive, and here are her top 3 tips to a successful relationship after 50;
Practice Positive Communication
Whether you’ve been with your partner for over three decades or you just got married, communication will never lose its relevance in the relationship. Practice and improve your communication skills to prevent potential disagreements. But there’s more. Be attentive and always give your partner the time to talk before chiming in. Listen to your partner and give them proper attention regardless of how uninteresting you might think their story might be.
Communication also involves using positive language and avoiding harsh criticism. Avoid negative words and always focus more on their strengths than weaknesses. With the right communication flow, including feedback dissemination, your relationship will undoubtedly be better past your fifth decade.
Cultivate an Open and Honest Culture
More than any other time, you need to be as open and free around each other as possible. And for this to happen, there must be a robust emotional safe culture. The trust must be at its highest, with both partners comfortable with each other’s good and bad sides.
Knowing that your partner sees and accepts you helps you to deal with the anxiety that comes with aging. But there’s more. It allows both of you to be honest with each other. Good or bad, cultivating a safe emotional culture strengthens your relationship in the long-run and eliminates the need for dishonesty. Partners can raise issues respectfully and have honest conversations when they know that the other person has their best interest at heart.
Prepare to Compromise
There no time that two people will have the exact same needs, desires, and thoughts. The best bet is two people with similar goals and several things in common – never identical. In any successful relationship, both partners must be willing to give and take. It involves giving up some things and taking up new ones for the sake of the relationship. Of course, both partners must be willing to compromise. Otherwise, one will be left feeling resentful for giving more than they’re receiving.
Now here comes the good part. Even with the compromise, you mustn’t lose your identity. People have unique needs and personalities, and you don’t have to change your entire character for a relationship to work. Instead, focus on creating a healthy balance between what you’re willing to give up on and what you’ll hold on to.
And that’s it. Building a successful relationship after 50 doesn’t have to be hard. Like any other time, it requires time, commitment, and nurturing from both partners to keep the spark alive. So, practice positive communication, be open and honest with each other, and prepare to compromise.