- Be sensitive
- Spend time together—and time apart
- Communicate, communicate, and communicate
- Take it one day at a time
- Never give up
Lucy says that after living with her husband for all these years, she has learned to be attuned to and mindful of his emotional state—this way, she can avoid unnecessary friction. “You become very sensitive to each other’s needs and feelings. You know how far you can push; you do not abuse your spouse’s tolerance level.”
SPEND TIME TOGETHER—AND TIME APART
“We make it a point to spend quality time together whenever we can, whatever the day,” Lucy tells Good Housekeeping. Not only is this a great way to check in with your spouse consistently, but it also helps you keep the romance going even when there is no special occasion.
At the same time, Lucy says it is important to give your partner space and time to grow on their own. “We genuinely enjoy each other’s company but we give each other time apart to pursue different interests [and] embrace different passions.”
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE
One of men’s greatest woes about women is that we don’t say what we mean—if we say anything at all. But how can we expect conflict to be resolved when the other party is completely unaware of the issue? Lucy says that in such circumstances, it is best to take the direct approach. “Richard has always told me that he is not a manghuhula, he cannot read my mind, so if there is something I do not like or that has upset me, I should just go ahead and tell him.”
TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME
Lucy sees her relationship as a “daily commitment,” one that is nurtured, improved, and fortified by the efforts that she and Richard make on a day-to-day basis. This keeps their union “steady and real and sturdy,” as she puts it.
NEVER GIVE UP
Want out? Don’t even think about it. Lucy attributes the strength and longevity of her marriage to the fact that she has never considered leaving it. “As far as I am concerned, there just is no plan B. Not making our marriage work just is not an option.”
To read more about Lucy, grab the September 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping, out now.
(Photos by Sara Black)
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