But no one comes without some sort of baggage or complications. Rarely is there a relationship without a bit of drama, sacrifices to be made and rough spots to work through. Being aware of this means you can take comfort in choosing to make your relationship a happy one.
Below are 10 secrets for midlife happiness:
List The ‘Good Stuff’ About Your Relationship
- No relationship is absolutely perfect. Stay positive about the good and you will see the good
- Focus on the beneficial aspects of your relationship
- Take note of the wonderful qualities in your partner and how he enhances your life
- Refer to this list daily, just to remind yourself why you are with each other in the first place
Be Mindful Of The Lessons You’ve Learnt
- Basically, everything in life is a lesson – particularly the hard stuff!
- Focus on the lessons you’re meant to have learnt during the rough patches
- A small example of this when you feel like you’re not connecting with your man very well. He seems to prefer watching TV instead of talking to you. Learn to communicate your frustrations and come to a compromise
Have A Life Outside Of Your Relationship
- Your partner is a big piece of your life, but not overwhelmingly and absolutely everything
- Keep your relationship in perspective (like you do your career)
- Don’t treat your relationship as your identity, because it’s not!
- It’s important that you establish a strong sense of who you are as an individual – expanding your hobbies, exercising, keeping your social life going and continuing to learn about yourself
Keep Your Own Social Network
- Don’t just disappear from the social life you had pre-relationship
- Find time to focus on your friends.
- Merge your social life into your current relationship. Plan a monthly activity where your husband/boyfriend can be part of your social circle (e.g. from work, gym, hobby). This will create contentment inside and outside of the relationship
Maintain Your Identity
- Focus on you and what matters to you. i.e. what are you passionate about?
- Try not to sacrifice the things that mean the most to you
- e.g. Don’t stop kayaking because your husband or boyfriend doesn’t like it. Giving up something that you really enjoy will backfire on you. You will feel resentment towards your mate because of it. Rather include them where possible
Focus on Evolving
- Being over 40 and entering midlife doesn’t mean that everything is all over. Remember you’re always changing and maturing. It’s called evolving and it’s a good thing. Accept and embrace it.
- Everything that’s happened, is happening and will happen, can still be within your control
Pick Your Compromises
- Avoid compromising on things that are important to you. Rather find the middle ground with things that don’t matter too much
- Work out what feels OK to give up. Consider what would make your partner happy. What can you let go of to enhance your relationship?
Be Grateful Of One Another
- Often telling each other you love one another just isn’t enough
- Try thanking your husband/boyfriend for the small things they do. Commit to doing this on a daily basis and ask the same of him
- Studies show that gratitude has the lasting effect imperative for midlife relationship survival
- Everyone needs to feel valued and gratitude is the quickest way to fulfil that
Take Care Of Yourself First
- This sounds selfish but it isn’t. If you take care of yourself, then your partner, you will be in a better position to make your relationship a happy one
- Simply start each day with exercise, have breakfast and allow yourself a bit of quiet time and meditation, reading the papers or listening to the news
- Set aside emotional clutter and let unconditional love into your relationship
Don’t Become Your Partner
- It’s an easy thing to do – sacrificing the things you enjoy most, for your partner
- Avoid blending into your man’s interests and habits
Losing your sense of self, in any relationship, is very common. What is unusual is finding the courage to get it back and keep it. Save yourself and your relationship by using these tips. Create your own midlife happiness.