Young love is a magical place to be and makes for some very exciting and thrilling memories. The emotional rush. The longing to be with each other when you are apart. The excitement and anticipation of seeing them again. It is very addictive and some people chase that feeling all of their lives. They want to feel the warmth of that bonfire of emotional energy. Bonfires are just not sustainable over a very long time. Like huge stars, they burn hot and fast but then collapse into a black hole of pain and anger. Other stars, like other loves, burn on for a long time. They are stable in their warmth and in their intensity. Married couples who last are like this second kind of star. They may not burn as bright, but they burn for far far longer than their counterparts.
How do married couples stay in love for the long haul? They are grateful to have one another in their lives. They do not take each other for granted. Every little thing their partner does is a gift to them. No act is too small to warrant appreciation, because they know that these little things are small manifestations of their love for one another. Every dinner is a banquet, no matter how small or hastily prepared, because it was made with love and devotion for your partner. Every chore completed is a vast burden off of your back.
When you are grateful, you really appreciate every little thing that someone does for you. You don’t sweat the little stuff and you don’t complain because things are not absolutely perfect. You are deeply grateful for everything your partner does for you, your family and your friends.
THE SINGLEMOST IMPORTANT THING MARRIED PEOPLE CAN DO TO STAY IN LOVE
These small acts of love and devotion every single day put fuel on the fire of your love. They feed the flames with small acts of kindness, empathy and forgiveness. It is easy to just throw wood on the fire, right? You have obviously never had to keep a fire going in the middle of a fierce winter storm. It is when the simple and the easy things become hard that the fire needs tending the most. In the wilderness, letting the fire go out means death in some cases and mutilation through frostbite in others. In a loving relationship, it can mean the same things.
If you neglect the fire, then the love will die as it slowly burns what fuel remains until eventually, the love is all burned up. And when the fire goes out, the relationship is just as dead as a cold campfire. But, instead of losing fingers and toes, you lose a chunk of your heart that you can’t get back.
Just like that campfire in the darkness of the wilderness, you have to feed the fire of your relationship. You do not feed it out of fear or out of love of the flames, but in gratitude for its warmth and security. You are thankful for the light, the warmth and the security that it provides. When you are both feeding the fire of your relationship and are grateful for what it gives, then the fire stays alive even in the harshest weather. But if you get lazy or neglectful, it is easy to let the fire burn out, and once it is out, you may not be able to ignite that fire again.
Life will bring many storms that will try to snuff out your fire. You can spend your time trying to keep yourself warm and dry and let your partner fend for themselves, or you can snuggle with your partner by the fire and share the only poncho you have. If you want love to last a lifetime, then you have to share your warmth with each other and tend the fire together as a team.
When you are truly grateful for your partner, you will sacrifice for them instead of sacrificing them for yourself. When you are grateful for your partner, you will share your meager supplies with them rather than hoard them all for yourself in a vain attempt to survive. When you are grateful, you realize that you are stronger together than apart and you appreciate your partner sticking with you through the rough times. You might carry them today, but when you are grateful, you know they might just as easily be carrying you tomorrow.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” ~ Epicurus