1,500 people give all the relationship advice you’ll ever need

Noemi J. Mullins

Nearly three years ago, I asked for advice from some older and wiser people at the wedding reception to ensure that my wife and I didn’t share the same bed. This is something that a lot of newlyweds do. Ask for relationship advice.

Then I realized that I could take it one step further by having access to thousands upon thousands of intelligent, talented people via my website. It would be a good idea to consult my readers. Why not ask them for their best relationship/marriage advice? You can combine your wisdom and experience to create something simple and valuable for any relationship, regardless of who you are.

What do you think? Anyone who has been married for more than 10 years and is still happy with their relationship? . . What lessons would you like to pass on to others? What works for you and your spouse? What didn’t work before for people who have been divorced?

It was overwhelming. Nearly 1,500 people responded to me. Many of them sent lengthy replies, some measuring in pages rather than paragraphs. Although it took me weeks to go through all of them, I was stunned by what I found.

They were all very repetitive, for one.

This is not an insult. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Smart and articulate people from all walks of life provided their answers, each with their own stories, tragedies, and triumphs. . . Yet, they all said the exact same dozen things.

Always be part of a group for the right reasons

Before we get to the details of what you should do for your relationship, let’s first discuss what NOT to do.

Never be in a relationship with someone just because you were forced to. Because I was raised Catholic, I got married for the first and only time. Wrong. I was unhappy and lonely when I married my second wife. I thought that a loving, caring woman would make everything better. This was also wrong. It took me three attempts to understand what I should have known from the beginning: the only reason you should be with the person that you love is that they are your best friend. It’s that easy.

I reached out to readers asking for their advice. I also asked those who were in their third or fourth marriages what they had done wrong.

The most popular answer was “Being with the person for the wrong reason.”

These are just a few of the reasons why you might not want to do it.

Friends and family can put pressure on you.

Feeling like a loser because they were single, and settling for the first person to come along.

Being together for the image–because the relationship looked good in photos or on paper, and not because the two individuals actually admired one another.

You are young, naive, and hopelessly in love. And you think that love will solve all your problems.

A genuine, deep-seated admiration for one another is the only thing that can make a relationship “work”. Everything else will fall apart without mutual admiration.

Greg also said that the other reason you shouldn’t get involved in a relationship is to “fix” your own problems. Codependence is a desire to use another person’s love to solve your own emotional problems. This can lead to unhealthy and destructive relationships between people who have a tacit agreement to use one another’s love as a distraction to self-loathing. While we’ll be discussing codependence in more detail later, it is important to note that love itself is neutral. It can be healthy or unhealthy, beneficial or harmful depending on what you love and how they love you. Love by itself is not enough to sustain a relationship.

Last week, 123 people had been through hardships

You’re not going to get mad at each other for the rest of your lives. And all that ‘happily ever thereafter’ crap is only setting people up for failure. These people enter relationships with unrealistic expectations. They realize that they’re not ‘gaga’ anymore and decide to end the relationship. No! You won’t be all mushy, gushy in love for days or even weeks. Even worse, you might wake up one morning and realize that ….” it’s all normal. It’s worth it because,. . . In a matter of days, weeks, or even years, you will look at this person and feel a huge wave of love. You’ll fall in love with them so deeply that your heart may burst. Because a relationship that is alive is always evolving. It changes, expands, mellows, and deepens. It isn’t going to be the same way it was, nor will it be in the future. If more couples understood this, they would be less likely to panic and rush to end their marriage.

This form of love can be difficult because it doesn’t always feel good. It’s unglamorous. It involves many early morning doctor’s appointments. It involves cleaning bodily fluids that you don’t want to clean up. It is dealing with the insecurities or fears of another person even if you don’t want.

The most important factor in a relationship is not communication, but respect

The #1 thing I can tell is this:. Respect is what it means. It is not sexual attraction, looks or shared goals, religion, or lack thereof, nor love. Sometimes you may not feel the love you have for your partner. You don’t want to lose your respect for your partner. You will never get your respect back if you lose it.

After scouring through hundreds of responses, I noticed a trend. People who have been through divorces often spoke of communication as the key to making things work. Talk often. Talk about everything. Talk about all things, even the hurtful.

However, I noticed that respect was the most important thing for happy couples who have been married for over 20 years.

I believe these people have learned through a lot of experience that communication, no matter how open, transparent, and disciplined, will eventually fail. It is almost inevitable to have conflicts and always will be hurt.

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