In just a few months, my parents will be celebrating their 39th anniversary.
Whoa. They are my heroes.
In my entire life, I've never seen them fight, slam doors, yell at each other, or disrespect one another and for that I am incredibly grateful and consider myself extremely fortunate to have such positive role models in the relationship department.
With today being Valentine's Day and all, I was feeling particularly inspired so I asked them the following question:
What do you believe is the secret to a happy and long lasting marriage?
"I always thought that the expression "you must work on a marriage" was funny. What does that mean? Over the years, we've learned that we should never take each other for granted, we need to express our appreciation for what we do for each other (a kiss or hug, a word or two), we need to laugh with (and even sometimes, at) each other, we need to acknowledge each other's strengths and foibles, and we must always be honest.
Acknowledge and apologize if you are in the wrong. That goes a long way. If there are rough patches, we talk about what the problems are. And we continue to say we love each other and mean it!!"
"Ooh, that's a tricky one. I like and second what mom said which is all about the positive things you should do.
In addition to the things you should do, it's also important to remember the things you shouldn't do, like never saying or doing hurtful things that can't ever be forgotten. Those things can irreparably damage a marriage.
But as I said to mom when she told me about this email, the two most important secret words to a successful marriage are 'yes dear'."
So there you have it...my Mom and Dad's secrets to a happy and long lasting marriage.
You see, optimal health isn't just about what you eat or how much you exercise. It's about so much more than that.
Don't underestimate the impact that the quality of your relationships can have on your health (this includes non-romantic/intimate relationships as well!)
Do you feel trapped in an abusive or unsatisfying relationship? No amount of kale or broccoli in the world is going to fix that.
Are you in a relationship with a person who loves you unconditionally, appreciates you, respects you, trusts you, and wants you to be happy? That can be even more healing than eating the healthiest foods on the planet.
True health explores all the areas in your life. You cannot be truly healthy if you're suffering in your relationship. Either work on yourself and with the other person to improve it or get out of it. Your health and your life depends on it.
With that said, my parents are two of the healthiest (and young-looking!) almost-70-year-olds I know.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for so generously sharing your advice and wisdom with us.
Do you have more tips to add? Share in the Comments section below!
Photo Credit: Jesse Chan-Norris