Give your relationship a tune-up by assessing strengths, letting go of disappointments, and doing things together.
Reignite your old love
Staying together as a couple is challenging at any age, but it appears to be getting more difficult for older adults. Divorces among adults have doubled, and that includes plenty of people aged 65 and older. What’s the catalyst for all the uncoupling? People are living longer and healthier, and they have the expectation that they have a lot of good life left. They want to enjoy their time, and if that isn’t happening with their spouse, they may decide it’s time to move on. You’ll have a better chance of staying together, no matter what your age, if you work at keeping your relationship healthy. It’s especially important in our older years, which bring changes such as an empty nest, retirement, or chronic disease. It requires recalibration, thought and discussion about how to move into the next phase of life. The following tips may help.
First identify your strengths and weaknesses as a couple. Your strengths are worth noting because they’ll help reinforce your foundation and give you the confidence to address weaknesses. Do you have trouble communicating? Maybe your compromising skills need work. Talk about ways to address weaknesses. If you aren’t comfortable making improvements on your own, consider talking to a therapist for guidance.
Let Go Of Old Issues
You may be disappointed by what has or hasn’t happened in your marriage. But it’s time to stop holding on to those ideas. More happiness will come from accepting reality than by having unrealistic fantasies about what should happen. Once you let go of disappointments, focus on what you want and whether there’s a practical way to get it. Likewise, let go of old arguments. A lot of fights in our marriages are ego-driven. We feel the need to be right and valued for our opinion. But you get to a certain age and realize some fights aren’t worth having anymore. Ultimately, there’s more value in letting go of your differences. Instead, focus on your needs and develop
practical approaches to getting needs met.
You need to enjoy being together, so find things you enjoy doing together. That may be walking, gardening, sailing, joining a book club, or exploring new museums and restaurants. It’s also okay to pursue some activities separately, as long as you support each other’s interests. Maybe he loves golf and she loves books. When you encourage each other to pursue interests, it may be easier to enjoy common pursuits, without resentment.
Your relationship doesn’t have to fill every need. That’s impossible. Spending time with family and friends; getting involved in community groups, churches, or synagogues; or getting active in social issues that you both care about, can address that. Volunteer at a food bank or a hospital. The couples who do best are the ones who have hobbies and interests and friendships and families. Make all of those part of your relationship. In difficult situations, lean on family for help, remember to make time for yourself, and find happiness together in the simple things. It may not be fancy, but you may still be able to enjoy pleasant and meaningful times together.
You need to enjoy being together, so find things you enjoy doing together. That may be walking, gardening, sailing, joining a book club, or exploring new museums and restaurants.
A lot of fights in our marriages are ego-driven. We feel the need to be right and valued for our opinion. But you get to a certain age and realize some fights aren’t worth having anymore. Ultimately, there’s more value in letting go of your differences.