Monday, 19 September 2016

MIDLIFE ROCKS! ~ Redefining Your Relationship

MIDLIFE ROCKS! ~ it's a great time for reconnecting and redefining your relationship with your partner

KEEPING THAT SPARK ALIVE

It's so easy to take your relationship for granted when you've been married forever. I know I was guilty of this and nearly lost it all in the process. You live in the same house, you see each other every day but you need to wake up and make midlife a time where you find the spark and the connection again. Once those kids are out the door and the distractions are gone, you need to make your relationship a priority.
I think one of the big wake up calls for us was when we hit our 30th wedding anniversary and I made the off the cuff comment that we were barely half way there. I think we had both felt like we had been married for so long and were on the downhill glide to old age, but my husband went into shock at the thought that we were nowhere near the finish line (not a great reflection on our happily ever after marriage!) But when you do the math, many of us married in our twenties and will (hopefully) live into our nineties. That's SEVENTY potential years of togetherness - so he was right in freaking out a bit about thirty not even being the halfway mark.

CRESTING THE HILL

It was definitely time to shape up or ship out for us. Shipping out looked like the way things were going for a while, but once we made a few changes and started appreciating each other again we realized that what we have is pretty darn good. To be with someone who has seen you for better and worse, sickness and health, richer and poorer is a pretty big deal. We've scraped things together financially, put up with each other's various ailments, listened to each other complain about things, supported each other through job losses and other bum deals life has dealt us.

In some ways we are on the downhill slope - or maybe we're cresting the hill in our marriage and it's time to slow down and enjoy the view. It's nice to think some of the hard slog is behind us and all that toiling and trudging through the hard times means that we are coming out on top and we can appreciate that the climb was worth it.

No heart is stamped with a "use by" date - loving is ageless
Loving is Ageless ~ Zen To Zany
THIRTY+ YEARS TO GO

I don't know about other midlifers, but most of the time I feel a lot more like I'm thirty than fifty. I don't feel old or past my used by date, I feel free and on the ball - really happy with where I'm at. Being able to share that with someone you love is a really special experience. I'm so relieved we made it through all those tough times and the doubt, and came out the other end of the tunnel.

I'm looking at the years ahead as a good thing and not a "til death us do part" life sentence. Why would you want to hang around with someone for another thirty plus years if you didn't like them and enjoy their company? I think the main challenge for us in the years ahead will be to stay interesting and interested in each other. We need to keep developing and finding new things and sharing our thoughts and experiences with each other.

FINDING THE BALANCE

My husband and I are chalk and cheese. I was asked to fill in a 'getting to know you' form for church about what we liked doing. I ended up filling out a His and Hers version - His was all about adventure (surfing, hiking, canoeing, rock climbing) and mine was all about less exciting stuff (reading, blogging, coffeeing, talking). That being said, we have things we enjoy doing together and we'll step out of our comfort zones to make the other person happy - and in doing so, we sometimes find things we like that we'd have missed out on otherwise.

We're planning a holiday in a few months - the compromise is to find somewhere that has things we both enjoy and we'll each choose a few outings we'd like to do and alternate between them - it's a win/win situation because neither of us will disregard the other and pick stuff the other would hate, but we'll have a great balance of doing things together and making memories. 

When it comes down to it in the end, making memories and being happy together is what midlife love revolves around. That can look different for everyone, but if it works then there's still another thirty years of fun to go. Who wouldn't want the opportunity to enjoy the next thirty years with someone they love and know so well? 


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MIDLIFE ROCKS! ~ it's a great time for reconnecting and redefining your relationship with your partner

20 comments:

  1. I hear you. We just celebrated our 35th anniversary and, yes, sometimes it feels easy to ship out than shape up. Thankfully the foundation is strong and we're looking forward to another 40 years or so of this journey together.

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    1. It's amazing to think so much has happened and yet there is still so much to come - nice to tick 35 years though Lois isn't it?

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  2. We just celebrated 35, and though there have been some tough times, nearly losing my husband 3 years ago was a wake up call...time is short, life does not last as long as we want it to, so grab the good!

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    1. Exactly Tam - we think we have a long time ahead of us but we never know what's around the corner. Enjoying each other now is definitely the secret - and sets us up for those extra decades if we're lucky enough to get them.

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  3. You're lucky to be together for so long. Life is about compromise and it's nice you have someone who is willing to to make life better.

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    1. I agree Rebecca - so many don't make it this far for numerous reasons, so it's nice to know that we survived the long haul and we can still look forward to what's to come.

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  4. I absolutely love this real look at a real long term marriage. And what it takes to stay.
    Carol

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    1. Thanks Carol - it is certainly not all about skipping down the lane and scattering rose petals as we go - it's tackling that lane together and hoping neither of you fall in the potholes!

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  5. I just celebrated 11 with my husband, but we met when I was in midlife. Here is to a long, healthy and happy union for you.
    Estelle

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    1. Thanks Estelle - and it's nice to know for you that there's still plenty more years to enjoy each other :)

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  6. Coming out of a 20-year-long relationship that just fell apart, I particularly enjoy reading about couples who have managed to make their love last. I turned out to have been in a bad relationship but reading about good ones like yours gives me hope. I'm glad you are making this work.

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    1. Thanks Roz - you just never know what life is going to serve you and we came close to kissing it all goodbye. It's nice to know we survived the big dip, but you can't take anything for granted can you?

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  7. i get it. After 35 years of marriage, it can get stale, difficult, tempting to bail. It's all about working together and learning how to compromise.

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    1. It's all of those things isn't it Sheryl? But the good times can be so good too - and having someone who really knows you and still loves (and likes) you is the icing on the cake.

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  8. Leanne, Loved this and as someone who just celebrated her 36th anniversary, can relate. I'm convinced kids are like tsunamis in a marriage. They come along, turn everything upside down, and nothing is the same after. When they move out, you and your husband have a whole different marriage then when you started... which can be a good thing. But it also takes adjusting. Thanks for this great reminder.

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    1. That was a perfect description Laurie - I guess it can't stay the same because life is in constant change and we have to move with it or get left behind. Well done on 36 years - I love that there are so many long term marriages here x

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  9. Been married 33 years, and I totally relate to this. Except it hit us during our mid 20s anniversary---the shock. Now we are so comfortable with each other's edges. I think it's important to have common goals once you hit midlife and retirement age. Our goal is to get the last kid OUT of the house and hit the road in a new RV!!

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    1. I think an RV would be such fun Marcia - I'm thinking of hiring one and doing a trip somewhere in Australia. It would be a great way to chill out and still have most of the mod cons. Good luck with kicking out the last straggler!

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  10. We've been together for just about 10 years, but I'm always grateful for how we got together and how we've seen each other through. So much to be grateful for, isn't there?
    I hope you have a great holiday.

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    1. Thanks Corinne - and yes, having a special someone to share the rest of your life with is really a blessing that is beyond words.

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