Whenever we see a couple who still look madly in love after many years together, there seems to be one question that we can't help but to ask: "What's your secret?" Often this question is answered with jokes or witty comments about finding some sort of method to deal with the other person's quirks and annoying behaviors. But all joking aside, there is plenty of truth in that sentiment. Of course you're going to find things to pick out in your partner! You spend more time with them than anyone else, so it's bound to happen sooner or later. If you learn to laugh whenever you find your blood pressure rising or your patience tested, the results are amazing and instantaneous.
While it's easy to laugh over the little things, like how your honey still forgets to close the kitchen cabinets after all this time, the bigger issues can seem a little less comical in the heat of a passionate argument. Healthy debates and disagreements can actually be a positive way of keeping the passion alive in your relationship; however, when the disagreements get into the ugly zone (the place where low blows, personal digs, unwelcome comparisons to a family member, and old issues are used as ammunition for the present topic), it is useful to take a step back, remember why you fell in love with that person in the first place, and really try to connect with that feeling of compassion.
Once you are able to calm yourself, try to do the thing that feels the least comfortable in that moment of anger: Put yourself in your spouse's shoes so that you can really hear what he or she is expressing, even if you disagree, even if it's a recurring argument. As Albert Einstein said, "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." You want to change something? Sick of the same gosh darn fight year after year? Change your approach. After all, we can't control other people, but we can control ourselves and how we react to what comes our way. Thank your partner for being vulnerable and brave enough to speak to you about the emotions he or she is feeling. Be a friend, not a victim. Most likely, your sweetie will be so shocked to hear your apologetic and open response that the argument will fall apart, perhaps leading to some very loving makeup sex.
That brings up the next topic -- passion. Humans are naturally curious. Give us a mystery and we want to figure it out and solve the problem. The same applies to relationships. While having a safe, honest place created between two people is the basis of strong, unconditional and lasting love, it's always good to leave a little bit to the imagination. Chew with your mouth closed; shut the bathroom door while you're in there; and reserve naked time to the bedroom. Then it will still be fun to get undressed together. Keep busy with your own life and friendships, and find a new hobby -- cooking, dance classes, learning Spanish. If you want to spice up your relationship, go out and spice up your own life. Step out of your routine so that you're excited about sharing your new discoveries with your lover, thus bringing them more excitement to their day as well. Passion is contagious. Being in love with your own life is an extremely attractive quality, leaving your mate wanting to spend more time with the vibrant person you are.
And remember to just let go of the arguments. Dance and laugh together like teenagers. Go on dates. Flirt. Pick up a random present for no reason. But whatever you do, let go of the need to be right so that you can live fully in your heart, not in your mind. That's when you fall in love over and over again.