This Valentine’s Day, if You’re Married, Know the Keys to a Loving Relationship

Published on Feb 13, 2024

According to experts, a loving marriage depends on mutual respect and ability to accept each other’s differences and needs.

The topic of love and passion is one that often dominates headlines on Valentine’s Day, with a common thread revolving around couples dating and being mesmerized by their love and infatuation for each other.

However, Valentine’s Day also has a lot of meaning for married couples, many of whom have relationships that can include drama as well as an unbreakable bond.

Rojelio Olmedo, a licensed marriage and family therapist with Kaiser Permanente Southern California, notes that a healthy and loving relationship among married couples depends on one important fact: you get what you put into it!

“Oftentimes, we fall in love and believe that this feeling will last forever,” Olmedo explained.

“I believe that falling in love is something we can’t control or determine. However, once a couple gets married, the key to a loving, long-term and rewarding relationship is choosing to continue to love and stay in love with that person. Being mindful of your spouse’s needs and respecting them is an important factor for a healthy relationship.”

According to Olmedo, many married couples get caught up in the responsibilities of adulthood and being married. Oftentimes, couples get used to each other’s presence and begin to take each other for granted.

Olmedo said there a few simple actions couples can take to keep their love strong.

“Intentionally spending time together with date nights is important – without children, friends or others,” he advised. “Another thing that married couples can do to keep the flame going is spending time apart. I know that this sounds counterintuitive, but supporting our partner to do things that they enjoy and remembering that this person had interests and hobbies that brought them joy before the relationship started is really important. Our partner’s interests and hobbies bring them happiness, and knowing that they’re supported to continue this is a clear and very important demonstration of love.”

All relationships contain bumps that can cause couples to be upset with one another. The key, according to Olmedo, is not to get caught up in the moment of an argument or hold grudges.

“Healthy communication and active listening skills are valuable tools to overcome disagreements,” he explained. “Understanding that disagreements are part of every relationship and although uncomfortable, they sometimes can be healthy.

“It’s naïve to think that two people, raised by different people and with different experiences, will agree on everything. Disagreements are usually not personal, so let’s not take them personally. Typically, it’s two people with different perspectives offering their opinions or beliefs. Being open to seeing things from the perspective of your partner may be an approach to overcoming disagreements. Being open to feedback is very important.”

And, if married couples experience long-term issues that are causing a strain on their relationship, Olmedo provided the following advice:

“A really easy way to strengthen a relationship is to identify times throughout the relationship when it was ‘strong’ and look for information that contributed to its strength,” he noted. “Oftentimes, when your relationship is difficult, we focus on the challenges or problems of the relationship. However, focusing on the problems prevents us from finding solutions. Switching from problem-focused thinking to solution-focused thinking can help strengthen the relationship. If needed, seeking professional help through marriage counseling can also be very helpful.”

Olmedo added it’s important for married couples to regularly check in with themselves. Sometimes, when a relationship is going through a difficult time, couples make it worse by personalizing it, jumping to conclusions, and even mind-reading, he said.

“If there’s a disagreement, it’s important to remind ourselves that this is normal,” he explained. “However, sometimes we blame ourselves or make things worse with our own thoughts. It’s important to check our thoughts and understand that disagreeing doesn’t mean that a person doesn’t ‘love us,’ nor does it mean that we’re divorcing.

“Let’s stop believing everything our mind tells us because oftentimes, it simply isn’t true.”




Make a Comment

  • (not be published)