Wrapping up our 4 secrets to long marriage is maintaining a healthy passion. What’s an unhealthy passion, you ask? Funnily enough, psychologist Robert Vallerand of the University of Quebec says, “Obsessive passion—a type that seems to control you—is as detrimental to the relationship, making it less satisfying sexually and otherwise, as having no passion.”
A healthy passion, on the other hand, means “a voluntary inclination toward an activity or person that we love or value.” It helps us relate better and increases our intimacy while retaining our own identity.
You can cultivate healthy passion by participating in an activity you and your partner both enjoy, says Vallerand. While exhilarating activities are ideal, competitive ones are not. (The object is not winning, it’s bonding.) Go sledding. Share a boat ride. Take a run. Have sex. You get the idea.
Another way to boost passion: write the reasons why you love your spouse and why the relationship is important to you. Bonus points if you read it aloud to him or her.
So what’s your big secret to a successful marriage? Did any of the four resonate with you as strengths or weaknesses in your relationship?