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Thoughts On Long Term Relationships

Today is a good day for me to pause and think of life-long commitment to another person. For today, my parents celebrate 61 years of marriage. I think of my own marriage and I reflect on what makes a ‘good’ marriage. I would like to ponder on what to me are the essentials of a long term relationship. Let me call them the 3A2CL formula. I’ve just outlined a few thoughts on each.

Thoughts On Long Term Relationships

Affection – Gestures of affection are not necessarily just holding hands, hugs and kisses (which are vital) but also include doing thoughtful things for one another.
Acceptance – Know that you can’t change your partner. But you can change yourself to accept things about your partner that might irritate you.  (Please note, that acceptance does not include allowing yourself to be abused verbally or physically).
Appreciation – Letting your partner know what you like about them, thanking them for what they do for you…..
Concern – Noticing if your partner is not doing to well physically or emotionally and being there for them. We can’t always make things better, but we can always be present.
Celebration – Finding joy in each other’s achievements and celebrating small victories.
Laughter – I think that’s a highly underrated ingredient in marriage. It’s important to be silly together and have lots of inside jokes. We do that with our friends, why can’t we do it with our partners?
I often hear people using a phrase which for some reason irks me: ‘working on their relationship’. I’m not sure exactly what that means. If it means that in some situations need to get professional help in their relationship, then I’m okay with that. But if it means some sort of scheduling of ‘quality time’ (that’s another phrase that irritates me!), then I begin to wonder?
It’s not always sunshine and roses of course – but I don’t think that a relationship should be ‘work’. Do you? 
(And of course, happy anniversary Mum and Dad!)


  1. […] always be parents and having them made our routine a little easier! Today is my parent’s 58th Wedding Anniversary and reaching our second anniversary pretty soon, we have a lot of catching up to do! Today I want […]

  2. G Angela G Angela January 25, 2013

    Hi Corinne !!!
    I am very happy to read this – Congratulations to you parents, they are wonderful people and I am so glad to to know that they celebrated 61 years, beautiful example of all that you have spoken of, thanks for sharing ! You are a living example of 3A2CL ! once again, my regards to your parents !
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  3. Suzy Suzy January 23, 2013

    Happy Anniversary to your parents. How awesome to celebrate 61 years. My parents had 57 years together.
    They would’ve celebrated their 60th this year if dad was still alive. Your list is great . I will also add kindness to it. As soon as you have to start “working” on your relationship, it is pretty much over. I wish I had wised up to that many years ago.
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  4. Rickie Khosla Rickie Khosla January 23, 2013

    This is so precious. My best wishes to you and your parents for many, many more years of loving and healthy togetherness!

  5. subhorup subhorup January 23, 2013

    Congratulations to the 62-year-old marriage. Neglect or taking things for granted can ruin a relationship, so I guess there is a small component of work involved. I wouldn’t know, since I believe that when your actions are driven by love (be it in a relationship or at a profession), it ceases to be work. Lovely tribute.
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  6. Umashankar Umashankar January 23, 2013

    Congratulations to your parents and to you too on the occasion. I loved the 3A2CL formula although I must admit the acronym scared me! You come across too many of them nowadays and just about every simple thing has been broken down into modules and processes. No wonder people are perennially ‘working on’ them. Your recipe is the simplest and the most effective. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Vijaya lakshmi P Vijaya lakshmi P January 23, 2013

    Hi Corinne

    Convey my regards to your parents !


  8. Rahul Rahul January 23, 2013

    Best Wishes Corrine for this milestone in your life! Wishing you many more years of happiness:)
    Rahul recently posted..All the TimeMy Profile

  9. Susan Deborah Susan Deborah January 23, 2013

    Long-term relationships come with a lot of responsibility and acceptance. The ability to laugh at ourselves, being quick to apologize and silly expressions of love and concern help a lot in the long run. I cannot say that I’ve been married long but I am in a long-term relationship for I have known my husband as a boyfriend for nine years and as a husband for two years – Long-term, isn’t it?

    Quite a spot-on post, dear Corinne.
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  10. Harleena Singh Harleena Singh January 23, 2013

    Congratulations to your parents from all of us Corinne!

    61 years…awesome! One can just about imagine so many years, though very few nowadays really take it to that level. So, bless them and may they always be like this – together. 🙂

    I agree with all your essentials that are required for a marriage to work, and yes, laughter is something one rarely sees! Makes me wonder too . I guess it’s because partners don’t take each other as friend’s and as a partner, where they just share a life with no enjoyment or nothing light to share things about. It’s sad indeed.

    People often spend years in ‘trying to make their relationship work’ and lose out on the precious moments of togetherness that they have at that moment. That ‘working’ never really ends and just goes from one year to another – mainly in trying to make things work or trying to change each other, instead of working on oneself. I wish they would just enjoy the moment, the NOW, the present, and value each other because time never stands still, and who knows about tomorrow – kal ho na ho – as they say. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, and cheers to your parents once again. 🙂
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  11. Amy Amy February 10, 2012

    WOW… 61 years! time for hugs and celebration .. YAY!

    I think laughter is definitely one of the main ingredients in a successful relationship… laughter helps soothe the soul!

    I believe ***at times*** a relationship is work… if it is ALL work, well then there is a problem.  The ebb and flow. I recently faced some tough stuff that impacted the relationship I have with my Partner in Life and we both worked very hard at it… and our hard work is paying off. At times we both wanted to quit, thank goodness not at the same time. Life throws ya some tough stuff and I think if people worked as hard at relationships as they do their jobs more people would be employed… I mean together!

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