The Power of Love: How senior couples can bond during retirement, moving, or through illness
“Love is patient, love is kind… Love never fails.” - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
As long-time couples navigate life together, there will undoubtably be challenges and unexpected circumstances that arise. These things can sometimes be so difficult it can even cause couples to become distant from one another.
For couples that are hoping to reconnect and rekindle their love through retirement, moving, illness or other situations, Fellowship Square offers the following tips.
Be Patient —
In any difficult circumstance, people can get emotional. Whether that means angry or sad, these emotions can sometimes get the best of couples as they take out their feelings on their partner. Staying calm and being patient during a hard time can make all the difference. For example, a disagreement may arise over items to sell or keep when moving from a couple’s longtime home to smaller quarters or an assisted living facility. Allowing one another’s stance to be heard is important. And if there is still no resolution after each person speaks their mind, table the discussion until emotions settled and then try to reapproach it from a “matter of fact” point of view (i.e. keeping emotions out of it). If an illness has become the reason for the disconnect, it’s all the more important for the “healthy” half of the couple to remember that specific illnesses (such as Alzheimer’s Disease) can alter one’s mind frame and memory so they should try not to take anything too personal.
Forgive and Forget —
Holding a grudge is never a good way to move forward after an argument. It’s not good for either person in the couple! Whether a difficult circumstance is fresh or happened years ago, harboring negative feelings is not healthy. So in the name of reconnecting, partners can agree to forgive and forget — and move forward with their relationship by letting go of the past.
Remember the Why —
Longtime couples that love each other still experience periods of time when they don’t feel necessarily bonded. That’s understandable in any relationship whether it has been five or 50 years! However, in an effort to reconnect, couples can look back at their early days and remember some of the special things that they initially loved (and still love!) about one another. Rekindling a spark in a longtime relationship may not happen overnight, but if each person in the partnership makes an effort to work on it, the bond can return even stronger than ever.
Reconnect through Shared Experiences —
One of the best ways to bond — whether in a new relationship or a longtime one — is through shared experiences. Why not reconnect by going to church together (or simply making time each day to pray together), take a daily walk around the neighborhood, start a new hobby or sport together (such as pickleball, cooking or a couple’s reading challenge) or take a road trip? Experiencing life’s finer moments in addition to the difficult ones can make the challenges seem less stressful and can help couples reconnect.
Love is a beautiful, powerful thing. In a new romance or a longtime marriage, love ultimately can help couples overcome the most challenging of circumstances together. Fellowship Square reminds couples, and all people, to love one another in good times and in hard times.