The Heart of Love
Secrets of Lasting Love
By Dr. Scott and Shannon Peck
It is possible for love to last — and to be beautiful!
With today’s divorce statistics, it’s easy to doubt that statement. So many of
us have endured painful relationships and marriages. Many have almost given up
So let’s talk about the secrets of lasting love so we can all get it right.
The secrets of lasting love might not be what you’d expect. In fact, before
reading on, stop for a moment. What do you think are the top five secrets of
Here are the secrets we live ourselves:
The very first secret to lasting love is kindness.
It’s almost unbelievable how many people are unkind to each other in relationships. Mean words. Sharp words. Criticism. Judgment. Anger. Violence. Ignoring. Non-responsiveness. These words describe the very opposite of kindness and they destroy love.
Acceptance. Empathy. Sweetness. Dependable lovingkindness. These are the words that describe kindness and they create and expand love.
All partners in relationships have arguments. The question is what can you do in order to keep your love sweet and alive, without getting destroyed in a heated moment? Barbed egos create division. Each one thinks he or she is right and wants very much to win the argument. But right then, before you blurt out some angry phrase, you become painfully aware that your love has left the zone of good feelings, warmth, and tenderness. Is winning the argument really worth it?
Acting with kindness is often not easy to do. Partners who understand real love know this is a critical moment of their relationship. Arguments that lead to angry or mean words will be fatal to love lasting. This is a moment to dig deeply into your inventory of love skills and realize that keeping the sweetness in your relationship is far more important than any argument.
This simple awareness causes your heart to soften into higher alternatives than an escalating argument. The heart needs to feel safe for love to flourish. Without kindness, love can easily head south. By consciously deciding to be constructive rather than destructive, the energy can move toward solution.
Easy? No. But this is what people in lasting love relationships do. You agree to disagree. You let each other share strong-felt feelings while the other listens. You are respectful. You use a loving tone to help extricate both parties from the fuel of anger.
You never make critical remarks that will linger like daggers in the heart of your partner long after this argument has faded. You work towards a mutual win-win. Sometimes that means trying to calm down and even being quiet for a day and letting emotions digest and recover.
You place a huge emphasis on healing words such as, “Well, we both feel very
strongly about this. I know we love each other and, even though we may not know
it now, we’ll find a solution that is good for both of us. I love you.”
Statements like this transcend any argument.
In fact, if you practice statements like this, your heart can’t help but soften into lasting love. Imagine the impact this attitude and modeling of kindness has on children — the next generation of love that you are raising.
The second secret to lasting love is equality.
Equality? How boring, you might say. Well, guess what? Equality means your needs are just as important as another’s. And another’s needs are equally as important as yours. Without equality, love will be doomed to eventual death. With equality, love has an opportunity to expand into powerful new dimensions.
What is equality? Consider the following scenarios. Does one person in your
relationship do most of the talking? Does one person make most of the decisions?
Do you ever feel a sense of being dominated? Is your heart free to do and be
what is authentic within you? Does one person control the money more than the
Does your partner make decisions for you? Is there equality in love-making? Do both of you talk equally in social gatherings? Is one person always “right” in conversations or have to be dominant? Does one person always drive?
Imagine what happens when one or more of those questions result in inequality. Lasting love starts melting like a receding glacier. It may not be obvious on the surface, but lasting love can disappear very silently, strangled in the inner heart.
How can love that was once on fire become strangled just through being treated unequally? Because one heart wants to express and be heard, and be considered just as much as the partner’s does. But when the heart is made to fight for having a turn to be valued, it slowly loses hope and gives up. Sadness and resentment then replace the love once there.
Partners in lasting relationships know this. They know the power of equality.
They work to empower each other and to tune into each other’s needs, wants, and
dreams. They help each other’s weaker areas turn into strength through
encouragement, support, and even shared skills. The result of this attitude of
equality is a vast empowering of the love you experience together.
The third secret to lasting love is listening.
It is amazing what happens when partners listen to each others’ hearts. They discover an infinite gold mine of continuously evolving ideas. If you want love to thrive like an Amazon rainforest in full season, start listening to your partner’s heart.
You’ll find a tsunami wave of love coming right back to you because your partner
will feel so grateful for your gift of listening so well. Here’s why listening
is so powerful in making love last.
We all have dreams. Inner desires. Hopes. Ideas. Concerns. Past traumas. Fears. When someone listens to us well, all these emotions can surface into higher healing and expression. Often, when we’re well listened to, we figure out things just by allowing pent-up feelings to surface, and our dreams can come alive too.
If you want your love to be lasting, get good at listening. Put your own ideas aside for the moment and really take in what your partner is saying or feeling. Be silent. As he or she talks, softly say, “Tell me more…” with a heart and face that truly means what you are saying. If you are being authentic, the love will begin to flow. Listen without judgment. Your partner will feel it to the core.
This quality of listening takes love to amazing heights. Ask yourself, what is more important than one’s dreams being deeply cherished or one’s heart being truly listened to? Listening will take your relationship to a bond of intimacy where your hearts can resonate deeply.
The fourth secret to lasting love is a combination of joy and appreciation.
Often, as partners get used to each over the years, joy slips away. They get used to a routine of taking each other for granted. This lack of appreciation is fatal to lasting love.
In lasting love, partners bring joy to the table each and every day. You look for every nook of humor. You laugh a lot — with each other, not at each other. You find what gives each other joy. You recall what it was like to first meet each other. Joy was spilling out all over. So why not now? Exactly! And you mention often — even daily — what you most appreciate in your partner and how much joy and pleasure you are receiving.
Partners who practice appreciation find that romantic feelings flourish — and that playfulness and teasing occur spontaneously and often. After all, with kindness, equality, and listening already in high gear, the path to joy opens quite easily.
The fifth secret to lasting love is shared spiritual values.
Shared spirituality takes relationships into a higher dimension of love where each other’s higher self is honored by knowing the great value and purpose each one’s life carries. Partners then organize their lives with this as their center, helping each other to become all they are meant to be — to bloom and flourish and contribute to the whole.
When each one is involved in a daily spiritual practice, it may include inspirational books, intuitions, journaling, revelations, sacred meditation, yoga, mindful awareness and music. These sharings are love’s richest and most lasting of all!
So there you have it — the secrets to lasting love. And the good news is this.
It’s possible! Welcome to the heart of love.
© Copyright 2008 Scott & Shannon Peck
Dr. Scott Peck & Shannon Peck are Co-founders of TheLoveCenter, a non-profit organization “Calling everyone home to Love” They are authors of books on love & healing, including “The Love You Deserve,” “Love Skills,” “Liberating Your Magnificence,” and “Love Heals” (by Shannon Peck). For lots more love, visit www.TheLoveCenter.com. We are holding the space for you to receive all the love you deserve!
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