Through thick and thin.
I always thought this was a great analogy to describe the type of love you feel towards a partner or spouse and what you are willing to do for that person. Love is wholeheartedly giving yourself to someone with the hope that they will do the same.
If you think about why relationships do not work out, they ultimately boil down to four principles: trust, respect, loyalty and freedom. At the core of any happy relationship, these principles are the cornerstones.
Trust is by no means easy to build, but fundamental to the security and health of any relationship. Think about how many times you have worried about: who your significant other was hangout out with, what he or she was doing or if they were honest about where they were. These sort of thoughts can erode your spirits and question your feelings towards the relationship.
It is not easy to trust someone and should not be given blindly. When your partner has shown that they respect you and can be loyal, you can give trust in return, the love will build on itself.
I’ve found that the best way to avoid misunderstandings in a relationship is to be respectful towards your partner’s thoughts, feelings and needs. (To clarify, by misunderstandings, I mean fights, resentment and anger towards your partner). If you can make an effort to understand why your partner feels hurt, you will grow closer together.
Communication is key, be open about how you feel and willing to listen.
Loyalty is about us, not you or me. Hold your partner in as high of light (or higher) as yourself. A strong couple is like a team; they work together and are considerate of the other person’s feeling. Understand that your actions affect everyone in the group.
Love is about letting the other person be free. While you are loyal to one another, you are also individuals with your personal needs and goals. Be respectful of the time your partner may need to themselves and be comfortable with your own time. When you can build loyalty and trust, it is easier to enjoy each other when you are together or apart.