top of page

3 Things I Wish I Knew Sooner About My Long-Term Relationship

Written by: Martine Kotze, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


I remember sitting on my kitchen floor crying not knowing what to do next. We had such a great vision for our lives on the day we got married and never considered that our relationship may fail one day. Here I was, with fragments of a broken marriage, not quite knowing how we would fix it. In those first few years, things just worked, and we seemed happy, but fast forward to life's messy middle and a few kids later and we both felt trapped and lonely. The things that drew me into the relationship in the first place was now the very thing that annoyed me the most about my partner.

silhouette of man and woman at the beach during sunset

We did fix our relationship and today we have open, honest conversations. We root for one another like we used to and we have found our way back to love. Here is what I wish I learned and implemented sooner.

Having a relationship mindset

The first thing to do when you find yourself in a relationship that has lost its spark is to decide to do things differently. If we agree that our habits make up our results then we have to intentionally do things differently. Over the years you become comfortable, you stop appreciating each other, you stop complimenting each other, you stop learning new things about each other, and although this is normal if you want a thriving relationship you want to revive some of these things. In the beginning, you fight for each other, but add a few years and you start fighting against each other. Relationships suffer when two partners are no longer in a mindset of working together. Turn back towards each other and watch your relationship thrive. It's never too late.

Heartfelt understanding

In long-term relationships when the newness fades and we are in a space where we think we know everything about each other and there is nothing new to explore we close our understanding of each other and operate in a much more critical way. As your relationship changes and each person inside the relationship changes we have the opportunity to adjust, learn new things, grow together, to build trust and closeness, but we only really do that if we start from a place of true heartfelt understanding for each other. Creating a culture of appreciation and compassion in your relationship is one of the biggest investments you can make in your happiness.

Learn to fight smarter

Conflict is not necessarily bad for a relationship, but couples that learn to use conflict to create closeness have healthy connected relationships. This is a skill that can be learned and the sooner you learn the right communication skills to resolve conflict positively, the more you will be seen and understood in your relationship. Conflicts allow you to learn something about yourself and your partner. It gives you the chance to have the uncomfortable conversations that are needed to repair and create closeness.

Learn more about my bespoke relationship course for couples here or subscribe to my email list for more resources.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and visit my website for more info!


Martine Kotze, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Martine is a Relationship and Mindset Coach and provides bespoke Relationship courses and coaching that values and honors each client and supports them through all aspects of transformation in their relationship, leaving them with valuable tools to share for generations to come. Martine believes that everyone deserves a relationship where they feel loved and seen and deeply understood. Healthy families start with healthy relationships between partners.



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page