This past weekend was my 12 year wedding anniversary with Alan. This is a major milestone for me. My first marriage ended abruptly in year eleven when I was 36. So I had a huge gremlin about whether I would make it past eleven years in this marriage this time around.

We have had our ups and downs and some big challenges. Challenges that I have seen sever other marriages: starting a business that took years to get off the ground; 5 years of fertility treatments, as well as looking at other options such as adoption; job losses due to the nature of my husband’s volatile work environment; health issues; and a challenging child with special needs. And both of us are far from perfect with our warts on both of our sides.

As a dating coach I get asked, “What makes a relationship survive in these days when we live in a disposable society and people desire upgrades every couple of years?” This is what I tell them….

When I coach with my clients, I teach them to look for the values that are important to them that need to be aligned with a life partner and those that may differ that need to be supported. My husband and I share those critical core relationship values. The ones that are different, he supports.

For instance, I know myself to be an independent creative entrepreneur. That is a work value for me. Alan works for a big company and likes to have steady reliable work. He is not an independent creative entrepreneur. And yet, he has supported my efforts to grow my coaching business 100%. This is huge. I remember when I was dating some guys had a hard time with my schedule, the daunting business demands and the fact that I may have to work weekends and some evenings. Many of these guys wanted more time from me that I could give.

However, the core relationship values such as being there for family and getting help when you need it is something we share together. Also, when I researched couples that had lasted 50 years or more, they had this stickiness factor. They had a commitment to the relationship to work things out no matter what. All those relationships were tested and survived the unavoidable ups and downs.

So far we made it through the 7 year itch and the terrible tens! I don’t know what challenges, disappointments or joys are ahead for us. However, I do know we each have a commitment to the relationship and to our son to nurture and protect this relationship.

From my view 12 years of marriage is an accomplishment. I can’t even imagine what the next 12 years will bring us. All I know that with Alan at my side, together we can weather most anything.

What expectations do you have of a life partner? What characteristics can you observe to determine if someone has the ability to get through the tough stuff in life? This curious relationship dating coach would like to know!

Author's Bio: 

Coach Amy Schoen is a certified professional life coach and national dating and relationship expert helping marriage minded individuals to find and connect with their true romantic partner for a committed relationship. Discover her Motivated to Marry® strategies in her free e-course “7 Steps to Finding Your True Love Partner” at