Relationship Tips for Long-Term Couples

July 13, 2012

By Kim Leatherdale

Photo by Zaufob

Their breakup topped the headlines. Stormy fights with injuries and apathetic shoulders radiating arctic cold. No, it’s not the latest celebrity break-up, it’s Bibi and Poldi the giant tortoises at Klagenfurt Zoo in southern Austria! After 115 years (yes, you read that right) they are no longer getting along and have to separate, even though zoo-keepers tried counselling. Sad to see such a long relationship turn turtle (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!).

So what do these feuding reptiles have to do with your relationship? They have a few lessons to teach those living a long time together:

3 Relationship Tips for Long-Term Couples

    1. You need to get out as a couple and do things. Bibi and Poldi were together in the same enclosure for 36 years. I’d want to bite pieces off my husband if I were in the same house constantly for a whole month, let alone years! It is important to get out, be active together, and see new things.


    1. Each of you needs to give your spouse some alone time at home. Maybe Bibi really just wanted some time to rearrange the furniture, watch some silly movie, or just be by herself at home once in awhile. All of us need some time alone to think, fuss around, and just be with ourselves to learn how to be with ourselves. It is important to give our spouses that time.


  1. Don’t let topics fester until they turn to violence (physical or verbal.) I can’t mind read a reptile, but I’d guess after 115 years resentments might have built up for Poldi and Bibi! For us humans, it doesn’t take that long. Speak up and make requests so you can keep close to your spouse without bitterness.

Learn a few lessons from our heartbroken reptile couple and don’t take 115 years to do it!

Kim Leatherdale About the Author: Kim Leatherdale is a licensed professional counselor and relationship blogger. She offers on-line, phone, and in office counseling and relationship coaching. For more information visit her website: CreatingRewardingRelationships, Facebook page: CreatingRewardingRelationships, or Twitter account: HappyCoupleXprt

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  • Erin McLaughlin

    This was funny and brought up some great points for coupes at any age, I think! Relationships are a hot topic in our community and we are always encouraging others to share their tips and advice. We can all use a little help from time to time to keep things lively and learning to appreciate our loved ones in new ways 🙂 -Erin at ComfortLife

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