In my grandparents’ generation, when divorce was frowned upon, people managed to get along, and "'Til death do us part" was taken for granted. These days though, relationships seem so fragile. The simplest of problems lead to breakups and separations. We let the stress and pressures of everyday life get in the way and put the little things that are necessary to sustain a marriage on the back burner.
So, here's a checklist reminder of what's necessary to make sure your marriage survives so you can be that old couple in the ads (you know the one I am talking about – old and wrinkled, but happy and content, always walking hand in hand). Most of the items on this checklist are very intuitive, and a lot of lip service has been paid to these qualities and traits over years. But do you really incorporate them into your daily lives? If you really want to get something out of this article, don't just read it. Think about it in the context of your marriage. And revisit these thoughts every so often. OK, here we go.
I think the key here is to realize the difference between being madly in love versus just simply loving someone. In the beginning of a relationship, when things are hot and fiery, everything is easy. But as time goes by, this fiery flame gets replaced by more mellow embers – warm and burning, but without the obvious flares.
Some people start to panic when this happens, and misinterpret it as a signal of the end. But it's not. It's just the next stage of a relationship. A different form of love. Stick on by and see where it takes you. Besides, if you moved on, what makes you think that the next relationship will be all fiery flames all the time? How long are you willing to jump from one relationship to another chasing after a transient phase? Why not just let things be and deal with the different levels and forms of love? While the “oomph” of the first few years of being together was great, I really have come to enjoy the comfortable closeness we have developed as years have passed.