Marriage. It’s supposed to last a lifetime. But with the divorce rate being 50%, how does one go into it knowing and feeling it will last forever? Are you prepared for it to last a lifetime, and are you ready to work on it, come hell or high water?
When a couple starts to date, and it clicks, they fall head over heels into an endorphin high and this feels like the most euphoric time in our lives. We feel it will last forever, but in reality, that feeling only lasts, if lucky, about 9 months. During this time, we make lifetime decisions and promise ourselves to others before the veil dissipates and the shine becomes tarnished.
The key is making that love, that feeling, that euphoria last a lifetime. How do you do it?
Experts say the key is communication, sexuality and building trust. These clearly take a lifetime of work-are you prepared to do the work?
Judith S. Wallerstein, Ph.D., co-author of the book “The Good Marriage: How and Why Love Lasts” suggests the following:
- Separate emotionally from the family you grew up in; not to the point of estrangement, but enough so that your identity is separate from that of your parents and siblings.
- Build togetherness based on a shared intimacy and identity, while at the same time set boundaries to protect each partner’s autonomy.
- Establish a rich and pleasurable sexual relationship and protect it from the intrusions of the workplace and family obligations.
- For couples with children, embrace the daunting roles of parenthood and absorb the impact of a baby’s entrance into the marriage. Learn to continue the work of protecting the privacy of you and your spouse as a couple.
- Confront and master the inevitable crises of life.
- Maintain the strength of the marital bond in the face of adversity. The marriage should be a safe haven in which partners are able to express their differences, anger and conflict.
- Use humor and laughter to keep things in perspective and to avoid boredom and isolation.
- Nurture and comfort each other, satisfying each partner’s needs for dependency and offering continuing encouragement and support.
- Keep alive the early romantic, idealized images of falling in love, while facing the sober realities of the changes wrought by time.
Lori Mendelsohn is a professional matchmaker. With a knack for introducing people who wind up saying, “I do,” she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her website is www.smartfunnysingle.com