If you are young and or un-initiated, you may think that marriage is all about love. Certainly popular culture would lead us to believe this: two people fall in love, get married and live happily ever after. The real world really isn’t so simple. Marriage is about love, but be careful that you don’t confuse loving “being in love” with real love.
Love Not Infatuation
One of the big mistakes that most couples make is mistaking mature love for infatuation. Sure, those giddy “I’m in love” feelings are wonderful; but they don’t last. After all is said and done and the thank you notes have been sent, the real world starts to crash in. If you mistake infatuation for love, you can have a real problem.
Real Life, Not A Fairy Tale
When the feelings of infatuation begin to wane, you may discover that you have some conflicts or disagreements with your spouse. You may also discover that you have different tastes and different opinions. To some people, these differences can be a huge threat. Realize that your mate is not a carbon copy of you, but a separate human being.
Life Can Be Routine
Another thing that can really be a drag in relationships is the day to day chores that need to be done to keep the household running. Movies and TV shows rarely show this during their love stories. Little things like this can quickly put a damper on the fires of passion.
Resist the urge to compare your relationship with other relationships. I had friends who would rate couples “cuteness” based upon how in love the seemed. Ironically, most of the “cutest” couples that seemed so in love in public ended up getting divorced. Apparently, many couples confuse love with loving the feeling of being in love.
What Can You Do?
Instead of looking to the media to define what love and marriage look like, talk to people who have been married for a while. Ask them what they feel that marriage is all about. Listen and learn from the wisdom that they share. Let’s face it, someone who has been married for 25 years knows a thing or two about marriage.
Last But Not Least
Evaluate your expectations about marriage to see if they really are realistic. Adjust your expectations as necessary to avoid frustration and discontent and share your expectations honestly with your spouse. Once you do these things, you will find that you have learned what marriage is really all about.