If I questioned everyone who is marrying today whether they feel emotionally, physically and sexually connected they would say, “Sure.” If I went further and asked them if they expected to remain connected over the next thirty years, the vast majority would say, “Yes!”
These couples believe that their connection will last because they have found the love of their life, their soul mate, the person that God has sent them…their one true love. While the sentiment is sweet, the logic of this optimism is lacking.
The truth is that a couple marrying today is very, very unlikely to maintain an emotional, physical and sexual connection over the next thirty years. First, they have nearly a 50% chance of divorcing – a sure sign of disconnection.
But among those who would remain married for the long haul, many will stay married only for the sake of their children’s well-being, financial entrapment, religious commitment or simply because the marriage they have is less frightening than the prospect of becoming divorced—even as they are have lost their emotional, physical and sexual connection.
The evidence is overwhelming that the connection we have at marriage is extremely fragile, yet we treat it as though it is lasting. For instance, after couples get married, we know that their behavior changes, generally giving less to the relationship. Husbands and wives nurture the relationship less, spend less time “courting” and more time arguing about how their expectations are unmet in the marriage.
Love can last, but the key is not finding your “one true love.” The key to a long-lasting relationship is commitment. My initial blog post described elements of a commitment. Underlying this commitment is the understanding that our connection is fragile and we must make an effort every day to nurture that connection or join the majority who have lost theirs.