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What's In A Marriage?

You feel giddy all the time. The world has taken on a strange rosy luster. Nothing makes sense, and everything makes sense. And you have feelings more profound than you ever knew were possible to feel.

Is it some kind of dire illness?

No, it's only Love with a capital "L."

And the next letter is obviously Marriage, with a capital "M."

You're both trembling in your boots, but determined this is the right, the only choice. After all, isn't that what people do? Like swans, humans around the world tend to bind ourselves to another for life. We make our forever vows and say the magic words, "I do," then go off to make a practical life out of the dream. It's just the way we are, and it works pretty well, especially to provide a nest for our children.

Inherent in the whole coming together process is the notion that the love we experience, the tsunami of sensation that swept us into marriage "till death do us part," will last forever.

What's the truth?

The truth is that, just as we humans do, Love changes its character over time. Are you the same person you were ten years ago? Of course not. And yet, in the most fundamental ways, you are.

It's the same with your Love for each other. Marriages between two people who really adore each other change their character, but the original bond, the Love, remains... if it was real to begin with.

For Love to be real, the most important part of the recipe is that neither party presents himself or herself as someone they are not. Obviously, if this kind of subterfuge is engaged in, the lover has fallen in love with someone who does not exist. The Love that is the basis of the relationship and the marriage, therefore, is not real. That marriage is endangered.

Love, true Love, is an elastic thing. Its expression, over time, invariably becomes less overwhelmingly all-encompassing. We mellow into another phase, and that's a good thing. Who could tremble in their boots for a lifetime? Who would want to?

Enter into a conscious, honest marriage, and you have a good chance of keeping your Love, for the rest of your lives, and beyond.

By Stephen Kreutzer

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