Have you ever fallen in love with someone at first sight – maybe your eyes locked, a tingle went down your spine, and you somehow “knew” that this person was going to be “The One”? Sometimes only one partner in a couple “knows” that there is something there before the other even recognizes that their fates might be linked together.
On the other hand, it might be a case of mutual attraction and the sparks that fly when the couple first meets can turn into a “3-alarm fire” before the evening ends. Other couples might simply realize that their platonic friendship has grown deeper and the desire to transform the relationship into sometime more romantic arises. For other monogamous couples, it may just be the fear of being single or not ever experiencing commitment or marriage that cements their bond.
Unfortunately, regardless of how hot the relationship felt early on, white-hot romance will burn out and turn to ashes unless a couple continues to fuel their relationship.No matter how much passion was generated by the relationship as the couple grew more intimate and committed early on, the long haul of marriage can transport a couple far from their romantic beginnings or fantasized “happily ever after.”
There are a couple of important things to remember about marriage when the honeymoon phase ends and the real world crashes into the idyllic fantasy. First, remember that time will take its toll and the relationship will probably get worse in some ways, but also remember that over time, it's also going to get better -- if you're willing to put in the effort.
It’s important to believe that you and your partner are more than two separate individuals and that your relationship has blossomed into a shared, couple's identity. This does not imply that you “lose yourself” in the relationship, but that you and your partner have created a shared identity that co-exists along with your separate individual identities.
Although splitting up or divorcing takes a lot more paperwork and effort than picking up a marriage license and tying the knot, keeping the relationship strong can be demanding work, as well.
Marriage is about commitment and it requires both parties to recite their vows and promises aloud.
Marriage is serious business that involves a lot more than just a U-Haul and a dozen cardboard boxes.
The mere fact that marriage involves a legal procedure provides a clue that it is not necessarily going to offer “peak awesomeness” 24/7! The word “vow” finds its origin in an Anglo-French/Old French word that means to pledge or promise solemnly or to bind oneself. Solemn promises usually connote that there will be some work involved in the honoring of the promise or in delivering on the promise. Might as well accept that nothing good comes easy and focus on doing what you can to ensure that your primary relationship is strong enough to weather the inevitable challenges that even healthy relationships will face.
How strong is your friendship network? Do your friends help keep you healthy?
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