Marriage is the process by which two people make their relationship public, official, and permanent. It is the joining of two people in a bond that putatively lasts until death, but in practice is often cut short by separation or divorce.
Every marriage brings challenges, often profound ones. How a couple manages them often determines whether their relationship collapses or holds firm. Guarding long-term love may require jettisoning misguided beliefs or dysfunctional habits that partners have carried with them for many years.
"Divorce-proofing" a marriage can mean identifying and shoring up a couple's strengths and reinforcing them with new skills and approaches to sharing life together.
Over the course of a relationship that can last as many as seven or eight decades, a lot happens. Personalities change, bodies age, and romantic love waxes and wanes. And no marriage is free of conflict.
What enables a couple to endure is how they handle that conflict. So how do people manage the problems that inevitably arise? And how can couples keep the spark alive?